The 2019 Honda Insight came out to take the Prius on once again. With some changes and a few features tweaked, Honda had a pretty capable competitor on their hands. The question, though, that was on everyone’s minds was whether the Insight could compete long term.
MotorTrend answered that question by taking an Insight into their own hands and using it for one whole year to see exactly how well it held up. That year is over now, and they’ve revealed their findings.
The one-year challenge
MotorTrend used a 2019 model Honda Insight EX hybrid with no options other than the dealer supplied floor mats and trunk tray for their testing purposes. During their challenge year, the car saw some snow, rain, and they drove in some pretty hot days in California traffic.
They drove it on various road surfaces to and from work and took it on long-distance road trips. It hauled surfboards to their local beaches as well as moved one apartment occupant to another location, taking only two different trips.
The model they drove had light-colored cloth interior and came with a few standard features, such as the adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist, which they got plenty of use out of.
They purchased gasoline at California stations that cost approximately $4 a gallon each time they filled the tank up. At the end of the year, they calculated a total of 445.45 gallons of gas they used for their time with the car.
How well did the Honda Insight hold up for the year?
At the end of the year, MotorTrend employees reported that the only cost spent on the Insight was for maintenance. So, they paid $96.05 for an oil change, tire rotation, and an inspection. The only other cost came from fuel and that turned out to be $1,797 for the 445 gallons of fuel they purchased during that year. No repair work was needed during their time with the car.
They put on 20,378 miles on the Insight and after doing the math; they figured out the car averaged 47 mpg, which was a little short of the EPA rating of a combined 52 mpg. A little more research and they found that other owners of this car averaged around the same gas mileage data.
The cloth interior surprisingly held up pretty well, outside of a few dark spots, that they were able to clean fairly easy, except for the seat, which they got most of.
How does the Honda Insight compare to the Prius?
While older versions of the Honda Insight didn’t stand up too well to the Toyota Prius, the newer 2019 model keeps up with no problem. Actually, it overshadows the Prius by being a bit more handsome according to Cars.com. Handling in the Insight was smoother than the Prius, which rode a bit rough on hard pavement surfaces.
Dips and bumps hardly phased the Insight at all. The biggest issue was the loud revving engine, but it’s generally only heard on steep inclines when the motor had to work a little harder. The Honda Insight model MotorTrend used was the EX trim, which starts at $24,995.
The Toyota Prius LE package, which is somewhat close to the Insight EX starts at $24,980. The difference between the two is that the 2019 Insight model came with keyless entry and the standard Honda Sensing Suite of safety features.
When the year was up, MotorTrend said they were kind of sorry to see the Insight go from their garage. They felt it was fun to drive, and it proved to be more than capable to handle their daily commutes. The only issue they had was the gas mileage not measuring up but was still pretty good compared to other cars.