The Worst Honda Insight Problem Could Cost You Tons of Money

One of Honda’s offerings to the hybrid world is the Insight, an efficient four-door with the look of a modern sedan. The Honda Insight is a practical, midsize plug-in hybrid that gives drivers amazing fuel economy. Combine that with being one of the safest cars on the road, and the Honda Insight definitely has a lot going for it. However, in 2012 and 2013, the Insight had a problem that could cost drivers a lot of money.

The biggest issue with the Honda Insight

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According to, 2012 and 2013 were not great years for the Honda Insight. Owners complained of excessive oil consumption that cost thousands of dollars to repair. After years of normal use, Insight owners suddenly found themselves dealing with their Insight guzzling oil. Generally, this would happen at around 60,000 miles. 

Dealerships can run an oil consumption test to determine if an Insight is consuming too much oil, and they’ll repair the vehicle according to the diagnostic. Unfortunately, the average repair cost on the 2012 Insight was $2,070, and the average repair cost on a 2013 Insight to solve the problem was $3,350. 

Honda Insight problems and solutions

Many times, the “check emission system” light would come on to indicate excessive oil consumption, but not always. The vehicle could suddenly start hesitating or lurching forward while traveling down the road. Honda Insight owners reported exhaust billowing out of the tailpipe, and deteriorating spark plugs were also a symptom of the problem. Some owners found that having the dealership replace the pistons and rings was enough to solve the problem. Other owners needed to replace the short block, and some replaced the entire engine. 

Overall, drivers have been disappointed in Honda’s response to the problem, with many Honda Insight owners on Car Complaints wanting a class-action lawsuit over the issue. There’s one piece of good news. Since this is a known issue for Honda, the automaker extended the Insight warranty from 5 years or 60,000 miles to 8 years with unlimited miles. This gives owners an opportunity to deal with the problem without having to pay out of pocket. 

The new Insight has a highly efficient engine

A man views the Honda Insight, named Green Car of the Year, on display in Los Angeles, California
The Honda Insight | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Honda took a 5-year break from producing the Insight and relaunched in 2019. It remains mostly the same for 2020, with sweeping exterior lines and a sophisticated look. The design is part of why the Insight is so fuel-efficient. It is streamlined with a grille designed to reduce wind loss. The rear has a performance look, with chiseled LED taillights.

The Insight also has all the technology you expect from a 2020 vehicle, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a rearview camera, remote engine start, and a lane watch camera. It even turns into a Wi-Fi hotspot to keep you connected wherever you go.

The insane gas mileage of 55 miles per gallon in the LX and EX and 51 miles per gallon in the Touring model is achieved with its hybrid powertrain. It’s a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. The high-voltage batteries that are part of the system are also covered by an 8-year warranty. The Honda Sensing system is standard.

The collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist all work together to keep drivers and occupants safe. The NHTSA gave it a 5-star safety rating, making it one of the safest new cars you can buy. 

Even though 2012 and 2013 gave Honda Insight owners problems because of excessive oil consumption, the Insight remains a great choice for those looking to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.