2014 Honda Insight
Honda’s entry into the hybrid hatch market hasn’t come without any adversity. It’s tough enough to break into a segment long dominated by the Toyota Prius and etch a name for itself; even more so that you’re coming into the fight with less fuel economy than the proverbial kingpin.
But all is not lost in Honda’s quarters. After all, the 2014 Insight still has some cards up its sleeve, starting with a price considered as the least expensive in the market. And like with most hybrids, fuel economy is always a hallmark for the Insight, thanks to its capability to hit 41 mph in the city and 44 mpg on the highway.
All that, though, and you’re still likely to take what you can get with the Insight. It doesn’t look nearly as good as what you’d like, but for a car that doesn’t do much outside give you bang for your buck in mileage, you take what you can get on the other things.
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2014 Honda Insight
Horsepower @ RPM:98 @ 5800
Torque @ RPM:123 @ 1000
0-60 time:12.5 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:113 mph (Est.)
The Honda Insight comes with an weird shape, like a mini minivan with a surprisingly bulgy rear end that’s made more distinguishable by its split-glass rear window. The high trunk line makes it a little harder to see from the rearview mirror, but like anything, compromises had to be made to make the car look like it does.
But even with its curves placed in odd positions, the Insight is actually pretty compact at just 172 inches in length. The packed in nature of the Insight could be a boon for some people, especially when it comes to driving around a congested city.
Up front, the Insight actually looks surprisingly like the Accord, save for the more pronounced chrome grille. But there are elements of the Accord in there that have been mixed in with the blue-tinted chrome bezels near the grille and around the headlights.
2014 Honda Insight - Exterior Specification
|Curb Weight (lbs)||2747|
|Weight Distribution (%, front/rear)||58 / 42|
Given its peculiar body, the interior of the Insight is actually pretty nice. Honda didn’t waste any space, knowing that if it did, there probably wouldn’t be too many people who’d appreciate having to struggle through and stay comfortable inside.
With the makeup of a sedan, the Insight can accommodate up to five passengers while also holding enough cargo space to at least carry an appreciably amount of items. All in all, the Insight has as many as 31 cubic feet of space when the rear seats are folded and stowed away.
As far as the controls are concerned, the Insight’s console was designed for function and easy accessibility. There’s also an "Econ" button just to the left of the steering wheel that will come especially handy when you want to tweak how the car is running at a given point in time.
If there’s a drawback to the cabin, you might get a tad frustrated on the crunchiness of some of the buttons. It’s a minor inconvenience in the bigger scheme of things, but if you’re nit-picky about the littlest of things, then you’re going to have your bouts of frustration navigating through all those buttons.
2014 Honda Insight - Interior Specification
|Headroom (in, front/rear)||38.4 / 36.4|
|Legroom (in, front/rear)||42.3 / 33.0|
|Shoulder Room (in, front/rear)||52.7 / 50.4|
|Hiproom (in, front/rear)||51.6 / 48.7|
|Cargo Volume (cu ft, seat up/down)||15.9 / 31.5|
|Passenger Volume (cu ft)||85.0|
The Honda Insight is powered by the company’s Integrated Motor Assist system, which makes use of a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine and combines it with a 10-kilowatt (13-horsepower) electric motor. It’s a rather pedestrian setup that only nets a total of 98 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 123 pound-feet of torque at 1,000-1,700 rpm.
Gas mileage for the Insight is at 41 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway, good enough numbers but still a ways away from the Prius.
2014 Honda Insight - Drivetrain Specification
|Output (HP @ RPM)||98 @ 5800|
|Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)||123 @ 1000-1700|
|Bore and Stroke (mm)||73 x 80|
|Compression Ratio||*10.8 : 1|
|Valve Train||8-Valve SOHC i-VTEC|
Pricing for the 2014 Insight begins at $18,725 for the base model and goes all the way up to $23,915 for the Insight EX with Navi PZEV.
|Insight LX PZEV||$20,500|
|Insight EX PZEV||$22,190|
|Insight EX with Navi||$23,915|
|Insight EX with Navi PZEV||$23,915|
The Ford C-Max Hybrid is one of the Insight’s main competitors, as it is in the same ballpark in terms of price. Both the C-Max and the Insight have roughly the same mileage with the former netting 45 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.
But here’s where the C-Max absolutely blitzes the Insight: its 188 horsepower and 129 pound-feet coming from its 2.0-liter engine and electric motor are miles ahead of what the Insight is getting out of its own hybrid system.
The Toyota Prius is still the unquestioned king of this category - and its not even close. It also has the power advantage over the Insight, thanks to a 1.8-liter engine that develops 98 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque and combined with a large electric motor that produces 36 horsepower on its own. Taken together, the numbers amount to 134 ponies for the Prius, more than most hybrids in its class.
And that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that the Prius gets 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway.
For all of the positive attributes of the Insight, it’s only as good as what other hybrids can’t do for you. In its case, the Insight costs cheaper than most, and that’s about it. If you want the full hybrid experience at a bargain price this is your car. But if you want to get more out of your ride, there are better options available.
Source: Honda Insight