It started with Volvo.

‘Volvo Cars to head out All Electric’, said the PR announcements name. The Swedish automaker perhaps didn’t predict this, but soon after this reports was delivered, almost every single among its rivals had focused on offering electrified variants of its vehicles sometime next 5 or a decade, hoping to get likewise widespread media coverage. Even though it’s more an indicator of the changing times than anything, now it’s been verified – shortly, there won’t be much of a spot in denoting something as a hybrid car. They’ll all come to be that way.

Honda obviously recognizes this and enthusiastically said that the 2019 Insight is an automobile that just “Is undoubtedly a hybrid”. It’s usually true, too, with the battery easily stuffed under the back seats and design that’s actually tidier than its carefully related non-hybrid sibling, there’s very little about the Insight that would make it apparent it’s been electrified – preserve for a couple odd characteristics.

Gateway Drug

People are even now confused by hybrids and plug-ins, but Honda’s Two-Electric motor hybrid powertrain offers a relatively stress-free changeover into the globe of electrified cars. Unlike the version within the Accord Hybrid, the Insight’s Two-Motor system runs on the 1.5-liter Atkinson routine four-cylinder rather than a 2.0-liter. The inner combustion engine creates a peak productivity of 107 hp and 99 lb-ft of torque, while the electric motor is wonderful for 129 hp and a strong 197 lb-ft of torque. The max system productivity is usually 151 hp, which techniques the Insight along with enough gusto for most daily generating scenarios and returns an EPA-estimated 52 mpg (4.5 L/100 km) combined. We had no problem replicating that fuel market figure and despite having somewhat of ahem spirited driving, the Insight nonetheless got about 47 mpg (5 L/100 km).

The no-nonsense powertrain is representative of all of those other car simplicity – there’s no charging plugs, no overly dramatic styling, no odd gear selector, no oversized screen, no random blue or green-colored interior trim pieces – it’s all pretty normal.

The powertrain has some strange quirks, though. Plant the gas completely down to move a vehicle on the highway and you’ll hear the i-VTEC four-cylinder suddenly spike in RPM and commence buzzing away like a handheld mixer, much such as a CVT-equipped car or truck might (the Insight has no transmission, using a single-speed traction motor to transfer capacity to the road), before quieting back down to a near-silent cruise. The 1.5-liter also sounds coarse found in the Insight and is rather loud. That is admittedly not much of a concern in a vehicle such as this, as most purchasers won’t become matting the accelerator that often, nonetheless it may take some used to for the first-time hybrid clients Honda is normally positioning the Insight toward. It’s as well very quiet around village and under light acceleration, which will be the two scenarios the Insight will most often find itself in.

Another odd but useful feature may be the regenerative braking program, which is operated through the use of several paddle shifters that look specifically like gear go for paddles. Pull the left paddle when coasting straight down a hill, for instance, and the automobile will commence to seamlessly sluggish itself employing the regenerative program. Pull it a few times even more and the stopping effect becomes even greater. The right paddle can then be used to lessen the effectiveness of the regeneration. It’s not strong more than enough to operate a vehicle around without the brakes, but is kind of useful whenever a full braking function isn’t required, like when you’re approaching a bend or there’s a slight change in the stream of traffic.

There’s one last notable feature, too. As the Insight creeps around altogether silence at jogging speeds, it emits a sound so pedestrians find out there’s a moving automobile nearby. The sound can only certainly be a heavenly aura. It’s a good thought for pedestrian safety, but it’s definitely quirky.

Sophisticated Sibling

The Insight is the more complex and upscale offering between it and the Civic with which it shares a platform. The design is tidier, the ride is supple, wind sound is nominal and everything inside seems very well bolted together. For older clients or commuters that don’t value youthful appears and a sporty traveling experience, the Insight appears to be the more appropriate proposition compared to the Civic. And for what it’s worthy of, the steering is normally normal Honda – solid and immediate with decent responses. It could actually inspire some customers to have a little bit of fun. Try stating that about Prius.

In mid-level EX and range-topping Touring trim, the Insight will be even more appealing to Honda’s older clientele. Both of these models get yourself a crisp and responsive 8-inch color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Google android Auto, and Touring trims also get yourself a variant with navigation. Upscale Touring versions get leather upholstery aswell, furthermore to heated entrance seats, dual-zone environment control, and a moonroof. I quite liked the typical, easy-to-use 7-inches TFT driver’s display as well, which displays various vehicle data menus which can be easily toggled using a dial on the tyre and never have to avert your eye from the road.

Room For Just One More?

Save for a good buzzy 1.5-liter engine, the 2019 Honda Insight is a well-executed and easy-to-methodology hybrid that appears especially ‘typical’ when you plop it subsequent to its two primary rivals: the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq. With standard Honda Sensing dynamic safety tech, upscale styling and solid building, Honda shouldn’t have very much trouble grabbing interest from would-be Civic customers that may choose to preserve a buck or two on gas here and there.

Honda may have a tough time properly positioning the Insight against the Accord Hybrid, though, which starts in $25,995 including destination in the U.S. The Insight is well-priced in $23,725 LX basic trim, but to get things like the 8-inch digital screen, you should at least opt for the $24,955 EX unit – and by that point, you’re type of stepping on the toes of the base-spec $25,895 Accord Hybrid, which nets you a good bigger car with plenty of better gear. If you want leather and a sunroof on the Insight, you’re searching at a $28,985 vehicle. Consumers will need to decide which auto better suits their requirements, but if you’re searching at an Insight, it will be worth checking out the larger Accord Hybrid.

The Verdict: 2021 Honda Insight Review

The industry is slowly shifting toward electrified vehicles such as this and for virtually all possible Civic buyers, the Insight is unquestionably worth checking out for its potential to save them a bit at the pump in trade for a comparatively minuscule price premium. Customers will hardly spot the presence of a small lithium-ion battery and electrical motor when traveling and they’ll get spending less on fuel. Honda’s hybrid portfolio may seem to be somewhat full with both the Insight and Accord Hybrid occupying very similar price points, but this at least permits customers to decide which of the two is best for them.

Oh, the Insight’s also faster than a Prius, gets the same gas economy and also looks regular. We’ve heard plenty of complaints about weird-looking electrified cars to know that the arrival of a normal looking hybrid could be more than welcome.