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2021 Honda Insight Review

The 2021 Honda Insight finishes in the middle of our hybrid and electric car rankings. It gets incredible gas mileage and comes with plenty of user-friendly features, but it's not the most athletic car on the road.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent gas mileage
  • Comfortable ride
  • Quiet, comfortable interior
  • Easy-to-use technology and lots of standard active safety features
  • Noisy gas engine at high rpm
  • Less sporty than some rivals

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Honda Insight's #5 ranking is based on its score within the Hybrid and Electric Cars category. Currently the Honda Insight has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 30 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 7.4
Safety: 10.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Honda Insight?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Honda Insight a Good Car?

Yes, the Honda Insight is a good car. Its hybrid powertrain delivers quick acceleration, and this compact car rides smoothly. Gas mileage is superb even by hybrid standards. The Insight is well-built inside, and there's adequate space for passengers and cargo. This Honda has a lengthy list of standard active safety technology, and it features an easy-to-use infotainment system.

However, there are a few hang-ups that keep the Insight from ranking near the top of the class. Its gasoline engine can drone loudly under stress, and some rivals have more athletic handling. Additionally, because it's a compact car, the Insight has a less spacious interior than several other hybrid classmates that fit into the larger midsize car category.

Why You Can Trust Us: 30 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This 2021 Honda Insight review uses applicable research and data for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

Should I Buy the Honda Insight?

As detailed above, there are a lot of reasons to like the Insight, and as it has a lower starting price than most other hybrid and electric cars, it provides plenty of bang for your buck. That doesn't mean that this is the only hybrid worth considering, however. There are some really good options in the class, including the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, Hyundai Ioniq, and Honda Accord Hybrid.

Find a 2021 Honda Insight for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Honda Insight: What's the Difference?

The 2021 Insight sees some feature shuffling between trims, but it's otherwise nearly identical to the 2020 model.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Honda Insight »

Here are the key changes for the Honda Insight since it was reintroduced for 2019:

  • 2019: all-new model
  • 2020: no notable changes
  • 2021: some feature shuffling between trims

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2019 Honda Insight and 2020 Honda Insight reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Honda Insight Cost?

The Insight carries a base price of $22,930. That's one of the lowest starting prices among hybrid and electric cars, though to be fair, the Insight is a compact car, making it smaller than many other hybrids that tend to be a bit larger. The range-topping Insight Touring starts at $28,840. That's below-average for a top-trim price in this class.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

Honda Insight Versus the Competition

Honda Insight or Toyota Corolla Hybrid?

The Insight and the Toyota Corolla Hybrid are closely matched, so the better pick may boil down to your preferences. These cars cost about the same, and both offer a comfortable ride and lengthy standard features lists with plenty of driver assistance tech. The Corolla Hybrid has a better highway fuel economy rating than the Insight, as well as a superior predicted reliability rating. On the other hand, the Honda has more cargo space than the Toyota.

Compare the Insight and Corolla Hybrid »

Honda Insight or Hyundai Ioniq?

The Hyundai Ioniq-Honda Insight showdown is another matchup where the winner depends on what you value. One clear advantage for the Ioniq is that it comes in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric variants, while the Insight is only a traditional hybrid. The Ioniq is more fuel-efficient than the Insight in all configurations, and it has nicer cabin materials and more cargo space. The Insight has a softer ride and more rear-seat legroom than the Ioniq, though.

Compare the Insight and Ioniq »

Honda Insight or Honda Accord Hybrid?

The Honda Accord Hybrid is one of our top-ranked hybrid and electric cars, and it's a better pick than the Insight for most buyers. The Accord Hybrid is a midsize car, so it costs more than the Insight, but it also has more space, more standard features, and a more upscale cabin. While the Accord Hybrid has worse gas mileage figures than the Insight, it makes up for it with a stronger engine and quicker acceleration.

Compare the Insight and Accord Hybrid »

Compare the Insight, Corolla Hybrid, and Ioniq »

Insight Interior: Serene and Spacious

Insight Cargo Space

Because its battery pack sits under the rear seats instead of taking up room in the trunk, the Insight has a good cargo capacity for a compact hybrid. It provides 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space in its standard setup and 14.7 cubic feet in Touring models. That's enough space for about 10 shopping bags or the family's weekend vacation luggage.

How Many People Does the Insight Seat?

The Insight seats five people. There's a good amount of cabin space, and the front seats are comfortable and supportive. The rear seats are accommodating as well, but tall people will wish for a little additional headroom.

Insight and Child Car Seats

There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the Insight's rear outboard seats. The middle seat has an upper tether anchor and the ability to borrow lower anchors from the outboard seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Insight's LATCH system an ease-of-use rating of Good+, which means it's among the easiest to use.

Insight Interior Quality

This small Honda features an impressive interior. The well-built cabin incorporates plenty of soft-touch materials throughout, and it's well-insulated from outside noise.

Insight Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

You'll probably want the Insight's upgraded infotainment system, which adds helpful connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and has a larger, touch-sensitive screen. With either setup, the infotainment system is user-friendly. The intuitive interface makes it easy to scroll through menus, and the system responds quickly to inputs.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 5-inch LCD screen, six speakers, a USB port, and Bluetooth
  • Available infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, additional USB ports, an eight- or 10-speaker audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto
  • Additional standard features: automatic climate control
  • Other available features: dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, and a moonroof

Read more about interior »

Insight Performance: More Than Just a Pretty MPG Rating

Insight Engine

This Honda hybrid features a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 151 horsepower. With eager acceleration, the Insight has no trouble getting up to speed. The gas engine makes a fair amount of noise when you're accelerating hard, but it has ample power for almost every driving situation.

Insight Gas Mileage

Few cars in any class can best the Insight's fuel economy ratings. It gets 55 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway. Touring models get slightly lower ratings of 51 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway.

Insight Ride and Handling

Locating the battery pack under the rear seats doesn't just improve trunk space, it also gives the Insight a low center of gravity, which helps it remain balanced around turns. This isn't a sports car by any means, but it's poised, and it delivers a smooth ride. The regenerative brakes have multiple settings to let you choose how aggressive they function, and they feel smooth when you push the pedal.

Read more about performance »

Insight Reliability

Is the Honda Insight Reliable?

The 2021 Honda Insight has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Honda Insight Warranty

Honda covers the Insight with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, and an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for hybrid components.

Read more about reliability »

Insight Safety

Insight Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Insight an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The Insight received five stars in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Insight the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests. The Insight's headlights received a Good rating for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The Insight earned the highest rating of Superior for its standard front crash prevention systems.

Insight Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Road departure mitigation
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keep assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Driver drowsiness monitoring
  • Rearview camera
  • Acoustic vehicle alert system (emits noise under low-speed electric power to alert nearby pedestrians to its presence)

Available advanced safety features:

  • Front and rear parking sensors

Read more about safety »

Insight Dimensions and Weight

The Insight is about 15.3 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,987 to 3,078 pounds.

Where Is the Honda Insight Built?

Honda builds the 2021 Insight in Indiana.

Which Honda Insight Model Is Right for Me?

The Insight comes in three trims: LX, EX, and Touring. All models feature a 151-horsepower hybrid powertrain comprised of a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a single-speed transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard.

The base trim offers lots of driver assistance features and a decent array of infotainment technology. However, most shoppers will want to step up to at least the EX trim. For an additional $1,900, the EX nets you a couple more active safety features and a vastly improved infotainment system with a larger screen and more connectivity options.

If you want the most luxurious experience, the Touring is the way to go, as it's the only Insight that has leather upholstery and heated, power-adjustable front seats. Front and rear parking sensors are the only notable feature you can add to any trim (they cost $515), so you must climb the trim ladder to get any other upgrades.

Insight LX

The Insight LX carries a base price of $22,930. Standard features include automatic climate control and an infotainment system with a 5-inch LCD screen, six speakers, a USB port, and Bluetooth.

Standard driver assistance features include driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and an acoustic vehicle alert system. Some of these are part of the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features.

Insight EX

The Insight EX starts at $24,810. In addition to the base trim's features, the EX comes with split-folding rear seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, an 8-inch touch screen, additional USB ports, an eight-speaker audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Insight Touring

The top-of-the-line Insight Touring starts at $28,840. The Touring adds leather-trimmed seats, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker premium audio system, navigation, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

See 2021 Honda Insight specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Honda Insight is an appealing choice among hybrid and electric cars. It only places in the middle of the class rankings, but many higher-ranked rivals are larger vehicles (midsize cars) that cost more than the compact Insight. In other words, if you can do without the extra space, the Insight represents a great value, especially when you consider that it's easy to drive and gets better gas mileage than most competitors.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Honda Insight is a sensible small hybrid with excellent fuel economy. Beyond that, it's generally nice to drive and a pleasant place to spend time. It combines comfort and practicality with a refined interior and easy-to-use tech, making it a powerful hybrid contender, even if it underperforms by a few mpg against top competitors." -- Edmunds (2020)
  • "The … Honda Insight brings an affordable electrified choice to the Honda lineup. Great fuel economy, an attractive interior, and a strong suite of safety features make it a hybrid sedan worth considering." -- Boston Globe (2019)
  • "It's fine. The Honda Insight was fine. It's a fine car for fine people who are just doing fine. It's a hybrid for people who just want a car that's fine, that doesn't look weird or drive weird, that won't be amiss in a sea of Civics. And I guess that's fine, too." -- Jalopnik (2019)
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2021 Honda Insight

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