This latest incarnation of the Insight could well be a case of “third time lucky” for the Honda hybrid. This third-generation model is the latest Honda to wear the Insight nameplate, but it’s far more than just a revamped version of the last one. The 2021 Honda Insight looks great, there’s a good amount of interior space, it boasts plenty of the latest safety tech and impressive safety ratings, and the hybrid powertrain delivers simply stellar fuel economy.
If you’ve been deliberating getting into a hybrid but you want a car that delivers on every level as well as fuel economy, this could be just the car you’ve been waiting for.
The Insight name is obviously familiar and the exterior styling of the car might be too, but not because it looks like the previous model to carry the name. The exterior of the new Insight takes many of the best youthful elements from the popular Civic and blends them with some of the more mature themes from the evergreen Accord.
From the side, there’s an almost coupe-like silhouette with a sloping roof that gives a bit of a GT style to the Insight, but the overall proportions are closer to the Civic than the Accord. It’s easy to imagine this car appealing to Honda’s traditional buyers just as easily as it will appeal to the more youthful Civic audience because it’s hard not to like a car as stylish as this.
It’s probably fair to say that car buyers shopping for a hybrid are likely to look at the miles-per-gallon figures before things like 0 to 60mph times and top speeds, and the Insight shows Honda understands that perfectly. The actual rating you can expect varies slightly depending on the model chosen, but you’re unlikely to be disappointed by the numbers for any of them.
The hybrid propulsion system is based around a 1.5-liter inline-four gas engine that develops 107 horsepower, but it’s paired with a 129 horsepower electric motor and CVT transmission that helps to deliver a combined output of 151 horsepower. The electric motor propels the Insight the majority of the time, with the gas engine primarily employed for generating electricity for the battery.
The gas engine can drive the front wheels in some situations, although the manufacturer says these occasions will be rare. There are different driving modes as well which the driver can change to suit the circumstances.
As for those all-important fuel economy ratings, most versions of the 2021 Honda Insight will return 55mpg in the city, 49mpg on the highway and 52mpg combined, but even the least frugal version still manages 51/45/48mpg for city/highway/combined cycles.
Buyers have three different versions of the 2021 Insight to choose between. The entry model is the LX, the mid-range model is the EX, and the range-topping version of the new Insight is the Touring trim level.
The entry-level LX comes standard with most of the features you’d expect from a car in this class and at this price, although you will have to start at the EX trim if you want a touchscreen infotainments system. Standard LX features include full power features, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloys, a single USB port, a 5.0-inch infotainment system that’s not a touchscreen, Bluetooth and a good helping of active safety features such as a multi-angle rearview camera.
Moving up to the EX model upgrades the infotainment system to one with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, two USB charging ports, Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatibility, and it also gets you remote start and Smart Entry with Walk-Away Auto feature.
Opting for the range-topping Touring trim really does pile on the upscale features such as a moonroof, satellite navigation, leather upholstery and dual-zone climate control. The Touring also comes with a set of smart 17-inch alloy wheels, but it does need to be pointed out that they do have an impact on the Insight’s fuel economy.
The 2021 Honda Insight delivers everything you expect from a Honda in a fuel-efficient package that’s as kind on your pocket as it is on the environment. It doesn’t stand out as something different or niche, but you’ll know it’s something special when you find yourself visiting the gas station a whole lot less than you’re used to.
Come and check out the new Honda Insight with a test-drive from us here at Nelson Honda, located at 2500 Greensboro Road, Martinsville, VA, and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.