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Honda Insight Touring Hybrid: a new car with a venerable name

Photo courtesy of Honda

A high-mileage, reasonably priced hybrid with a good deal of refinement.

The Honda Insight Hybrid has had two previous iterations: from model years 2000–2006 and model years 2010–2014. The third generation, a sedan, appeared in 2019, taking the place of the Civic Hybrid.

The new Insight, which resembles the larger Accord, combines Honda’s excellent build quality with great fuel economy and overall value. It’s available only as a hybrid and mates a 1.5-liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor to produce 151 hp and 191 ft-lb of torque. A 1.1-kWh lithium-ion battery resides under the backseat. A CVT transmission paired with paddle shifters rounds out the drivetrain. Drivability is good, but acceleration is slow due to the lack of horsepower. The powertrain is also a bit loud, especially on acceleration.

The Insight’s interior is roomy, with comfortable front seats that aren’t overly bolstered. Interior materials are high quality, with a minimal use of hard plastic. Fit and finish are very good, and a high-tech push-button shifter located on the center console saves space. Handling is competent but not sporty; the steering is light but lacks feel.

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Model years: 2019–2020
Vehicle layout: Compact 4-door sedan, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, electric motor (151 hp total), CVT, FWD
MSRP: $28,100 (base), $29,000 (well equipped)
MPG, city/hwy/combined: 51/45/48
Crash-test ratings: NHTSA: 5 stars overall, IIHS: good (all ratings). Top Safety Pick Plus
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Spare tire: Tire-inflator kit
Final assembly: United States

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