The second-generation Honda Insight was a five-door hatchback that, despite being a cheap hybrid is very much better than it’s predecessors.This hybrid more likely is a successor to the discontinued Civic Hybrid, and looks like a hybrib of the Accord and the discontinued CrossTour, the Insight takes the best parts of both cars and injects them with a dose of green cred that’s hard to beat.
Packed with a rich infotainment system the seats are supportive and the tall-enough glass offers plenty of forward and lateral visibility — I was wishing for a more expansive view through the rearview mirror, though. The interior is much more lovely and deluxe. A lot of changes has been made inside, there’s a new center stack with revised air vents and climate controls, in addition to a new storage tray. The instrument cluster and its surrounding trim received updates, as well. It’s a good look that that will appeal to all car lovers and it also has some rich, premium touch as well.
The 8-inch infotainment screen found on the EX and Touring trims offers up the latest version of Honda’s infotainment system. this new one is fast and more straightforward. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come along for the ride, but not on the base LX trim of course and yeah there’s a 4G LTE Wi-Fi too.
Under the hood
Hiding under the hood is a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gas engine putting out 107 horsepower and 99 pound-feet of torque. Toss in two electric motors, and you’ve got a hybrid stew putting out a net 151 horsepower and 197 pound-feet. It might take some fiddling through modes and ignoring your lizard brain’s thoughts on engine noise to make sense of it all, but once you do, it’s quite rewarding.
There are four drive modes on offer: Normal, Sport, Eco and EV. Despite the acceleration penalty, I spent nearly all my time in Eco mode, which maximizes electricity-only operation. Normal mode sacrifices economy for more acceleration. Sport, on the other hand, makes the engine rev higher for longer without producing any appreciable performance gains, and it actually uses the speakers to make the engine louder, so I found it was best ignored.