The 2019 Honda Insight looks nothing like what we’ve come to accept as that ‘hybrid look’.

When I picked an Insight up from Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California I literally did a couple double-takes.  Because the Insight looks like an Accord from one angle and a Civic from another angle.  When in reality it’s really a blend of both!  But still, it looks nothing like a hybrid.

Check out the pics below while listening to my podcast review of this quiet, comfortable and stylish fuel-sipper.

 

***Transcript***

Recorded August 29, 2018, Los Angeles, CA

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDSC, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the U.S. – Southern California.

Tom Smith here – today I’m sharing the details of my test drive of Honda’s new 2019 Insight.

I recently picked one up from our friends in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California.

  • For those of you in the I.E., if you’re thinking Honda, you have to go to Rock. Rock Honda that is.
  • For those near the Inland Empire, go ahead and drive right on by other Honda dealers – Rock Honda is your place.
  • And for everyone else in Southern California, I get it, it might be a bit of a drive but your vehicle is the second largest purchase of your life – next to your house. So, make the drive – trust me.
    • Ask for David Latif, GM, a supporter of iDriveSoCal and a friend.

So Rock Honda put me in a 2019 Honda Insight.  This is a four-door sedan that’s also a hybrid.  Which is a very easy-to-forget point when looking at the vehicle.  That’s simply because it looks like a four-door car.  A normal sedan.  Not a half-bubble space-shippy thing – like hybrids have and some still do look like.

And actually, there’s a lot of Insight billboards around SoCal lately.  You may have noticed – they’re the ones that state something like “proof that a hybrid can be stylish”.  And you know what – those billboards are spot on.

The 2019 Insight is a great looking ride.  If you’re familiar with the current Honda model line-up; at first glance, the Insight might have you thinking it’s a sophisticated Accord or maybe you catch the angle where it looks like a sporty Civic – and both would be correct.  As the Insight was given elements of both vehicles.

Honda keeps it simple with the Insight this year offering three trim levels:

  • The base model – LX starting at $22,830.
  • The mid-level – EX starting at $24,060.
  • And the top-of-the-line Touring starting at $28,090.

As always, in our iDriveSoCal reporting, these prices are MSRP – manufacturers suggested retail price.  You need to get yours equipped to your liking so the price will be a bit different.  But again, Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California is the place to go!

Quite literally Rock Bottom Pricing is baked into their name.  Your best deal on a Honda is waiting for you at Rock Honda – promise.  Ask for David Latif and tell him Tom from iDriveSoCal says hey!

Back to the 2019 Insight.  Again, easy to forget, it’s a hybrid.  And as I mentioned Honda keeps it simple with the three trims LX, EX and Touring.  Each of those has the following in common:

  • 1.5 liter, Inline 4-cylinder engine putting out 151-horsepower and 196-lb-ft of torque.
  • So the car in any trim level is quick with all that torque.
  • They also share the same transmission which offers three modes:
    1. Economy
    2. Sport
    3. EV – electric vehicle.

Now they basically all have the same great fuel economy the only difference being the Touring gets a combined 48-MPG to the LX and EX’s 52 combined.

  • The LX and EX get 55 City, 49 Highway and 52 combined.
  • The Touring gets 51 City, 45 Highway and 48 combined.

My near certain assumption is that the extra features that come on the Touring add weight that decreases the fuel efficiency just a bit.  Nevertheless, awesome fuel economy across the board.

So let’s dive into this review – shall we?

My friends at Rock Honda set me up test driving the top-of-the-line Touring trim – so I had all the whistles and bells.

First, let’s talk exterior.  You probably picked up on this earlier – I love the exterior styling of the Insight.  It offers the refined look of the new Accord with sleek sweeping clean lines with a bold grill.

It’s notable that all trim levels include LED lighting – headlights and brake lights.   Now, this not only makes the car look great but let’s face it – that lighting makes the vehicle easier to notice by other drivers and thus easier to avoid potential accidents.  That’s just my safety thoughts – I’m sure there are studies on something along those lines someplace but I’m going with common sense here.

So again, going around the outside of the Insight, it really does look like a sophisticated yet sporty sedan and you might have to look twice to see if it’s a luxury brand or not.  It’s hard to tell that it’s not mid-sized and even harder to tell that it’s a hybrid at all.

Going inside the 2019 Honda Insight it’s pretty much all Accord styling that, for the Touring trim level I drove, felt very close to a luxury manufacturer rather than a Honda.

One of the first things you notice inside is the push button gear shifting and driving modes – no actual gear shifter sticking out of the center console.  That adds to the high-tech feel inside.

Another tech feature that’s cool is what looks like paddle shifters at first glance but they’re actually paddles on the back-side of the steering wheel that allows you to adjust the regenerative braking that recharges your battery.

And adding to that nod to luxury inside are softer leather surfaces with handsome double-stitching.  Very nice touches for a Honda hybrid that doesn’t look like a hybrid at all.

The Insight seats 5 adults.  There’s legroom in the back – you’re not crammed in.  The back seat folds down to give you more cargo space from the trunk which is a great versatility feature of the Insight.

Again, you forget it’s a hybrid because the hybrid battery doesn’t take away from the vehicle’s interior spaciousness.

I have to touch on the Insights tech because it’s significant across the board.  The LX, EX, and Touring all come with Honda Sensing Standard.  That includes:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System.
  • Road Departure Mitigation System.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control.
  • Lane Keeping Assist System.
  • Traffic Sign Recognition

Now, one safety tech feature you only get on the EX and Touring is Honda Lane Watch.

Also, only on the EX and Touring in the tech category is Honda Link which delivers some of my favorite features including Android Auto and Apple Car Play.  These are the tech features that allow you to integrate your phone into the vehicle’s dash.  So if you want to display Waze navigation from your phone onto your dash or listen to your audiobooks through your app – viola.

Only the Touring trim level is going to give you dual climate control and some other interior creature comforts.

But, one other notable interior feature that does come with all trim levels is the handy and versatile center console armrest.  Great for tucking away the random items you don’t want to leave out in the open for curious potential thieves.

So that leaves the drive itself.

As I mentioned the vehicle has plenty of torque so acceleration is quick and seamless.  And there’s plenty of power to feel comfortable merging onto the highway and passing slower traffic.

Plus the optional driving modes transition the gearing of the vehicle instantaneously so if you want even more oomph at certain times you have that option too.  And one other thing I liked when switching driving modes was the background light in the dash changed from green to red to remind you when you’re in sport mode.

And now, we’ve come to my top three things I like about the 2019 Honda Insight from our friends at Rock Honda.

  1. Hands-down the styling – the car is clean looking, four-door, sporty sophistication.
  2. The interior – both space and the styling. It punches above its class here.
  3. The fact that it’s a hybrid that doesn’t scream “look at me – I’m taking better care of the planet than you are because I’m driving a hybrid!”

The 2019 Honda Insight is simply a great looking 4-door sedan that happens to be a hybrid and deliver killer gas mileage.

My thanks again to our friends at Rock Honda.  If you want me to connect you to them personally I’m always happy to do so.  Email me and we’ll make the warm introduction my email address is Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com.  That’s Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com.

For iDSC, I’m Tom, thanks!