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2019 Honda Insight - First Drive

5 reasons Honda's entry-level hybrid makes a wee bit of sense

Oct 25, 2018
Photographer: Honda

1. Practicality. If you own or are in the process of building a badass project car, it's safe to say you've thought about an economical commuter that isn't a pain in the ass to drive every day. It's never fun stressing about where to park, whether you can get up a certain driveway, or if that cop who just passed you is turning around to give you shit. I've been there... There are plenty of options when it comes to picking a solid daily, but if you're thinking of something that'll remain stock and rack up a lot of miles, a hybrid is extremely logical. I know quite a few guys who rock 'em for dailies while keeping their project cars safely in the garage, reserved for weekends and events. The Honda Insight is such a hybrid that ticks all the right boxes and then some.

2019 honda insight rear bumper Photo 2/14   |   2019 Honda Insight Rear Bumper
2019 honda insight passenger side front view Photo 3/14   |   2019 Honda Insight Passenger Side Front View

2. Looks still count. So, you've convinced yourself you could live a happier life with a hybrid daily, but you still don't want it to look like complete poop. Most folks default to a Prius, but its styling can be a bit ugly in the eyes of many. There's also a Hyundai Ioniq available, but that's not very pleasing to the eye, either. The latest third-generation Insight was designed to not look like the stereotypical hybrid and instead resembles a normal yet tasteful commuter car with modern-day tech, like LED lighting and a handsome interior.

3. Great on gas (duh). If your project cars are anything like mine, you're lucky to get anything around 12 to 20 mpg... The Insight's LX and EX trims have an EPA rating of 55/49 mpg (city/highway), while the Touring trim gets 51/45 mpg. This means you'll be cutting your monthly gas bill basically in half or more with this Honda hybrid.

011 2019 honda insight engine bay Photo 7/14   |   011 2019 Honda Insight Engine Bay
2019 honda insight passenger seat Photo 8/14   |   2019 Honda Insight Passenger Seat

4. Surprisingly, got some go! A 1.5L four-cylinder hybrid engine making 151 hp and 197 lb-ft of torque powers the '19 Insight. You read that correctly-nearly 200 lb-ft of torque! After a full afternoon with the car, I'll admit to driving it like a stolen rental car. Don't get me wrong...it's not sporty by any means, but the torque is helpful for freeway passing and merging. Plus, the Insight beats its hybrid competition in terms of power and has more torque than the VW Jetta or Mazda 3.

5. Affordable? Yes! Starting at less than $24K, the car's payment basically equates to a monthly lease of around $300 if you live in Southern California. Not too bad, considering you get a roomy, torquey sedan that's amazing on gas. Higher trim levels throw in better audio equipment, a larger head unit, and smart entry among other things, but don't worry if you skip on the extras. The point of picking up a hybrid like the Insight is to save you some dollars and wear and tear on what matters most, that money pit sitting in your driveway right now.

1st gen honda insight Photo 12/14   |   1St Gen Honda Insight
1st gen honda insight Photo 13/14   |   1St Gen Honda Insight

Remember the original Insight? Yeah, pretty damn ugly. Thank you, Honda, for a much better design!

Sunny wong 2010 insight EX Photo 14/14   |   Sunny Wong 2010 Insight EX

If you're wondering if we've ever featured an Insight... We have! Six years ago, this '10 Insight EX owned by Sunny Wong was lowered on air and fitted with TE37s, Brembo brakes, and an authentic M'z Speed body kit from Japan. We can't forget the widened fenders, either. Any takers on modifying the '19 model?!

Sam Du
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