Comparisons

Honda Insight Inferior To Just About Any Other Hybrid

Comparisons
@meisejohn

John is a full-time automotive blogger who digs cars, but also spends a disturbing amount of time watching and reading about movies. His first car was a maroon 1993 Buick Skylark which, after a solid seven-year run, was laid to rest in August of 2013.

There have been some rumors about the future of the Honda Insight floating around online, and if they’re true, it means that Honda is sending the Insight to the chopping block. The word is that Honda hasn’t begun any of their usual advertising preparations for what would be the 2015 Insight, and that’s a major sign that production of the hybrid will be coming to a close.

Good.

At first, the Honda Insight doesn’t seem like a terrible car, but when you put it up against just about any other hybrid on the market, all of its flaws begin to surface. To show you exactly what I’m talking about, I’ve decided to compare it to some of the other hybrids out there.

Honda Insight vs. Just About Any Other Hybrid

 Honda InsightJust About Any Other Hybrid
MSRP$18,725Slightly more than the Insight
Horsepower88More than the Insight
BatteryNickel-metal hydrideLithium-ion
Leather-wrapped steering wheelStandardAccessory

I hopped onto Honda’s website and was shocked to find that I didn’t get a 404 error when I clicked “Compare Vehicles” on the Insight’s page. Then, I just about lost it when I saw that Honda had the balls to set the Toyota Prius as the default competitor vehicle. As you can imagine, the list of Insight advantages is scarce, and frankly, quite embarrassing.

A leather-wrapped steering wheel is an available accessory in the Insight, but it’s not even available in the Prius. Is a standard rear stabilizer bar at the top of your priority list? Well, it comes standard in the Insight. Out of the 11 advantages listed, the only one that has any actual merit is the price—and Honda won’t let you forget it.

Honda relentlessly pounds the fact that the Insight is the most affordable hybrid on the market, but anyone with even the slightest bit of common sense knows that when it comes to the auto market, you get what you pay for. Just about every hybrid out there has made the switch to a lithium-ion battery, but the Insight is still held back by a nickel metal hydride battery that suffers from memory effects and requires more upkeep than a self-discharging lithium-ion.

The Insight is also one of the weakest performers in the hybrid segment. It’s equipped with a tiny little 1.3-liter that maxes out around 90 horsepower, which is absolute shit compared to the nearly 150 horsepower of the Ford Focus Electric. You would think that relying on a smaller engine would help the Insight to pull in some higher fuel economy ratings, but once again, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The engine in the Prius displaces 1.8-liters, but it still pulls in higher efficiency ratings that than Insight. The Prius is capable of a combined fuel economy of 50 mpg, which is undoubtedly impressive. On the other hand, the Insight delivers a combined rating of 42 mpg, which isn’t that far off from some of the top-performing gas-exclusive models on the market.

That eight mile-per-gallon difference is significant, and unless Honda is planning a major overhaul to help close that gap, I believe that killing off the Insight is the only other logical option.

Bottom line: Honda milks the fact that the Insight is the most affordable hybrid, but when you compare it to just about any other hybrid out there, it’s clear to see that the reason it’s so affordable is because it’s a substandard piece of shit.

Winner of the CarDebate: Just About Any Other Hybrid

 

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