in Brooklyn Center, MN
Honda has stepped up its hybrid game with the 2020 Insight. The fuel-efficient gas-and-electric combo sedan offers drivers the option of a sleek, sporty-looking passenger car with the benefits of a hybrid vehicle. With several trim options, an impressive engine design, competitive performance, and a delightful suite of tech and safety features, the Insight is worth a look for those ready to move into the hybrid field.
The 2020 Honda Insight comes in three trim levels: LX, EX, and Touring. All come outfitted with three driving modes (ECON, Sport, and EV) to customize the car’s performance for the specific driving situation. All models include automatic LED headlights, LED tail and brake lights, and remote entry. The EX trim introduces additional exterior features like remote start and smart entry with walk-away auto-lock. The top-trim Touring model includes luxury-style features like a power moon roof and LED fog lights.
The innovative gas and electric hybrid engine setup combines a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an AC synchronous permanent-magnet electric motor capable of 151 horsepower. The two engines work together seamlessly to provide adequate power and acceleration when needed. The gas motor serves mainly to power the electric motor, but it will take over smoothly at higher speeds when extra acceleration or sustained speed is needed.
Honda’s two-part engine performs well in a variety of driving settings. The transition between the gas engine and the electric motor is totally seamless, with no jolting or hiccuping when you’re trying to get up to cruising speed. The ride is smooth, thanks in part to the intelligent engine, but also because of the well-balanced suspension. The motor produces a nice rumbling sound, but it doesn’t overpower the cabin. Steering is super responsive with solid road connection and feel, and the brakes feel substantial just as they would in a traditional gas-powered vehicle.
There’s plenty of space inside the Insight for passengers and cargo. Honda wisely placed the electric motor under the rear passenger seats, so there’s no reduction of trunk space like you might find in some other hybrids. The seats themselves are comfortable for all five passengers, with upgraded leather materials available on the Touring trim. The cabin’s design is tasteful and refined with quality materials. The base model comes standard with a 5-inch color LCD screen with Bluetooth compatibility. The EX and Touring trims offer an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM Radio, and several other compatible apps.
The Insight offers some of the best standard safety features in its class. All trim levels include the full suite of Honda Sensing Safety and Driver-Assistive Technologies, which include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, front collision warning with automatic braking, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high-beam headlights. All trims come with a rearview camera. The LX trim’s camera has static guidelines while the EX and Touring models have dynamic guidelines. One upgraded safety feature on the top trims drivers might want to add is Honda Lane Watch.