Something tells us the Insight-Prius battle is only beginning
Honda has announced pricing and EPA fuel economy ratings for its newest and most promising hybrid model, the 2019 Insight.
Offered in three trim levels (LX, EX, and Touring), the all-new Insight starts at $22,830 in base configuration (excluding $895 destination and handling), which makes it around $700 cheaper than its main rival, the 2018 Toyota Prius.
The 2019 Insight features comprehensive standard equipment that includes multi-element LED headlights, push-button start, and the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies.[NativeAd]
Among other features, the Insight EX mid-range model (from $24,060) adds an 8-inch Display Audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, while the range-topping Insight Touring (from $28,090) adds leather upholstery, an 8-way power driver’s seat, Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, dual-zone automatic climate control, and more.
The 2019 Insight is powered by the third generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid drivetrain that offers a total system output of 151 hp from a 1.5-liter i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor that produces 197 lb-ft (267 Nm) of torque on its own. The gasoline engine offers a remarkably high thermal efficiency of 40.5 percent, contributing to EPA-rated fuel economy ratings of 55 mpg city, 49 mpg highway, 52 mpg combined.
There are three distinct drive modes for the 2019 Insight: EV Drive (full-electric), Hybrid Drive (the gasoline engine drives a generator motor to supply electrical power to the drive motor), and Engine Drive (the gasoline engine drives the front wheels directly).
The car is also fitted with steering wheel-mounted Deceleration Selectors that allow the driver to toggle between three levels of regenerative braking performance.
Thanks to the two-motor design, the Insight doesn’t need a conventional automatic transmission. Furthermore, the 60-cell battery is housed in a compact intelligent power unit (IPU) placed under the rear seats, allowing for an efficient interior packaging.
The Insight offers 15.1 cubic feet (427.6 liters) of trunk space (LX/EX) as well as a folding rear seat back for carrying longer items — 60/40 split in EX and Touring models. Honda claims the compact hybrid offers “class-leading rear legroom,” as well as “the best passenger space in its class” measuring 97.6 cubic feet (2,764 liters).
READ MORE: 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid starts at $25,100