2021 Honda Insight
The Honda Insight is one of the first names in the modern era of hybrid automobile production – and we mean this literally, since the original two-seat Insight actually beat the Toyota Prius to market in 1999. Although the nameplate is the same, the current generation of Honda Insight looks almost nothing like the first, which in some opinions resembled a spaceship – albeit a very cool spaceship – more than a car. So, what’s new with the Insight for the 2021 model year? For starters, there’s some new standard equipment, along with improvements to the included Honda Sensing active-safety technology suite. The paint palette has been expanded as well, with Radiant Red Metallic now among the choices.
Trims and Basic Stats
The 2021 Honda Insight is a front-wheel drive sedan that seats five and comes in a trio of trim levels: the LX, EX, and Touring. Their power comes from a combination of a four-cylinder gas-burning engine and Honda’s excellent electric motor system; the total system horsepower is 151, and an electronic continuously variable transmission takes care of the gear ratio changes. This eco-friendly car’s fuel economy is outstanding. The two lower trims are rated by the EPA to return 55 city miles per gallon and 49 highway miles per gallon, while the loaded Touring trim, with the added weight of its additional standard amenities, takes a slight dip in fuel economy at 51 mpg city/45 mpg highway.
The LX gets push-button start, heated exterior mirrors, auto climate control, the Honda Sensing crash-mitigation suite, a rear seat that folds forward to accommodate oversized cargo, and LED headlights and taillights. The EX expands its standard equipment list with a center armrest for the back seat (which splits 40/60 to fold down) and Honda’s Smart Entry feature with walk-away locking. The Touring trim is set up for those long road trips with heated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, a moonroof, LED fog lights, remote start, rain-sensing windshield wipers, integrated turn-signal lamps on the side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and – just for an appearance upgrade – exterior chrome accents.
Safety and Technology
As mentioned, the Honda Sensing bundle of active driver aids comes on every 2021 Insight. It consists of adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane keeping assist, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. While all three trims get auto high beams, just the EX and Touring get standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The LX gets the basic yet complete infotainment system with a 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth capabilities for phone calls and music streaming, and an audio system with six speakers; there’s also a USB port in the front console. The EX raises the bar with an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, high-definition radio, a second USB port, SMS text message functioning, HondaLink, and eight speakers. The Touring packs in the bells and whistles with a top-notch ten-speaker audio setup, navigation, and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot.
*(NHSTA) Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov). Model tested with standard side airbags (SAB).