All-New 2019 Honda Insight Debuts at New York International Auto Show
After many lightly disguised concepts and prototypes, the real deal 2019 Honda Insight is finally here.
Okay, a raise of hands here: Who thought this was a 2018 Accord? Or even a tenth-gen Civic? Okay, good, we aren’t alone here. Jokes aside, it’s finally here: this is the 2019 Honda Insight.
This Honda hybrid is arriving on dealer lots later this Summer, and is packing a lot tech, and a lot of big promises. Honda describes the new Insight as a ‘premium compact sedan’ that slots in between the Civic and Accord. As our joke above implies, it looks as if they smushed design elements of both together in creating the Insight. Not that this is a bad thing, both models are as handsome as they’ve ever been, and the Insight follows that trend.
Honda is really playing up on the premium aspect of the new Insight, claiming that “the Insight is unique in providing universally appealing styling, with the packaging and refinement of a premium compact sedan and fuel efficiency competitive with leading hatchback hybrid models.” A not-so-subtle jab at the hybrid competition coming from Toyota.
Under the hood
The 2019 Honda Insight features the brand’s third-generation two-motor hybrid setup. The gasoline-powered part of this equation is a 1.5-liter Atkinson Cycle naturally-aspirated inline-four cylinder engine. Honda didn’t specify an engine code, but we’re guessing it’s a variant of the venerable L15 engine found in many other Honda products. That fuel-sipping 1.5-liter engine is paired with an electric propulsion motor and a 60-cell lithium-ion battery pack. The net result is a combined 151 horsepower and a sweet 197 lb-ft of torque.
This hybrid setup works “in-series” which, as your friendly neighborhood electrical engineering nerd will tell you, means that the Insight can run on the engine, or battery power, alone, in small doses. In normal operation, the gasoline engine works in tandem with the electric motor, helping juice up the battery pack when needed.
All of this Earth-friendly eco goodness helps the Honda Insight knock out an impressive 55 MPG in the city according to Honda. Official EPA fuel economy figures, for city and freeway ratings, have yet to be announced. However, we would be quite surprised if this thing isn’t touching 50 MPG freeway and matching Honda’s claim around town.
Premium…Inside and out
Honda wasn’t kidding when they touted the new Insight’s premium car creds. The interior is very reminiscent of a high-line Civic or Accord, which is a good thing. The interior quality of those vehicles is best in class, and the Insight looks to be the same. A spartan Prius interior this is not. Check it out:
With three trims on offer: LX, EX and Touring, the Insight offers a lot of buttons, knobs and gadgets for consumers to play with.
The base LX includes, as standard, LED headlights, LED tail lights, 16-inch wheels, heated side mirrors on the outside. Inside, the Insight LX features a 7-inch TFT digital “driver’s meter” in the cluster, push button start, 6-speaker stereo system and Bluetooth and Pandora compatibility. Talk about a mouthful.
Bump up to the EX and the going gets really good. The stereo and infotainment gets upgraded in a big way. Speaker count jumps to 8, and an 8-inch touchscreen display with ‘smartphone-like features and functionality’ is added into the center stack. That fancy smartphone-like screen also comes with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and is SiriusXM-ready. And the EX gets Honda’s fancy keyless “Smart Entry” system, which makes fiddling with your keys a thing of the past.
The top of the line Touring trim swaps out the 16-inch wheels for 17s, as seen in the press pictures. From there LED fog lights and turn signals join the LED head-and-taillights. Perforated leather seating replaces the cloth thrones. Those front seats are heated, by the way. They are also adjustable, with the driver seat featuring 8-way adjustment, and the passenger seat featuring 4-way adjustment. Dual zone climate control, and navigation are integrated into that fancy 8-inch touchscreen. Did we mention that the infotainment system also doubles as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot? Rounding things off is another increase in speaker count: the Insight Touring has ten of them.
Under the skin
The Insight shares it’s platform with the tenth-gen Civic, though the Insight gets a handful of bespoke upgrades to further refine it. Honda states that its engineering intent behind the Insight was to ‘further improve ride quality, cabin quietness and efficiency.’ An aluminum hood reduces weight, while additional sound proofing was used on the firewall, fenders and floor to reduce cabin noise.
Like the Civic, the Insight features a McPherson strut front suspension, with a multi-link independent rear suspension. It also features the Civic’s variable-ratio dual-pinion electric power steering setup.
Honda Sensing, the brand’s suite of safety tech and driving aides, is standard on all trim levels of the Insight. This includes Forward Collison Warning (FCW), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assistance System, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Traffic Sign Recognition. Insight EX and Touring trims will also come equipped with Honda LaneWatch™, and all trims will have a multi-angle rearview camera. It’s all quite a mouthful, and a lot of abbreviations to follow, but Honda is promising best in class safety ratings with the Insight.
The Insight will be manufactured alongside the Civic and CR-V at Honda’s plant in Greensburg, Indiana. The hybrid battery unit will be assembled at the company’s Marysville plant in Ohio, with the 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine manufactured by Honda’s Anna, Ohio engine plant. The latter of which also produces the engine for the Ohio-made 2018 Accord Hybrid.
Prices are yet to be announced, and we will be reporting more as we get it, so stay tuned.