The 2013 Honda Insight provides a roomy interior, versatile hatchback design, fun-to-drive nature and an award-winning low cost of ownership. The Honda Insight received a 2012 Total Cost of Ownership Award from Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com, with a key contributor being the 5-door Insight’s impressive city/highway/combined EPA fuel economy rating of 41/44/42 mpg.
After extensive changes for 2012 including updated exterior styling, an enhanced interior, additional features on selected models, and an EPA fuel economy-rating improvement, the Insight continues unchanged for 2013. The 2013 Honda Insight remains the most affordable hybrid for sale in the U.S., and pricing is unchanged for 2013, starting at $18,500. The 2013 Insight goes on sale September 18, 2012.
The 2013 Insight is offered in three models. The value-oriented base model is simply designated as Insight, and is well equipped with a 160-watt audio system, automatic climate control, power windows, and more. The Insight LX adds a USB audio interface, cruise control, armrest console, floor mats, security system and steering-wheel mounted audio controls. The Insight EX adds alloy wheels, six-speaker audio system, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, automatic headlights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Insight EX is also available with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition and rearview camera.
A Honda Integrated Motor Assist™ (IMA™) system powers the Insight. Comprised of a 1.3-liter i‑VTEC® gasoline 4-cylinder engine and a 10-kilowatt electric motor, the combination develops 98 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 123 lb-ft. of torque at 1000-1700 rpm. To maximize fuel efficiency, friction-reducing measures are used throughout the engine and the transmission.
Fully automatic in operation, the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is an advanced unit that substitutes the gears found in more traditional transmissions and replaces them with a metal push-belt running between a pair of variable-width pulleys. Combined with the Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system, the CVT constantly adjusts to provide the most efficient drive ratio possible depending on torque load. Honda’s CVT provides better fuel efficiency and acceleration when compared to a conventional transmission. On EX models, the steering wheel includes paddle shifters, which allow manually shifting though a range of seven fixed ratios for a sporty driving experience.
The Insight comes equipped with fuel-efficiency enhancement technology called Eco Assist™. A push of the dash-mounted ECON button modifies throttle control, CVT operation, idle-stop duration, air conditioning and cruise-control operation (if so equipped) to minimize energy use and increase fuel efficiency. A sophisticated feedback system uses ambient color behind the speedometer to indicate overall driving efficiency. An Eco Display provides feedback on braking and acceleration. Plus, Eco Score provides ongoing support of an efficient driving style.
The Insight was given significant updates for the 2012 model year, including a more distinctive grille design with a blue accent bar representing the Insight’s high-tech hybrid identity. To improve aerodynamic performance, the strakes ahead of the front wheels were extended by 0.4 inches to better direct air around the front tires. The shape of the engine bay underbody cover was also fine-tuned, and air diffusers were added under the rear bumper to smooth airflow behind the vehicle. The changes combined to net a 2-percent increase in aerodynamic performance.
The Insight rides on MacPherson strut front suspension, combined with a torsion-beam rear suspension that helps maximize interior space. Electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion power steering (EPS) offers predictable and linear steering feel, while also saving fuel compared to traditional hydraulic systems that put a greater load on the engine. With its 36.1-foot turning diameter, the Insight offers good maneuverability in congested urban settings. Insight and Insight LX models have 15-inch stamped-steel wheels with wheel covers and the Insight EX has 15-inch alloy wheels.
The Insight’s roomy interior offers comfortable seating for up to five passengers. Versatility is a key Insight strong point, and the 60/40 split rear seatbacks fold down to create a large 31.5 cubic-foot cargo space and make it easy to mix passengers and cargo.
Advanced instrumentation gives the Insight an upscale look, and provides the driver with key information at a glance. A large digital speed display is positioned high in the instrument cluster, close to the driver’s sightline and easy to see. The convenient Multi-Information Display (MID) allows quick access to a range of useful information with convenient steering-wheel mounted controls. Automatic climate control is standard on all grades. The Insight LX has premium seat fabric, while the Insight EX is upholstered with a combination of synthetic leather and premium fabric.