The 2011 Honda Insight is Honda's answer to the 2011 Toyota Prius (Base MSRP: $21,650 to $28,790), and that's evident with its similar aerodynamic five-door hatchback shape. The Insight's mild hybrid powertrain nets it good fuel economy figures, its interior fit and finish impresses reviewers and its reliability has been very good. Frugal shoppers will also note that the Insight is cheaper than the Toyota Prius, but reviewers say that it also has a rougher ride quality and a relatively noisy cabin compared to the best-reviewed Toyota. Unlike the Prius, the Insight can't be propelled by its electric motor alone. The Toyota Prius' full hybrid system produces better fuel economy numbers than the Honda Insight, too (50 mpg in combined use).
The 2011 Honda Insight is the cheapest hybrid available, and its more bare-bones approach to economical motoring may appeal to some shoppers. Honda also sells the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid (Base MSRP: $24,050) and 2011 Honda CR-Z (Base MSRP: $19,345 to $19,727), the former being a more traditional four-door sedan and the latter being a sporty two-door , two-seat hybrid that doesn't match the Insight's fuel economy numbers.
Aside from all trim levels now benefiting from standard stability control, the 2011 Honda Insight remains the same as last year's car. For full details, read our comprehensive report on the 2010 Honda Insight (Base MSRP: $19,800-$21,300).
The 2011 Honda Insight gets an EPA-estimated 40 mpg city/43 mpg highway/41 mpg combined. For comparison, the Toyota Prius gets a combined 50 mpg in EPA testing. Bigger hybrids like the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (Base MSRP: $25,795) achieve similar numbers but have better cargo capacity and passenger space. Also, the Insight's fuel economy is nearly matched by diesel alternatives, the 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI and 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI.
Crash test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are good, but not the best. The Insight receives the highest rating of Good for front, side and rear impact tests, but receives the lower Acceptable rating for roof strength. The National Highway Safety Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't fully tested the 2011 Honda Insight, but does give it a 4 star rating out of 5 for rollover resistance.
Our full report on the 2010 Honda Insight (Base MSRP: $19,800-$21,300) provides a detailed analysis of what reviewers think of the Insight and how it stacks up to its hybrid competition.
ConsumerReports.org compares the Honda Insight with other small cars. Some competing hybrids are considered to be larger "Sedans." ConsumerReports.org comprehensively reviews each model and provides reliability, owner satisfaction and depreciation data.
Review: Small Cars, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Edmunds.com provides an entire write-up on the Honda Insight that covers all trim levels and includes driving impressions and model analysis. Editors say they like the low price and good fuel economy, but they find the Insight to be less sophisticated than the Toyota Prius and ultimately less desirable.
Review: 2011 Honda Insight, Editors of Edmunds.com
3. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The 2011 Honda Insight earns the highest rating of Good in front, side and rear crash tests here. However, it receives the lower Acceptable rating for roof strength tests.
Review: Small Cars, Editors of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The 2011 Honda Insight hasn't been fully tested by the NHTSA, but it has been given a 4 star out of a possible 5 rating for rollover resistance.
Review: 5-Star Safety Ratings, Editors of SaferCar.gov
This chart lists fuel-economy ratings for 2011 hybrid vehicles, including the Honda Insight, which gets ratings of 40 mpg city, 43 mpg highway and 41 mpg combined, according to the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy. The more expensive 2011 Toyota Prius gets a combined 50 mpg, for comparison.
Review: 2010 Hybrid Vehicles, Editors of FuelEconomy.gov