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2012 Honda Insight

Base MSRP: $18,500 to $21,965
Reviewed
June 2012
by ConsumerSearch
2012 Honda Insight

Pros
  • Inexpensive and reliable
  • Handles well
  • Very good fuel economy
Cons
  • Choppy, noisy ride quality
  • Slow acceleration
  • Can't run on pure electric power

A frugal sticker is the 2012 Honda Insight's (Base MSRP: $18,500 to $21,965) main asset -- but now that the 2012 Toyota Prius c (Base MSRP: $18,950 to $23,230) offers an estimated 50 mpg for about the same price, experts don't recommend the 42-mpg Insight hybrid as much.

Honda tweaked the Insight's exterior and styling for 2011, also insulating it better against noise and adding some new options (better upholstery in the upper trims and a rearview camera with the navigation system). Honda also tweaked the hybrid powertrain, eking out 1 mpg more in both city and highway driving.

Still, the mild-hybrid Insight can't run on electricity alone, so it can never match the fuel economy of the full-hybrid Prius c or regular 2012 Toyota Prius (Base MSRP: $24,000 to $29,805), which also gets an estimated 50 mpg. Some testers find the Insight rougher-riding and more crowded inside than the Prius c, too -- and certainly less refined than the bigger Prius.

EPA Fuel Economy Estimates

  • City: 41 mpg
  • Highway: 44 mpg
  • Combined: 42 mpg

NHTSA Safety Ratings

  • Front Impact: Not rated
  • Side Impact: Not rated
  • Rollover Resistance: 4 stars
  • Overall: Not rated

IIHS Safety Ratings

  • Front Offset Impact: Good
  • Side Impact: Good
  • Rear Impact: Good
  • Roof Strength: Good
  • Named 2012 Top Safety Pick

For additional details, see our review of the 2010 model

The Honda Insight gets a minor styling and feature refresh this year, but otherwise it has seen no substantial changes since 2010. For full details and an analysis of what experts think of this hybrid car, please see our report on the 2010 Honda Insight.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

ConsumerReports.org includes the Honda Insight in its latest test of dozens of small cars, both hybrid/electric and gas- or diesel-only. Editors here thoroughly test the Insight and rate its reliability, owner satisfaction and more.

Review: Honda Insight, Editors of ConsumerReports.org

2. Edmunds.com

Editors here test the Honda Insight and review its performance, comfort, safety and more. Editors find the Insight "fuel-efficient and reliable," but they say it "doesn't measure up to its archrival, the Toyota Prius." Edmunds.com also lists year-to-year model changes in its reviews.

Review: 2012 Honda Insight, Editors of Edmunds.com, Dec. 6, 2011

3. ConsumerSearch.com

The Honda Insight hasn't seen any major changes since it hit the market in 2010 in its current five-passenger guise. This full report on that model analyzes and links to multiple expert reviews of the Insight.

Review: 2010 Honda Insight, Editors of ConsumerSearch, April 2010

4. IIHS.org

The 2012 Honda Insight earns the highest rating of Good in all of IIHS's crash tests, making it a Top Safety Pick.

Review: Honda Insight, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

5. SaferCar.gov

The 2012 Honda Insight hasn't undergone full federal crash testing, but it does earn 4 stars (out of 5) for rollover resistance.

Review: 2012 Honda Insight, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration

6. FuelEconomy.gov

At 42 mpg overall, the 2012 Honda Insight hangs with the bigger Toyota Camry Hybrid and Toyota Prius v wagon -- but it can't match the 50 mpg the EPA estimates you'll get with the Toyota Prius or Prius c.

Review: 2012 Honda Insight, Environmental Protection Agency

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