2022 Honda Insight Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.
Hybrids used to take a "Look at me! Look at me!" approach to marketing their fuel-friendly ways, really hammering home the idea that they are supposed to be environmentally-friendly too. These days, though, hybrids are taking a much more relaxed and subdued approach to selling themselves. Are they still thrifty on fuel? Sure. But their styling cues aren't there to be attention-grabbing.
The 2022 Honda Insight is proof of this more laid-back tactic. It is built to be about the same size as the ever-popular Honda Civic, but nothing about how it looks suggests that it has an amazing fuel economy of 52 miles per gallon - at least, it does when you buy the EX with its smaller 16-inch wheels. It also comes at a pretty competitive price for its segment.
This small hybrid sedan comes in just two trim levels: the EX and the Touring. Each one is powered by the same standard engine that basically acts as a power generator for the electric motor. It is the electric motor that drives the Insight's two front wheels. All told, the system gets a respectable combined horsepower rating of 151.
The price difference between the Insight's two trim levels is roughly $4,000. What is included in the difference are more standard features. But are they the features you want? Or should you stick with the base EX trim level for its better fuel economy? After you read through this trim level comparison, you can be the judge.
Compare the EX vs Touring Trims. What is the difference?
Let's start off with talking about the safety features and advanced driver aids that come on the 2022 Honda Insight's EX and Touring trim levels. Both get the bundle of Honda Sensing technologies, which compiles a slew of standard driver aids. This list of aids includes a collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation system, low-speed follow with the adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, a system that recognizes traffic signs, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning. Driver assist technologies include automatic high beam headlights and a cross traffic monitor with the blind spot monitoring system.
Passive safety features are just as important, of course, and Honda goes all-out in that regard. Both the EX and Touring trims get outfitted with the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure. SmartVent front side airbags, advanced front airbags (i-SRS), a rollover sensor with the side curtain airbags, 3-point seatbelts in all seating positions, an automatic tensioning system for the front 3-point seatbelts, a LATCH system for child car safety seats in the rear, a seatbelt reminder for both front occupants, and child-proof door locks all come equipped.
As far as active safety features go, you also get a lot that will help keep you safe while on the road. Those include dynamic guidelines on the multi-angle rear-view camera, traction control with the vehicle stability assist feature, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), tire pressure monitoring, brake assist, LED daytime running lights (DRLs), and an acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS).
So, as you can see, there are no real differences between the EX and Touring trim levels in terms of safety features. Honda ensures that both are exceedingly well-equipped for their price point. Where you will see some differences is with the audio and connectivity set-ups.
The EX starts you out with an 8-speaker, 180-watt sound system, but on the Touring, that gets upgraded to a 10-speaker, 450-watt premium sound system with its own subwoofer included in the mix. It certainly makes for quite the upgrade. Both systems have Pandora compatibility, audio streaming and HandsFreeLink phone calling with Bluetooth technologies, and a radio data system. Also included are speed-sensitive volume compensation, HondaLink, smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an SMS text messaging function, SiriusXM Satellite Radio connectivity, and HD Radio.
There is also an 8-inch touchscreen control panel with a knob and series of hard keys for the primary controls. On the Touring's system, though, you get the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with HD Digital Traffic and a built-in voice recognition system. HondaLink subscription services and WiFi hot-spot connectivity also get added to the Touring. Both trim levels come with two front 2.5-amp USB smartphone/audio ports on the console.
Now, just how do these two trim levels stack up in terms of convenience features? What kinds of differences should you expect to find there? The Touring does add a handful of extra creature comforts on, so you will have to decide if these features are must-haves or can-passes for you.
Here is what the EX and Touring trim levels share in terms of convenience features. They both come with two illuminated vanity mirrors up front. They also have automatic up/down on the front passenger and driver power windows. There are power door locks, and the window and door lock controls are illuminated on both sides up front. You also get treated to one-touch turn indicators, a tilting and telescoping steering column, and LED ambient lighting for the console. The center console has a sliding arm rest and rather sizable storage compartment located underneath - a perfect place to stash your cell phone or tablet.
Sliding sun visors also come equipped, as do front and rear door storage pockets and bins. Both trim levels have an electronic remote trunk release for easy access to your cargo. There is a headlights-on reminder that will make noise at you if you have accidentally turned off the car but not your headlights. There are overhead map lights for reading at night, and the rear seat heater ducts ensure that warm air reaches rear seat occupants in a timely fashion.
On top of that, you get floor mats all around and one front 12-volt power outlet. The rear window defroster comes with a timer, and there is a cargo area light for visibility in the dark. The steering wheel mounted controls are all illuminated as well. Sizable beverage holders can be found fore and aft, and there is a rear seat center arm rest for extra comfort. And, of course, there is a push button start that can come in handy for getting the vehicle up and running.
Where the Touring differs from the EX is by offering things like a passenger-side seatback pocket for extra storage. There is also the HomeLink remote system, which is a vehicle-based wireless control system that lets you open and close your garage door while you are not even at home. You can also use it to control your home's connected electronic devices and security system.
In addition to that, the Touring adds a dual-zone automatic climate control system that evenly distributes air to both rows, getting them to the set temperatures. A leather-wrapped steering wheel gets slapped in for good measure, as does an automatically dimming rear-view mirror up front.
Let us now skip over to the Insight's seating. The EX's driver seat is manually adjustable for height, but the Touring gets an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat. Both trims come with adjustable front seatbelt anchors, adjustable head restraints, and a 60/40-split folding rear seatback design. And, yes, both have a five-person seating capacity.
On the Touring, you get heating added to the front seats. And the upholstery gets switched from cloth to leather-trimmed. There is also a front passenger seat with 4-way power adjustability.
On the exterior, the EX and Touring look pretty similar, so you will need to pay attention to the smaller details (and the badging, of course) to tell them apart. They both have auto-on/off LED headlights, LED taillights and brake lights, and a security system that comes with a trunk release and remote entry. The antenna is done in the fin-style mount, and there are heated, body-colored side mirrors. Those that come on the Touring also get a chrome accent and LED turn indicators. The EX has standard variable intermittent front windshield wipers while the Touring's are rain-sensing.
Both have body-colored door handles, but the Touring again gets chrome accents equipped. Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock is also a standard feature for each trim level. The Touring gets a few more additions though. These additions are LED fog lights up front and a one-touch power moonroof with a tilting feature included.
But we cannot leave our review off here. Oh no. We still need to discuss the mechanical specs. As we already mentioned, the Insight is powered by a standard 1.5-L 4-cylinder engine that sends power to the electric motor, which then drives the front wheels. A 16-Valve DOHC i-VTEC valve train comes along with it. You also get a three-mode drive select system, which lets you choose between Economy, Sport, and EV modes. The motor is an AC synchronous permanent-magnet electric motor, and this creates 151.5 hp combined with the engine. A lithium ion battery is standard.
You also get automatic brake hold with the electric parking brake. There is also an Eco Assist System, Active Noise Cancellation, an engine immobilizer system, hill start assist, and remote engine start. Paired with the hybrid engine is an electronic continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) that comes with shift-by-wire (SBW), deceleration selectors, and Sport Mode.
As far as ride compliance and the suspension go, the Honda Insight does not disappoint. It comes with a front MacPherson strut suspension and multi-link rear suspension. There is also dual-pinion, variable-ratio electric power steering. The front and rear both have stabilizer bars equipped, the front measuring in at 25.0 mm and the rear at 16.0 mm. The only real mechanical difference is that the EX trim level rides atop standard 16-inch alloy wheels while the Touring gets bigger 17-inch alloys. Both are equipped with all-season tires. A tire repair kit with roadside assistance accompanies each trim level to help you out if you find yourself in a jam.
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Which Trim to Choose?
Now that you have a clearer idea of what to expect from the 2022 Honda Insight's two trim levels, it is time to give you our final recommendations. While we like the Touring in general and think it has a lot to offer for the price tag, the EX is the more sensible way to go. Upgrading just one inch in wheel size reduces the Insight's fuel economy, which probably is something you do not want if you are buying a hybrid.
You might also be shopping on a budget, so splurging an extra $4,000 for bigger tires and a few more creature comforts might not be within reason for you. That's what makes the EX such a well-rounded choice. It can save you money in the short- and long-term. Up front, you get a reasonable price point. Over time, you save more on fuel.
Although, we have to say, either trim level is a great option. They both carry the Honda name well and showcase the technological progress the company has made when building hybrid vehicles.
• 2021 Honda Insight Trime Levels