2022 Honda Insight Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
It used to be that hybrids were flashing their business all over town since, well, who didn't want to save money at the fuel pump? These days, though, they are a little more toned-down in their approach. While the Civic-sized 2022 Honda Insight doesn't push the boundaries of pizzazz, but it quietly and generously offers an amazing EPA-estimated 52 mpg in combined driving. And its driving abilities are far from dull, as this hybrid outpaces the competition. But is its downplayed demeanor right for you? Let's find out.
What's New for 2022?
The only change to the 2022 Honda Insight is that the LX trim level has been dropped from the line-up. This means that buyers can only select from the now-base EX trim level and the line-topping Touring. Other than that, everything carries over from the 2021 Honda Insight.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Honda Insight – The Pros
1. An Impressive Fuel Economy
One of the most attractive aspects of the 2022 Honda Insight is its impressive fuel economy. EPA Estimates put the Insight's combined fuel economy as high as 52 miles per gallon on the EX trim level. The Touring trim gets around 48 mpg combined. Real-world tests show that these numbers hold up, getting between 50 and 51 mpg on the EX trim level. Whereas some competitors fall short of their EPA estimates, the Insight holds up. And its numbers are exactly what buyers in this segment are demanding.
2. Swift Acceleration For a Hybrid Sedan
Hybrids are not known for being as fast and powerful as their gasoline-only counterparts. In fact, they are typically quite a bit slower to launch. The 2022 Honda Insight actually does well for a vehicle in this segment, getting from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 8.1 seconds. This makes it quicker than most of its big-time rivals. Add to that a good amount of torque for around-town driving, and you have a pretty smooth performer.
3. Precision Steering
The Honda Insight is able to steer with Honda's typical precision. Nothing about how it moves feels floaty. As soon as you give the steering system an input, the system responds to it without any lag. Also, handling feels remarkably capable, maintaining a high level of agility while rounding through corners. In other words, it mimics the Civic's solid nature quite well.
4. Interior Comfort
Honda typically nails it with interior comfort. The foam padding for the seats is of a medium firmness, which feels just right for supporting your spine and thighs. The contouring helps maximize comfort and holds out well for longer journeys. While there is not any adjustable lumbar on the Insight, your lumbar spine should feel cozy enough without it.
5. Clever Utilization of Space
The cabin is designed to look bigger than it really is. Heads and elbows are given plenty of room up front, and finding the right seating position is simple for drivers of just about any size. The rear seat has plenty of leg room for taller adults, and hip space is certainly available for wider folks.
6. A Functional Layout Up Front
The layout along the dash and with the center console is tidy and functional. The labels for the controls are all clearly marked, and the controls themselves are appropriately placed. The center stack allows for a high degree of organization and has a handy pad for holding onto your smartphone.
7. An Easy-to-use Infotainment System
Honda's infotainment system is easy to navigate and is broadcast upon a touchscreen display with crisp, clear graphic read-outs. The system is sharp and quick to respond to inputs. To its left are a number of nifty little shortcut buttons that make using the system while driving safe and simple. If you want, you can sync your smartphone with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but the infotainment system itself is certainly effective.
8. Plenty of Cargo Space
In the cargo area, you get 15 cubic feet of storage. While this is not quite as generous as a few top competitors, it puts the Insight toward the front of the pack. There are clever storage compartments back there. The 60/40-split folding rear seat can be easily folded down in order to accommodate bulkier items. Since the hybrid batteries are located under the rear seat, they do not take up any precious cargo space.
9. LATCH Anchors Can Easily Be Accessed
Parents will be able to quickly slide their child safety seats in and secure them with the easy-to-reach anchors. There is more than enough space to accommodate two car seats in the back row of the Honda Insight.
10. The Overall Value
The Honda Insight has a lot of overall value to offer. It is well constructed with plenty of soft touch materials in both trim levels. Its materials hit above the price mark, which is fairly typical for Honda. The Insight feels like it should be more expensive than it actually is.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Honda Insight – The Cons
1. Adjustable Regenerative Braking Sometimes Resets Itself
One of the less-refined elements to the 2022 Honda Insight is the regenerative braking system. The brakes do well with handling a panic stop, coming to one from 60 mph in 123 feet. However, hard braking results in a disconnected feeling. Also, while using normal drive mode, the adjustable regenerative braking system will sometimes go ahead and reset itself. This can certainly be an annoyance since you will feel when it happens.
2. A Noisy Cabin
A fair amount of noise enters the cabin while zipping along at highway speeds. The gasoline engine is loud when it idles, and it will start to vibrate when the battery is at a low charge. Wind noise is subdued pretty thoroughly, but road noise does become more prevalent the faster you go in the Insight.
3. Modestly-tuned Advanced Driver Aids
Most auto makers are learning that fine-tuning their advanced driver aids is a crucial selling point. Honda could do better with learning this lesson. They are tuned too conservatively for most drivers. During regular driving, the brake alert comes more than it really needs to. At least it is not quite so intrusive as those found in other vehicles. The adaptive cruise control system works as it is supposed to, but it is not nearly as refined as others when it comes to its naturalness. A few tweaks here and there could really boost the driver aids as a selling point for the Honda Insight.
4. Some Sizable Blind Spots
There is good outward visibility save for the view out of the rear. The thick roof pillars and tall rear deck create some rather sizable blind spots on either side of the Honda Insight. The standard blind spot monitoring system can help you get an idea of what is in your blind spots, but those who prefer utilizing the naked eye might feel disappointed.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Honda Insight vs. 2022 Toyota Prius
The 2022 Toyota Prius is undoubtedly one of the Honda Insight's biggest and toughest competitors. Like the Insight, it can return somewhere around 50 mpg in combined driving. Even when the gas engine is engaged, the cabin remains well muted. Road and wind noise struggle to make their way in at all. Also, if you want all-wheel drive, you can opt for it on the Prius. On the downside, though, the standard infotainment system comes off as being outdated. The instrument panel is off-set too far outside of the driver's direct line of view to really be effective. The ride quality can become shaky on rougher road surfaces, and the acceleration feels painfully sluggish at times.
2022 Honda Insight vs. 2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
The 2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is another top competitor in the hybrid sedan market. It comes with a lengthy list of standard and optional safety and infotainment features. The cabin is spacious for its segment, and you get a high fuel economy from this hybrid sedan. The Elantra N puts in a rather exciting driving performance, something which is not typical of a hybrid. Unfortunately, the cabin is designed with quite a few too many hard plastic surfaces. Buyers will also have to avoid the base 4-cylinder gas engine in order to get a performance worth the cost. And the cost of the Elantra Hybrid is a few thousand dollars higher than that of the Insight.
The 2022 Honda Insight could use with a few tweaks (namely to the regenerative brakes and driver aids), but on the whole, it is a practical and efficient hybrid sedan. The Insight is a lot like the gas-powered Civic, delivering a lot of quality on a reasonable price point. Long-term savings on fuel only serve to add to the vehicle's overall value.