The all-new, production version of the 2019 Insight will make its global production debut on March 28 at the 2018 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), providing a first look at the latest entry in Honda’s expanding lineup of electrified vehicles. The new Insight, launching at Honda dealerships nationally in early summer, joins the Clarity series and just-launched 2018 Accord Hybrid as the fifth new Honda electrified vehicle introduced over the past year.
As a premium compact sedan, Insight is positioned and priced between Civic and Accord in Honda’s passenger car lineup. The Insight is unique in providing universally appealing styling, with the packaging and refinement of a premium compact sedan and fuel efficiency competitive with leading hatchback hybrid models. Powered by the third generation of Honda’s innovative and efficient two-motor hybrid system, Insight’s 151 net system horsepower combines with a lightweight structure to deliver the best power-to-weight ratio in its class as well as up to 55-mpg in the city.
“The Honda Insight shows consumers that the efficiency of a hybrid car doesn’t mean sacrificing style, refinement or performance,” said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Insight is another symbol of a new era in the evolution of Honda electrified vehicles, where customers can have everything they want with no compromises.”
Design and Packaging
The 2019 Honda Insight boasts a sleek sedan design with a low and wide stance highlighted by Honda’s signature “flying wing” grille and bold front fascia, low-profile LED headlights and taillights, sharp and dynamic character lines and sweeping coupe-like roofline. Inside, the new Insight features premium cabin appointments including a soft-touch instrument panel with real stitching, ergonomically sculpted seats, a 7-inch TFT color digital driver’s meter, available heated and leather-trimmed seating and an 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
The new Insight’s comparatively generous wheelbase (106.3 inches) and exceptional packaging efficiency yields best-in-class rear legroom of 37.4 inches, along with a spacious 15.1 cu.-ft. of trunk space that rivals gasoline versions of midsize cars. The placement of the lithium-ion hybrid battery pack beneath the rear seats allows for a fold-down rear seat (60/40-split on EX and Touring trims) to maximize cargo- and people-hauling flexibility.
Trims and Features
The 2019 Honda Insight will be available in three trims – the well-equipped Insight LX and EX and line-topping Insight Touring. Standard features include full LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, a 7-inch TFT digital driver’s meter, push-button start, a 6-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, Pandora compatibility and a folding rear seat.
The Insight EX adds Smart Entry, two additional audio speakers, SiriusXM radio and an 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with smartphone-like features and functionality, including customizable app tiles and home-screen shortcuts.
The line-topping Insight Touring adds 17-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, a power moonroof, LED side-mirror turn signals, perforated leather seating, heated front seats with 8-way power adjustment for the driver and 4-way power for the passenger, dual-zone climate control, embedded Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, Honda HD Digital Traffic, 4G LTE Wi-Fi with mobile hotspot capability and Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates, next-generation HondaLink subscription services, a 10-speaker premium audio system, and HomeLink Remote System.
Body and Chassis
The Insight shares its basic platform architecture with the highly-praised 10th-generation Civic. In keeping with its premium compact sedan character, the Insight gets numerous engineering enhancements to further improve ride quality, cabin quietness and efficiency. The body features Honda’s Advance Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure. An aluminum hood, unique to Insight, reduces weight, while additional sound insulation in the engine bay, front fenders, front firewall, and front and rear floor further aids cabin quietness.
The Insight’s new chassis is designed to provide a highly refined, confident and composed driving experience. It utilizes a fully-independent suspension system – Macpherson strut front and multi-link rear – with liquid-sealing compliance bushings at both ends (Touring only). Like Civic, the Insight also features variable-ratio dual-pinion electric power steering. Confident and linear braking performance is provided by an electro-servo brake system, which seamlessly combines efficient regenerative braking and mechanical (friction) braking for ultimate stopping performance.
Advanced New Powertrain
The all-new Insight is powered by the third generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system, featuring a highly efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine, a powerful electric propulsion motor, and lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 151 horsepower and 197 lb.-ft. of electric motor torque. Under most conditions, the Insight operates as a series hybrid, in which the gasoline engine, connected to the generator motor, produces electricity that is supplied to either the electric propulsion motor and/or the 60-cell lithium-ion battery pack.
The Insight features three selectable driving modes – NORMAL, ECON, and SPORT – allowing drivers to customize their experience by maximizing efficiency or driving performance. Additionally, all Insights have steering wheel-mounted deceleration selectors to choose among three levels of regenerative braking performance, depending on driving conditions. In normal mode, the Insight is capable of all-electric driving for short distances of roughly a mile. Unlike competing systems, Honda’s two-motor hybrid technology works without the need for a conventional automatic transmission, with the electric propulsion motor directly powering the drive axles. During higher speed operation a lock-up clutch connects the engine to the drive axles to provide the most efficient operation during highway and freeway driving.
Advanced Safety Technology
The 2019 Honda Insight will include the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment, which includes Forward Collison Warning (FCW), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assistance System, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Traffic Sign Recognition. Insight EX and Touring trims will also come equipped with Honda LaneWatch, and all trims will have a multi-angle rearview camera. The Insight targets top collision safety ratings, including an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK with a “Good” rating in all crash test modes and a “Superior” rating for front crash protection.
The Insight will be manufactured alongside the Civic and CR-V at Honda’s plant in Greensburg, Indiana. The hybrid battery unit will be assembled at the company’s Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio, with the 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine manufactured by Honda’s Anna, Ohio engine plant, which also produces the engine for the Ohio-made 2018 Accord Hybrid.