2022 Honda Insight
2022 Honda Insight
The 2022 Honda Insight is a five-passenger hybrid sedan that gets 52 mpg. It offers a rich interior, excellent driving qualities, and a solid roster of safety features. Sophisticated and refined, it looks and feels like a premium sedan, especially in its top Touring version. It only comes as front-wheel drive.
For 2022 it’s about $2,000 less affordable because, as with other models, Honda has dropped the base LX from the lineup. That leaves the EX, which has about $2,000 worth of extra features as standard equipment.
The Insight is based on the compact Civic, but boasts more refinement, inside and out. It borrows the look of the Accord in front, and while it’s all Civic at the rear, the details are smoother. The cabin is uncluttered, with materials that are coordinated well.
Honda’s two-motor hybrid system in the 2022 Insight uses a 1.5-liter inline-4 gas engine making 107 horsepower. Most of the time it drives one of the motors as a generator, while the other 120-hp electric motor powers the front wheels. In certain situations the gas engine can clutch in to drive the wheels.
The Insight isn’t quick, but it’s responsive and very efficient. The EX earns 55 mpg city, 49 highway, 52 combined from the EPA. That makes it one of the most efficient new sedans. The Insight Touring, with its bigger, 17-inch wheels and slightly heavier curb weight, gets 51 city, 45 highway, 48 combined.
Federal and independent testers give the Insight a perfect score in crash-testing, with five stars from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ nod from the IIHS. Every Insight gets automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and traffic sign recognition.
The IIHS rated the Insight’s automatic emergency braking system as “Superior” at avoiding forward crashes at 12 and 25 mph.
Made in Indiana, the 2022 Insight starts at $26,205 for the EX, including the $995 destination fee. Standard equipment includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, two USB ports, fog lights, split-folding rear seats, and tasteful cloth seats. In addition to automatic emergency braking, the EX also gets blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts.
The Touring trim starts at $30,235 and includes a sunroof, navigation, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate controls, and 17-inch wheels.
You might see the same proportions as the Civic sedan in the Insight, but it’s a bit more sophisticated, in particular around the wheel arches. It borrows a few of the mature themes from the Accord sedan. Basically, it’s the Civic’s beltline with the Accord’s front and rear, and it works remarkably well.
The cabin is refined and detail-driven like the exterior. A low, wide dash borrows from the Accord, with controls angled slightly toward the driver and a simple, hooded gauge cluster. You can find budget materials if you look hard enough, but it still feels like a premium car.
The Insight is a five-seater but it’s comfortable for four adults. The front seats are supportive, and the driver’s side adjusts to a wide range of sizes; the tilt and telescoping steering wheel helps. Even with the low seats, the sunroof cuts into head room.
There’s 37 inches of rear leg room, good enough for adults in back; a 6-footer can fit in the rear behind another 6-footer in front. However three across is a stretch, and the rear seat cushions are on the thin side.
The 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space is generous for a small sedan. The trunk floor is flat, and Honda has packaged the hybrid battery pack so it doesn’t eat into that space. The rear seats fold neatly forward allowing access to the trunk, so you can carry long things.
The 2022 Honda Insight trades some acceleration for fuel economy, but it still has decent performance. With predictable, precise handling and a well-balanced ride, it’s more fun to drive than the horsepower suggests.
The Insight is different from many other hybrids in that it doesn’t truly have a transmission. Its 1.5-liter inline-4 makes 107 hp, and a 129-hp electric motor actually propels the Insight’s front wheels most of the time—assisted at times by a system that directly clutches in the engine for the best possible efficiency. Its combined output is 151 hp.
The engine is mostly responsible for generating power for the battery, which can result in hurried noises from the hood when you suddenly need more power. There isn’t a direct relationship between engine speed and wheel speed, which feels disconcerting.
It takes about nine seconds to reach 60 mph, which puts it at the slow end of most new vehicles. Its so-so acceleration is compounded by a Normal driving mode that tends to add delay to accelerator response. Sport mode doesn’t make it quicker, but it erases the delay. it also primes the engine for passing and bursts of power by running it nearly all the time.
Econ mode is the most fuel-efficient, of course, but it takes a very patient driver to live with the dead response.
The Insight gets a four-wheel independent suspension that filters out road imperfections well, and it steers easily with light, precise feel. It’s engaging and satisfying without ever feeling harsh.
The 2022 Honda Insight prioritizes efficiency, ride, and handling—not acceleration. The cabin boasts quality materials that make it feel like a premium car. To get these virtues, plus a spectacular 52 miles per gallon, is a great deal for $26,000.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection