?2019 Honda Insight Hybrid Touring?
Third Generation Insight A Different Animal
The first generation Honda Insight, which ran from 2000 to 2006 was the first hybrid car available in the U.S. The second generation Insight appeared from 2010 to 2014. Now, the new 2019 Honda Insight launches the third generation Honda to bear the Insight name. It is an all new premium compact vehicle that is positioned between the Civic and Accord models. It also becomes the fifth Honda electrified vehicle to bow within the past year, along with the Clarity series and the Accord Hybrid, joining Honda?s ever expanding electrified vehicle family as a dedicated hybrid sedan.
TWO-MOTOR HYBRID SYSTEM
The Insight?s power is provided by the latest generation of Honda?s unique third-generation Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive two-motor hybrid system. The gas engine is a 1.5-liter, DOHC, Atkinson-cycle i-VTEC 4-cylinder with computer controlled port fuel injection featuring multi-hole injectors. The gas engine produces 107 Horsepower @ 6,000 rpm along with Peak Torque of 99 pound feet @ 5,000 rpm and is combined with a 96 Kw Propulsion motor with an output of 129 horsepower and 197 pound feet of torque.
The total system output is 151 horsepower. The battery is a 60-cell lithium-ion with an electric-servo regenerative braking system, that comes with an Eight-year/100,000-mile or ten-year/150,000-mile Li-Ion battery limited warranty, depending on the state of purchase/registration.
The gas engine is mounted up front, driving the front wheels, with the Propulsion (traction) motor supplying driving force to the front axle, and with the generator motor supplying energy. The transmission is an Electric CVT (eCVT) with a lock up clutch drive force transfer. EPA mileage estimates are 51-mpg city and 45-mpg highway, with a combined estimate of 48 mpg.
Under most conditions, the Honda Insight functions as a series hybrid, in which the gasoline engine, connected to the generator motor, produces electricity that?s supplied to the electric propulsion (traction) motor and/or the 60-cell lithium-ion battery pack, or both. The 2019 Insight carries a LEV3-SULEV30 emissions rating.
The latest Honda Insight?s structure is based on the 10th-generation Civic body and chassis architecture along with numerous enhancements, including revised springs, dampers and bushings along with unique sheetmetal in nearly every location.
The 2019 Honda Insight is available in three levels of trim: a well-appointed base model LX, an upgraded EX, and the fully equipped flagship Insight Touring. Standard features include: LED exterior lighting, including headlights, daytime running lights and taillights; 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, push-button start, heated side mirrors, a 6-speaker audio system with Bluetooth? and Pandora? integration, and a 7-inch TFT digital driver’s meter. Insight EX adds Smart Entry, two additional speakers, and an 8-inch Display Audio high-resolution touchscreen with a smartphone-like customizable home-screen layout and Apple CarPlay? and Android AutoTM integration. The top-of-the-line Touring model features 17-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights and side-mirror turn signals, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power moonroof, perforated leather-trimmed seating, heated front seats with 8-way power adjustment for the driver and 4-way power for the passenger, dual-zone climate control, a 10-speaker audio system, embedded Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System?, and Honda HD Digital Traffic.
All new Insights also come standard with the Honda Sensing? suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, which includes: includes Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System? Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assistance System, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Traffic Sign Recognition as well as a multi-view backup camera system. EX and Touring models add Honda LaneWatch?, while Insight Touring models include the latest iteration of HondaLink, offering multiple cloud-based services including a 4G Wi-Fi mobile hotspot (data plan required), smartphone-based remote vehicle locking/unlocking, stolen vehicle tracking and more.
Under most conditions, 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 2019 Insight carries a LEV3-SULEV30 emissions rating.
MODERN STYLING APPEAL
In terms of its visual appeal, the 2019 Honda Insight?s exterior displays sleek styling in a coupe-like profile with a wide, powerful stance. It leads off with details like Honda?s “flying wing” grille, flanked by standard low-profile LED headlights and lower dynamic air intakes, modest chrome use, while dynamic character lines highlight its premium compact sedan character. Touring models step up to larger, 17-inch alloy wheels and LED fog lights.
In the rear, the abbreviated deck lid contributes to the coupe-like profile, and the sharp cut-off at the rear edge assists the airflow in separating cleanly from the rear of the car, aiding fuel efficiency. Beneath, Insight features the flattest underbody of any Honda production vehicle, helping to smooth airflow under the car as it travels rearward, reducing wind noise in the cabin.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
Moving into the cabin, the cockpit is driver-focused showcasing a level of elegance. Premium details include: a stitched dash, soft-touch surfaces, a sport steering wheel and ergonomically sculpted and supportive seats. The instrument panel features a customizable color digital TFT driver’s meter and a 7-inch multi-information display, while an available 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Apple CarPlay? and Android Auto? integration is positioned atop the dash.
The Insight?s long wheelbase provides for a class-leading 97.6 cubic feet of passenger space in LX and EX models, including 37.4 inches of rear legroom, which is up to four inches more than top competitors. With the hybrid battery located under the rear seats, Insight provides up to 15.1 cu-ft of trunk space, bigger than many gasoline-powered midsize sedans while retaining flexibility of a folding rear seatback ? one piece on LX trims and split 60/40 in EX and Touring. Insight’s interior benefits from numerous storage compartments, including a multi-level user-configurable storage area between the front seats. On the center console next to the shift-by-wire gear selector is a cell phone pocket designed to accommodate larger smartphones.
My test 2019 Honda Insight Hybrid 4-door sedan came in the top-of-the-line Touring level trim, sporting an Aegean Blue metallic exterior finish, complemented by a Charcoal Gray interior treatment. The base price was set at $28,090, with the final tally coming to $28,945 after adding in the Destination and Handling Price.
The 2019 Honda Insight Hybrid Touring delivers a driving experience that is actually un-hybrid-like. The hybrid system is neither obvious nor intrusive. Acceleration is quick enough off the line, continuing with a smooth, linear power delivery. The handling characteristics border on sporty, with a positive steering feedback and instantaneous response. The eCVT transmission provides a smooth progression during both acceleration and deceleration. The braking feel is also positive thanks to the regenerative system seamlessly blending in with the hydraulic friction braking system for a consistent and linear feel. EPA mileage estimates for the Honda Insight Touring Hybrid are: 51-mpg city and 45 mpg Highway, with a combined rating of 48 mpg.
The 2019 Honda Insight Hybrid Touring is an attractive 4-door sedan, compact and maneuverable. Its coupe-like form is really quite pleasing, and it?s affordable, versatile and practical, as well.
The driver is provided with a greater measure of control over the vehicle’s performance, utilizing one of the Insight?s three selectable driving modes ? Normal, ECON and SPORT optimizing either efficiency or performance or providing a balance of both. A fourth EV Mode?? enables the selection of electric-only power for short periods.
Bottom line, the New Honda Insight Hybrid represents another plus in Honda?s ever-increasing electrification process. The Honda Insight does what it?s supposed to do in all trims and on all levels, with its image and persona being that of a normal vehicle, without any freakish styling cues. It?s bigger and better ?An increase of 5.9-inches in the wheelbase, plus 11.4 inches in overall length and it?s 5.0-inches wider.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Honda Insight Hybrid Touring
Base Price: $28,090.
Price as Tested: $28,985.
Engine Type and Size: 1.5-liter, DOHC, Atkinson-cycle i-VTEC 4-cylinder with computer-controlled port fuel injection featuring multi-hole injectors. Coupled with an AC synchronous electric traction motor and generator motor.
Horsepower (bhp): 107 @ 6,000 rpm
Peak Torque (ft./ lbs.) 99 @ 5,000 rpm
Propulsion motor output: 96 kW 129 horsepower and 197 pound feet of torque.
Total System output: 151 horsepower.
Battery: 60-cell lithium-ion with an electric-servo regenerative braking system, with an Eight-year/100,000-mile or ten-year/150,000-mile Li-Ion battery limited warranty, depending on the state of purchase/registration.
Transmission: Electric CVT (eCVT) with a lock up clutch drive force transfer.
Drive Train: Front mounted gas engine / Front Wheel Drive. Propulsion (traction) motor supplies driving force to the front axle, with the generator motor supplying energy.
Suspension: Front Indpendent MacPherson strut with 25 mm stabiizer bar.
Rear ? Five-link Independent with 16 mm stabiizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with 4-channel ABS, BD, and VSA.
Tires: ContinentalProContact 215/50 R17 91H mounted on 5-stylized ?V?-swirl-spokes- machine-faced with painted inners.
Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
Length Overall: 183.7 inches
Width: 71.7 inches
Height: 55.5 inches
Curb Weight: 3,078 lbs.
Turning Circle: 35.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 10.6 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 51 mpg city / 45-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.