The 2019 Honda Insight can finally be seen at this year’s upcoming New York International Auto Show. Honda says the 2019 Insight has robust acceleration and competitive fuel efficiency thanks to its new hybrid drivetrain. Joining the Clarity series and the 2018 Accord Hybrid, the new Insight is the fifth Honda electrified vehicle introduced over the past year. The all-new Insight will provide a fresh look for Honda’s expanding lineup of electrified vehicles.
The Insight, a compact sedan, is positioned and priced between the Civic and Accord in Honda’s lineup, and aims to offer a unique level of packaging, refinement, and efficiency. The design aims to be sleek with a low and wide stance, bold front fascia, low-profile LED headlights and taillights, sharp character lines, and a sweeping, coupe-like, roofline. On the inside, drivers will find premium cabin appointments such as a soft-touch instrument panel, ergonomically sculpted seats, a large-ish seven-inch TFT color “digital driver’s meter,” and heated, leather-trimmed seats. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also built-in.
Chassis & Suspension
The new Insight rides on a comparatively long wheelbase of 106.3 inches. That means you get both a nice ride and excellent packaging for a spacious 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space. Honda accomplished this – a tricky feat to pull off in a hybrid – by placing the lithium-ion hybrid battery pack beneath the rear seats. Not only do you get a normal-sized trunk, but the Insight also comes with a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat to maximize cargo – and people – hauling flexibility.
The Insight shares the same basic platform as the tenth-gen Civic, which helps explain why the Insight has that premium compact sedan feel. The body features an aluminum hood to cut weight, while additional sound insulation in the engine bay, front fenders, front firewall, and front and rear floors help create a tranquil cabin. The new Insight also features Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure.
The chassis is designed for a refined, confident, and composed driving experience according to Honda. There’s a fully-independent suspension system with a Macpherson strut front end, and a multi-link rear setup; the high-trim Touring models have liquid-sealing compliance bushings at both ends. The electric power steering is a variable-ratio dual-pinion deal and there’s an electro-servo brake system, which combines regenerative braking with the normal mechanical brake system for better stopping performance.
Power & Performance
Speaking of that hybrid system, it all starts with an efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine that is coupled to a powerful electric propulsion motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. Total output is 151 horsepower and 197 lb-ft. of torque with up to 55 mpg in the city, according to Honda’s internal certification testing.
Under most conditions, the Insight operates as a series hybrid, like a railroad locomotive: The gasoline engine, connected to the generator motor, produces electricity that is supplied to the electric propulsion motor or to the 60-cell lithium-ion battery pack. There are three drive modes for the new Insight: NORMAL, ECON, and SPORT. You can pick and choose which one suits you, your mood, or the conditions. All Insights have steering wheel-mounted deceleration selectors so you can choose from three levels of regenerative braking performance as well.
Availability & In Person
The 2019 Honda Insight comes in three trim levels: LX, EX, and the top-of-the-line Touring; the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistance tech comes standard. It will arrive at Honda dealers later this year, but will be on display for the duration for the 2018 New York International Auto Show which opens to the public on Friday, March 30th.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.