Honda’s revived Insight hybrid eschews weirdness for space and tech

The first-generation Honda Insight was one of the original hybrids, and now the Insight is making a comeback in a more practical package. Where the original Insight was a small two-seater, the new model is a four-door sedan that Honda says will be positioned between the Civic and Accord in its lineup. The 2019 Honda Insight debuts at the 2018 New York Auto Show, and goes on sale later this year.

The production Insight is more or less unchanged from the “prototype” Honda unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January. Stripped of its show-car makeup, the Insight looks very similar to the current-generation Civic. It has the same 106.3-inch wheelbase as the Civic, the same 37.4 inches of rear legroom, and the same 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space. Honda claims the latter two figures are best-in-class.

One area where the Insight does differ from the Civic is its powertrain. A 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine is teamed with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 151 horsepower and 197 pound-feet of torque, while Honda expects fuel economy to reach 55 mpg city. That is 1 mpg better than the standard Toyota Prius, although the Eco model beats the Civic with 58 mpg.

On the inside, the Insight features soft-touch materials and real stitching, which is how automakers try to show customers that they have spent a little extra money on an interior. Tech features include a 7.0-inch driver information screen and 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility.

Like most other Honda models, the Insight will get the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist features, including standard forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking system, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. Higher trim levels get Honda’s LaneWatch system, which adds cameras on the exterior mirrors, and a multi-angle rearview camera.

The 2019 Insight gives Honda a second hybrid sedan to slot below the Accord Hybrid in its lineup and, given its styling and overall size, serves more as a direct replacement for the old Civic Hybrid than a callback to either of the previous two generations of Insight. But that may not be a bad thing, especially if the price is competitive. We won’t know about that until closer to the Insight’s launch later this year, though.

Update: Added live photos

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