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The Honda Insight has taken many forms over the years. It was originally Honda's first attempt at a hybrid car, with just two seats and a sporty demeanor. The second generation Insight gained a back seat, but was still an extremely small car. Now this third generation Insight appears to finally get the sizing just right, sitting between the more compact Civic and the larger, mid-sized Accord. This means that the Insight will be small enough to be easily driven in the city, where its hybrid drivetrain can make the most of its regenerative braking capabilities. At the same time, the 2020 Insight has enough room to no longer feel like just an economy car.
At the heart of the Insight is that electric-gasoline hybrid drivetrain. Motivation is provided by a 1.5L gasoline engine, supplemented by a pair of electric motors for a total of 151 horsepower and 197 foot-pounds of torque. This is notably more than most other fuel sipping hybrids make and promises to keep the Insight from feeling dangerously slow while merging or trying to pass on the highway. Power is sent directly to the front wheels without the need for a conventional transmission or even a CVT. This both increases efficiency and makes the new Insight particularly smooth to cruise around in.
Styling on the new Insight is slightly more conventional than in previous versions. It isn't immediately recognizable as a hybrid, though looking closely reveals a sloped rear end which provides excellent aerodynamics. Instead, the styling more closely resembles the current Accord, but with a touch of the slightly less conventional Civic thrown in as well.
Inside, the Insight boasts a large interior that is even bigger than the one in the Civic, with a large 7-inch display dominating the center stack. Honda claims that the Insight has class leading rear seat room, making it a great car for people who regularly use the back seat, but who still need something with a smallish footprint.
The Insight is available in three trims: LX, EX and Touring. The base LX comes with plenty of features as standard, including Bluetooth streaming audio, a rearview camera, three drive modes, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED automatic headlights and taillights, a 160-watt sound system with 6 speakers and Honda Sensing, which includes a suite of safety and driver assistance technologies.
The EX replaces the center display with a bigger 8-inch unit while also replacing the stereo with an 8-speaker system that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other features included in the EX are SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Honda's LaneWatch system, a remote engine starter and a smart key.
Touring models get a navigation system, rain sensing wipers, LED fog lights, a power moonroof, powered and heated front seats, leather trimmed seats and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Touring also comes with dual-zone climate control and some additional exterior chrome to brighten up the styling a little bit.