Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Honda Insight: Test Drive Review
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

Honda Insight: Test Drive Review

Date: 06 April 2011   |   Author: Rachel Burgess

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £19,540
Key rival: Toyota Prius

Honda has revised its much-criticised Insight following customer and media feedback.

According to the carmaker, this means the suspension for the five-door hatch has been adjusted to improve ride comfort and noise levels, while interior trim levels have also been enhanced. A new, top-of-the-range EX model, starting from £20,215 and featuring black leather upholstery, DVD satnav and hands-free equipment, has also been introduced to the line-up.

So are the improvements noticeable? There is an improvement in ride quality, but if you hadn't driven the predecessor it would still be a serious gripe for Insight drivers. Similarly, while it's not bad, it is hard to tell quite how the interior has been improved. Also, the seats are still rather short on comfort, feeling too thin compared to virtually any other modern car. And then there's the engine, which growls at anything other than gentle acceleration. There's plenty of noise, but it all seems a little too much work for the car.

Against the far more successful Toyota Prius, the Insight's list price is cheaper, with the lowest-spec T3 Prius (£20,640) costing more than the one-from-top-trim ES-T as tested here (£19,540). Both currently qualify for 10% BIK, although if the Insight, at 105g/km versus the Prius's 89g/km, is to remain at the same lowest BIK banding when the CO2 boundaries change in April 2012 from sub-120g/km to sub-100g/km, it will need to move quickly. Add in the Prius's stronger RV and its cost per mile figure just wins at 43.5p compared with 44.0p.

The Insight remains the ugly duckling in Honda's otherwise decent car range. While, in cost terms, it is a viable option, customers who consider driveability, comfort and ride quality will have a hard time choosing this over the Prius.

Honda Insight 1.3 IMA ES-T 5dr
P11D price£19,540
Model price range£16,675-£20,645
Fuel consumption61.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 105g/km/(10%)
BIK 20/40% per month£43/£87
Service interval12,500mls
Insurancegroup 16
Boot space (min/max)408/584 litres
Engine size/power1339cc/88hp
Top speed/0-62mph102mph/12.5secs
On sale July 2010
VerdictImprovements evident
but has some catching
up to do


Improvements evident but has some catching up to do