2011 Honda Insight vs. Its Competition

2011 Honda Insight 5dr CVT EX Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The Honda Insight mostly takes on the Prius, yet it's geared for a slightly lower price and stronger value and doesn't have the in-car tech emphasis you see in the iconic Toyota hybrid.

However, the Insight competes to some degree with Honda's own Civic Hybrid and Fit hatchback.

Unlike the Prius and the new Insight, the Civic Hybrid has essentially the same outward appearance as the mainstream Civic sedan models.

The Honda Insight has a similar hybrid system, but the rest of the package is unique, with a versatile hatchback arrangement and a more memorable look that screams "hybrid." Backseat headroom is a bit short in the Insight.

The Fit returns fuel economy in the 30s in normal driving and has an amazingly vast and versatile interior, thanks to the so-called Magic Seat arrangement, along with very crisp, responsive handling.

Those who plan to do a lot of highway driving will also be happy with the Jetta Sportwagen TDI, which gets similar mileage on the highway, in a big, roomy vehicle, albeit with lower numbers in the city.

Then there's the Smart Fortwo, which some might consider alongside the Insight, but the Fortwo is more of a novelty.

It only fits two, parking is a snap, and fuel economy approaches 40 mpg; however, the ride is very choppy, the seats are skimpy, and it's twitchy on the highway.

The new Lexus CT 200h nearly achieves the fuel economy of the Insight and is a sportier drive, but it costs about ten grand more.

2011 Honda Insight 5dr CVT EX Angular Front Exterior View2011 Honda InsightBrowse Used Listings2011 Honda Civic Hybrid Angular Front Exterior View2011 Honda Civic HybridBrowse Used Listings2011 Honda Fit Sport2011 Honda FitBrowse Used Listings2011 Toyota Prius2011 Toyota PriusBrowse Used Listings2011 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen 4-door DSG TDI Angular Front Exterior View2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportwagenBrowse Used Listings2011 Smart Fortwo2011 smart fortwoBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.0
The 2011 Honda Insight lives in the shadow of the iconic Toyota Prius, but it's more enjoyable to drive.
7.2
8.0
The 2011 Honda Fit is like a mini-minivan in some respects, with an incredibly space-efficient design; yet it's peppy, frugal, and fun to drive.
7.6
51 mpg city! The 2011 Toyota Prius remains the highest-mileage hybrid on the market, but that doesn't get in the way of practicality or comfort.
7.8
6.2
The 2011 Smart Fortwo is at its best on congested urban streets; at highway speeds its less-secure feel becomes a liability in several ways.
MSRP From     
$18,200$23,950$15,100$22,120$19,995$12,490
Gas Mileage     
40 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy40 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy51 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy33 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas/Electric I4Gas/Electric I4Gas I4Gas/Electric I4Gas I5Gas I3
EPA Class     
Sub-compactCompactSmall Station WagonMid-sizeWagonMinicompact
Style Name     
5-Door CVT PZEVHybrid 4-Door Sedan L4 CVT5-Door HB Manual5-Door HB I (GS)4-Door Manual S PZEV2-Door Coupe Pure
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555552
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
5 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan5 Door Hatchback5 Door Liftback4 Door2 Door Coupe
Transmission     
Continuously variable ratioCVTManualCVTManualAutomatic w/manual shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Honda Insight vs. 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid2011 Honda Insight vs. 2011 Honda Fit2011 Honda Insight vs. 2011 Toyota Prius2011 Honda Insight vs. 2011 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen2011 Honda Insight vs. 2011 smart fortwo