The 2012 Honda Insight starts at just over $19,100 (including a mandatory $770 destination fee), which on the surface can make it a tough sell against the remarkably good Honda Fit subcompact that sits on the same showroom floor with a price more than $3,000 lower.
The Insight doesn't skimp on equipment, though the base model was a new addition last year to respond to an even greater price differential two years ago, when the Insight was first launched. And unlike the Prius, Honda's least expensive hybrid doesn't offer a long list of high-tech options--lane assist, automated parking guidance, and the like.
The base Insight does include automatic climate control, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, power locks and windows, remote entry, and a two-speaker audio system with a CD player.
The next trim level up is the Insight LX, at about $21,000, which adds cruise control, a center console with armrest and a storage box inside, a security alarm, and a four-speaker audio system with USB jack. For 2012, Honda has added map lights and steering-wheel controls for the audio to the LX.
The top of the 2012 range is the Insight EX, which adds paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, heated side mirrors with turn signals integrated into them, and alloy wheels. New for 2012 on the EX are automatic headlights, a Bluetooth link, and leather wrapping on the steering wheel and shift knob.
A navigation package is the only major option, and only on the EX trim level, with a 6.5-inch display and voice recognition. For 2012, the navigation system adds a rearview camera, along with FM real-time traffic alerts, and the maps are now stored on 16 GB of flash memory, rather than the previous system's DVDs.