2013 Honda Insight Photo

2013 Honda Insight - Performance Review

 Get email updates
What will I get by subscribing to email updates?

At The Car Connection we are continually striving to get you timely, relevant information about the vehicle you are interested in. Our email updates will notify you whenever we have new information on this vehicle.

For example:

  • new car reviews for this model by our editors
  • news including price changes, new models, or recall info
  • new incentives and rebates that are being offered for this vehicle

Our goal is to keep you informed as you research!
Interested in purchasing?Get a Quick Quote
/ 10
On Performance
On Performance
The 2013 Honda Insight handles better than some hybrids, but it runs out of power quickly at higher speeds.
6.0 out of 10
Shopping for a new Honda Insight?


PERFORMANCE | 6 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

While the Insight is very fuel-efficient, it is lacking in any kind of power for acceleration.
MSN Autos

The "Econ" button, which changes the drivetrain programming to trade a little better fuel economy for less-lively performance, stays off if you turn it off.
USA Today

outstanding fuel efficiency and all the best dynamic traits of the Fit

Overall the handling is sound, though not sporty.
Consumer Reports

We appreciated the Honda's frisky personality
Popular Mechanics

Unlike the better-known full-hybrid Prius, the mild-hybrid system in the 2013 Honda Insight doesn't move the car away from a stop solely on electricity. Instead, the motor provides added torque to supplement the gas engine when more power is needed under heavy loads. It also restarts the engine, which switches off every time the car comes to a stop. The tiny nickel-metal-hydride battery pack stores energy recaptured from braking and engine overrun, and delivers it to the electric motor on demand. While Honda says the Insight can maintain its momentum solely on electricity at speeds up to 30 mph, we've rarely seen this happen for more than a few seconds in our various road tests of Insight models.

The 2013 Insight uses the company's well-known Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system. The 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine is paired to a 10-kilowatt (13-horsepower) electric motor sandwiched between it and the continuously-variable transmission (CVT). Together, the two power sources produce 98 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque.

That combination gives the Insight plenty of torque for eager acceleration from stoplights, along with adequate power for passing, especially at lower speeds. The CVT is mostly unobtrusive, but still provides some rubber-band-like lag when full power is demanded--at which point engine noise rises sharply. The sporty Insight EX version provides paddles on the steering wheel that let drivers "downshift" and "upshift" the "gears" in a simulated seven-speed transmission, for more responsive performance.

Eco-minded drivers who encounter winding roads won't be tortured by the Insight, though it's still not as crisp and linear as its similarly-sized Fit hatchback sibling. And the Insight's handling is as good--largely better than--that of the larger Prius. The Insight feels confident in all but the tightest and curviest corners, and its cruising at highway speeds is unexpectedly poised, as long as you don't need to pass in a hurry. The brakes (discs in front, small drums in back) are up to the task--and the regenerative braking provides a little extra slowing effort when the driver lifts off too.


The 2013 Honda Insight handles better than some hybrids, but it runs out of power quickly at higher speeds.

« Prev: Interior / Exterior Next: Comfort and Quality »

Would You Prefer a Free Dealer Price Quote?

With competitive price quotes from multiple dealers, you will be prepared when you meet your local car dealer. Please tell us how to contact you so that dealers can compete for your business!
There are no dealers in our network that are located near the ZIP code. Please change your ZIP code or
Update ZIP Code
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself
Palo Alto, CA 94301 Change ZIP Code
Other Choices Read More
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We care about your privacy. By submitting your request, your data will be subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms and you agree that the dealers checked above may contact you using an auto dialer or an automated message.
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

More From High Gear Media

© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by Homestar, LLC. Send us feedback.