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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
'Good,' frontal offset, side and rear impacts, roof strength
Not yet rated
The Insight extends the rear glass into the top of the trunk lid to improve visibility, but it doesn't work. A thick bar splitting the rear window limits the view in the rearview mirror.
The 2014 Honda Insight gets good ratings from the one organization that's tested it for crash safety, and it has the expected set of electronic safety systems. It doesn't offer any particularly innovative or advanced features beyond that, but outward visibility is good.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) names the Honda Insight as a Top Safety Pick. The car earns the top IIHS rating of 'Good' in all categories: moderate-overlap frontal, side, and rear impacts, and also for roof strength. Earlier 2010-2011 Insight models did not do as well on roof strength; they were only rated 'Acceptable' for roof crush strength.
On the other hand, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't tested the Insight since it established new and more stringent frontal and side crash tests. The agency gives the Insight four out of five stars for rollover safety.
Outward visibility from inside the Insight is good--increasingly a Honda trademark. The window line is lower than in many cars with rising tails, and even the rear seats have a decent view out. Like all split rear windows, however, there's a bar across the middle of the view in the rear-view mirror that takes some getting used to. Honda redesigned and moved the rear window wiper in 2012 to improve visibility.
The list of safety features in the Insight includes anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, front, side, and side-curtain airbags, and active front head restraints. That's all good; however, the Insight doesn't include any of the active-safety items that are becoming more widely available (and sometimes expected) on hybrids and advanced-tech models.
The 2014 Honda Insight is an IIHS Top Safety Pick, but it hasn't been rated for crash safety by the NHTSA.