2010 Honda Insight vs. Its Competition

2010 Honda Insight

The new Insight enters a segment of the new-car market long dominated by the Toyota Prius, and only the Prius.

To a lesser degree, the Honda Civic Hybrid has competed with the Prius; unlike the Prius and the new Insight, the Civic Hybrid has essentially the same outward appearance as the mainstream Civic sedan models, but with Honda's IMA hybrid system to yield fuel economy ratings of 40 mpg city, 45 mpg highway.

The 2010 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.

Another alternative is Honda's own Fit, which 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.

But stop the presses! The Prius will be completely redesigned for the 2010 model year, adding interior space, safety and luxury features, and improvements to the hybrid system, resulting in even better fuel economy and a more responsive powertrain.

2010 Honda Insight2010 Honda Insight
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2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen S2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen
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2008 Honda Civic Hybrid2008 Honda Civic Hybrid
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2008 Honda Fit 2008 Honda Fit
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2008 Toyota Prius Touring2008 Toyota Prius
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2008 smart fortwo2008 smart fortwo
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Quick Specs
7.4
For those who want to be seen in a smart, high-mileage hybrid but prefer to pinch pennies at the dealership, the 2010 Honda Insight is the way to go.
8.8
It's been a long time coming back, but the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen gives crossover buyers something else to consider―and diesel power is on the way.
8.6
The 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid excels in fuel economy and front-seat comfort.
7.4
The 2008 Honda Fit is one of the smallest cars on the road, but it’s fun to drive, huge inside, and a tremendous value.
7.8
The 2008 Toyota Prius isn’t that entertaining a car to drive, but it delivers exceptional fuel economy and a roomy interior.
6.0
The 2008 Smart Fortwo is a very competent, fun-to-drive city car, not just a novelty, but with so many caveats, most people would be best served by a hybrid or larger small car.
MSRP From     
$19,800$19,075$22,600$13,950$21,500$11,590
Gas Mileage     
40 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy40 MPG City / 45 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy48 MPG City / 45 MPG Hwy33 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas/Electric I4Gas I5Gas/Electric I4Gas I4Gas/Electric I4Gas I3
EPA Class     
Sub-compactWagonCompactSmall Station WagonMid-sizeMinicompact
Style Name     
5-Door CVT LX4-Door Manual S PZEVHybrid 4-Door Sedan5-Door HB Manual5-Door HB Base (SE)2-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 Door4 Door Sedan5-Door Hatchback5 Door Liftback2 Door Coupe
Transmission     
CVTManualCVTManualCVTManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2010 Honda Insight vs. 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen2010 Honda Insight vs. 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid2010 Honda Insight vs. 2008 Honda Fit2010 Honda Insight vs. 2008 Toyota Prius2010 Honda Insight vs. 2008 smart fortwo