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Yes folks, Toyota is now producing a Corolla Hybrid to compete with the Insight. How does it fare? Read what Car and Driver says.
Note that Toyota is only making a base model Corolla LE hybrid - so the interior is dreck. This echoes their introduction of a new Camry hybrid in 2019: only the LE base model got the new drive with 51 MPG, the better models remained stuck at 43 MPG. I find these to be strange decisions that probably make sense to some bean counter.

Because Car and Driver has an Insight Touring model for long term testing, they used it, instead of the Insight LX base model. So the comparison is not entirely fair.

Go read the article. Summary: Insight handles better, has more pep and is more comfortable. Corolla gets better MPG, enough to make a difference; interior is crummy, but seats are higher (this is good). Insight engine noise is often objectionable; Corolla engine is very quiet at all times. And this note: you can get better performance, quieter and with pretty good MPG by buying a Honda Civic (I discovered that recently when Honda dealer gave me a Civic loaner).

So, if Toyota comes out with a XSE model of Corolla hybrid, would you consider it?
 

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Go read the article. Summary: Insight handles better, has more pep and is more comfortable. Corolla gets better MPG, enough to make a difference; interior is crummy, but seats are higher (this is good). Insight engine noise is often objectionable; Corolla engine is very quiet at all times. And this note: you can get better performance, quieter and with pretty good MPG by buying a Honda Civic (I discovered that recently when Honda dealer gave me a Civic loaner).
On the Civic loaner topic, if you haven't seen it yet, check out this video @andrew28 shared on engine noise in Civic vs Tesla. In addition to the performance difference you mentioned on the Civic, it also was quiet as a Tesla at lower speeds.

On the topic of the Corolla Hybrid LE versus the Insight, points that struck me from the article:
  • The Insight LX is offered at $50 less than the Corolla Hybrid LE. (This made me chuckle.)
  • The Corolla Hybrid's gas engine runs most of the time, "never raises to a shout, " and "the Insight is 4 decibels louder at full throttle (at 76 decibels)" (...similar to your recap above.)
  • The Corolla takes 3 seconds longer to get to 60 mph; there's less acceleration difference from 30-50 mph, but the Insight beats the Corolla at 50-70 mph.
  • Neither sedan brakes well.
  • The Corolla 'feels' more roomy, though the Insight has 11 cu ft more space.
  • The Corolla's base model gets a touchscreen infotainment system, while the Insight LX does not.
At second-look of some of the posted pictures and being next to the Insight, the Corolla Hybrid looked 'less offensive' than first impression from pictures in prior thread. Given the trims currently available for each car, I still prefer my Insight.

The only reason I'd consider a Corolla Hybrid is for Toyota's longer history/reputation for reliability and more sales volume (examples of long-lived hybrids on the road). However, I feel like I'd be making too many aesthetic, comfort, and performance trade-offs by going from the Insight to the Corolla Hybrid.​
 

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When I was a kid back in the late 80's, my dad introduced me to the Honda Accord. At some point though, he switched over to Toyota - he now drives Camry and his wife has had a Prius for 15 years. My first car purchase was a Honda Civic while my sister purchased a Toyota Corolla.

I've almost exclusively owned Honda ever since that first Civic. Except in 2015, I bought a Corolla. I didn't hate it but I didn't absolutely love it either. After a couple of years, I went back to Honda and realized that I just don't like Toyota (while I had the Corolla, we also had the CR-V so I was getting my Honda fix).

I bought a 2017 Honda Accord and my sister liked it so much, she made the switch from Toyota to Honda. Toyota took quite a long time to make meaningful updates to the Camry and Corolla. Meanwhile, Honda, Hyundai, etc. kept moving forward.

The point I'm trying to make is that there are Toyota people who will never buy a Honda and vice versa (though conversions do occur). So for me, Honda would have to do something really bad before I'd even consider a Toyota. I guess I'm just used to the Honda interior design and I find it more comfortable and luxurious than Toyota in all trims.

Over the years, I did want a Prius, but I could never get used to the bare dashboard behind the steering wheel.
 

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Car & driver gave the win to the Toyota Corolla but the comment section on that review is favoring the Honda Insight. :surprise: https://backfires.caranddriver.com/forums/1963708/posts/4551383-28316198


Honda vehicles are more "balanced" when it comes to the vehicles they sell. Like a balance of reliability, power, comfort, fuel efficiency, amenities, and design. I feel like I'm making too much of a sacrifice for reliability when driving a Toyota vehicle.
 

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Yes folks, Toyota is now producing a Corolla Hybrid to compete with the Insight. How does it fare? Read what Car and Driver says.
Note that Toyota is only making a base model Corolla LE hybrid - so the interior is dreck. This echoes their introduction of a new Camry hybrid in 2019: only the LE base model got the new drive with 51 MPG, the better models remained stuck at 43 MPG. I find these to be strange decisions that probably make sense to some bean counter.

Because Car and Driver has an Insight Touring model for long term testing, they used it, instead of the Insight LX base model. So the comparison is not entirely fair.

Go read the article. Summary: Insight handles better, has more pep and is more comfortable. Corolla gets better MPG, enough to make a difference; interior is crummy, but seats are higher (this is good). Insight engine noise is often objectionable; Corolla engine is very quiet at all times. And this note: you can get better performance, quieter and with pretty good MPG by buying a Honda Civic (I discovered that recently when Honda dealer gave me a Civic loaner).

So, if Toyota comes out with a XSE model of Corolla hybrid, would you consider it?

I have rarely been as pissed off as I was when I read this article. Car and Driver clearly intended to bury the Insight when composing the article. Despite the few positives in the article, a couple of things were definitely misleading. (1) The LED display that they compare against the Corolla is only from base LX Insights - which is NOT what most Insight owners bought. (2) More importantly, please note the copied-and-pasted paragraph below and tell me that Car and Driver did not prematurely have it in for the Insight.

"We recorded an impressive 56 mpg on our 75-mph real-world fuel-economy test in the Corolla. That figure betters its EPA highway fuel-economy estimate by 4 mpg. A different but similarly equipped Insight also beat its EPA highway figure on the same test by 2 miles per gallon, but posted only 47 mpg. We say "only" not just because it trails the Toyota by 9 mpg but also because a regular, nonhybrid Honda Civic sedan (notably quicker than the Insight and less expensive), returned 41 mpg on the same test. A normal 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan notched 40 mpg—good, but also far enough away from the hybrid's stellar performance to help justify the gas-electric's purchase."

I mean seriously...comparing the Insight mpg when it is at its worst (highway and 75 mpg, Touring edition) to more favorable scenarios for the Corolla (15 inch wheels) and Civic!!! Notice the article doesn't explicitly describe their test car as "touring", but the article describes it as "different, but similarly equipped Insight". MISLEADING!!! Hey, C&D editors, let's compare Apples to Apples: How about an Insight EX in combination highway/ suburban/ city driving with a Civic EX in combination driving? What percentage of drivers in the USA spend the overwhelming majority of their driving time literally going 75 mph highway? Versus people like me who regularly drive 70% highway and 30% suburban roads in NJ -- and I drive only 60-65 mph when on the highways.
 

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Hey fellow owners...I found the answer to my own question about real world American driving habits. Now if only Car and Driver and other media sources would take this into account...just a little...

First reference is a general article, second reference is specific data listed by state:

1) https://www.hotcars.com/fastest-slowest-driving-states-usa/

2) https://blog-content.gasbuddy.com/uploads/2018/04/States-with-Most-Aggressive-Drivers_GasBuddy_Study.pdf?_ga=2.80040722.481033166.1563136585-1084012884.1563136585

Notice that even amongst the Top Five Fastest States, the average mph in each was just over 50!!! Not 75 mph "real world conditions" according to Car & Driver's review of the Insight vs Corolla. My state of New Jersey is amongst the slowest states with an average mph of just 36!
 

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Toyota markets the Corolla Hybrid LE with way less MPG numbers than it actually achieves.. It's an EASY 60+ mpg car.. In the city and on the highway.. It will absolutely destroy every hybrid in MPG because it's low low low weight.. A lot of people also don't realize it uses a NiMH battery instead of Lithium.. which isn't a bad thing outside of longevity, NiMH recharges faster as an upside.

I'm not bashing on the Insight, it's LEAPS AND BOUNDS more attractive than anything else in the Hybrid segment IMHO. I expected much better real life MPG numbers out of the Insight however; it's really hard to stay consistently over 50 mpg for most drivers. The Corolla and Prius are much better highway MPG beasts due to the more refined CVT rpm targets and EV algorithms. And then also look at the Ioniq where it's easily a 60+ mpg car on the highway also due to it's 6-speed DCT setup.. I'm not sure why Honda thought a single gear direct-drive was a good idea, it clearly holders higher RPMs on the highway leading to less MPG and more noise.

I'm basing the MPG figures from the averages from Fuelly.com which show the new Corolla Hybrid absolutely killing it on the MPG side.
 

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Toyota markets the Corolla Hybrid LE with way less MPG numbers than it actually achieves.. It's an EASY 60+ mpg car.. In the city and on the highway.. It will absolutely destroy every hybrid in MPG because it's low low low weight.. A lot of people also don't realize it uses a NiMH battery instead of Lithium.. which isn't a bad thing outside of longevity, NiMH recharges faster as an upside.

I'm not bashing on the Insight, it's LEAPS AND BOUNDS more attractive than anything else in the Hybrid segment IMHO. I expected much better real life MPG numbers out of the Insight however; it's really hard to stay consistently over 50 mpg for most drivers. The Corolla and Prius are much better highway MPG beasts due to the more refined CVT rpm targets and EV algorithms. And then also look at the Ioniq where it's easily a 60+ mpg car on the highway also due to it's 6-speed DCT setup.. I'm not sure why Honda thought a single gear direct-drive was a good idea, it clearly holders higher RPMs on the highway leading to less MPG and more noise.

I'm basing the MPG figures from the averages from Fuelly.com which show the new Corolla Hybrid absolutely killing it on the MPG side.
A Toyota Corolla hybrid would be recommended for someone who prioritizes MPGs without needing to become a hypermiler. If you want a "balanced" hybrid the Honda Insight would be it. It has great looks, iihs safety pick+ rating, more horsepower, Android Auto, more trunk space, remote engine start, and 16" alloy wheels. I think those things are worth giving up some MPGs. :grin:
 

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A Toyota Corolla hybrid would be recommended for someone who prioritizes MPGs without needing to become a hypermiler. If you want a "balanced" hybrid the Honda Insight would be it. It has great looks, iihs safety pick+ rating, more horsepower, Android Auto, more trunk space, remote engine start, and 16" alloy wheels. I think those things are worth giving up some MPGs. :grin:
Oh I agree; not to mention that you can score a '19 Touring trim Insight for roughly $2500 more out the door over a Corolla Hybrid... I worked Toyota and Honda hard and the Honda is a no-brainer for the money.
 
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