2019 Honda Insight EX
I don't think car and driver have post an update on their long term Insight yet but motor trend just published one today(EX model).https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a26287347/2019-honda-insight-reliability-maintenance/
Car and Driver decided to do a 40k test on their Insight Touring. Looking forward to seeing the results!
- The Insight is a solid road-tripper. Two days of driving 4.5 hours each, and I was never uncomfortable or desperate to get out of the car. The manual seats don't do anything special; they're just plain comfortable.
- The little phone tray/wireless charger is placed perfectly. It's one step away from having a vent or windshield mount for your phone. It's easy to glance down to see Waze and no worse than looking at the infotainment screen.
- On a cold day, you don't need the heater. Just set the climate control to HI and turn it off. The ducts stay open, and warm air flows into the cabin. Driving in 30-to-40-degree weather, I didn't even need a jacket in the car. In fact, I had to turn it down because I was getting too warm in the sun
- The Insight does struggle with altitude. Most of the time, it's a series hybrid where the engine just drives a generator, but at high speeds and high loads, a clutch locks the engine to the wheels. In L.A., accelerating onto the freeway and passing at freeway speeds was slow but not bad. At altitude (6,000 feet at the Grand Canyon), the limitations of the little electric motor and little gasoline engine are apparent, and that's with one person aboard.
- The lane departure warning system is hypersensitive to the point of annoyance. It often mistakes seams in the concrete with lane lines and throws warnings about lane departure when you're dead centered in the lane. To experience this, drive south on the 405 between Century Blvd. and El Segundo Blvd. Happened every day during my commute.
- The road sign detection software can't distinguish between normal speed limit signs and truck/towing speed limit signs, so it will often show the limit as 55 mph in the instrument cluster even when you're in a 65-, 70-, or 75-mpg zone if you recently passed a truck limit sign.
- The engine note is a drone, but most of the time it's quiet enough you don't notice it behind the radio. It seems to have three speeds, something in the 2,500 rpm range for normal driving, something around 4,000 rpm for heavy loads, and what has to be 6,000 rpm for extreme cases. If it's at either of the two higher speeds, it's pretty loud and obnoxious, but luckily it only seems to do that when you're going up a steep hill at freeway speeds.
- It's really impressive how much time the car is able to spend in EV mode. The battery isn't large, only good for about a mile of pure EV range, but even cruising at 70 mph it spent a shocking amount of time with the engine off without losing speed.
- It took me several days to realize the paddle shifters actually change the regen setting. I probably could've guessed based on my experience with other EVs, but better labeling would've helped given the car has a Sport mode. I assumed they would simulate gears. Once I figured it out, I was a bit disappointed the higher regen settings time out and the car goes back to its default regen after less than a minute. I prefer one-pedal driving in most situations, and it's annoying having to crank the regen back up every time I want to slow down.
- The fuel economy and range estimations are extremely conservative. At the start of the drive, it predicted 414 miles of range. I went 480 miles. Throughout the drive, it estimated an average of 44 mpg. Doing the math at the gas station, I actually averaged 52 mpg. Even allowing for differences in gas pumps, that's a big difference.
- The Insight is extremely sensitive to powertrain loads. With Econ mode on and the climate, cruise, active safety, and infotainment systems off and driving gently at 60 to 70 mph, I did 480 miles on a tank going from sea level to 6,000 feet. On the way back down, with all those systems on and cruise set to 80 mph, I did 380 miles on a tank. That's a huge swing depending on how hard the engine has to work.
- I'm genuinely impressed with the tires. It rained heavily the entire drive and snowed 4 to 8 inches overnight, and the Insight had no issues despite its rock-hard low-rolling-resistance tires. The only time they slipped was turning out of a driveway, trying to accelerate with a lot of steering angle, and even then, it was just a little scrape and go. Not even a full rotation of slip, not even half a rotation. With the smooth torque delivery from the EV motor, I had no trouble getting moving in the snow. I thought it would be skatey at higher speeds, but it felt solid all the time. Great winter car.
- I love most that the Insight looks like a normal car. Just badges. It doesn't look like a science project (Prius) or knock-off French design (Kona EV). It's normal, functional, uncompromised, and can do Prius mileage."