The 2020 Honda Insight compact sedan has a combined city-highway fuel economy rating of up to 52 mpg. (Honda)

The 2020 Honda Insight compact sedan has a combined city-highway fuel economy rating of up to 52 mpg. (Honda)

2020 Honda Insight has conventional looks with hybrid cachet

The five-passenger compact sedan has best-in-class cabin space and an agreeable ride with minimal noise.

Honda introduced the Insight subcompact 20 years ago as an odd-looking two-door liftback that made history for being the first hybrid car in the United States. In 2009 it turned into a more practical and aesthetically appreciated four-door liftback with seating for five.

For 2019, Insight was re-created as a compact four-door sedan.

The Honda Insight is unchanged for 2020 but a new exterior paint color called Platinum White Pearl has been added.

There are three trim levels: LX, EX and Touring, with base prices of $23,860, $25,240 and $29,270. These prices include the destination charge of $930.

All three trims are powered by the same 151-horsepower Honda hybrid system composed of a four-cylinder gasoline engine, electric motor and battery pack, along with an electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Acceleration is quick and the Insight’s lively performance is a kick, especially since it doesn’t require the swilling of gasoline.

Fuel economy ratings are one of Insight’s most attractive characteristics: 55/49/52 mpg for LX and EX models, and 51/45/48 mpg for the feature-laden Touring model. Regular unleaded gasoline is the required fuel.

Unlike some other hybrid cars, Insight’s styling is conventional, not broadcasting hybrid status through eccentric design. It’s quite good looking, and there is subtle badging on the exterior to call attention to its hybrid cachet.

Among the many standard features on all Insights are LED headlights, push-button start and the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistance technologies. The EX trim augments with an 8-inch audio display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. The top-of-the-line Touring also adds an 8-way power driver’s seat, a navigation system, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof, LED fog lights and more.

EX and Touring trims of the 2020 Honda Insight hybrid sedan have an 8-inch display audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. (Honda)

EX and Touring trims of the 2020 Honda Insight hybrid sedan have an 8-inch display audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. (Honda)

The Insight is fun to drive on twisty roads and its interior provides an agreeable ride with minimal noise and smooth sailing on highways and freeways. Front passengers are supplied with a liberal amount of space. Rear-seat legroom isn’t much of itself, but pretty good for a compact car.

People without much of their own bodily padding might wish Honda had stuffed a little more padding into the Insight’s front seat bottoms, but otherwise the seats are nice and comfortable. My tester was the Touring model, which comes with everything on the features menu, so I sniveled a bit upon discovering there was no adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat.

Insight’s trunk is a spacious 15.1 cubic feet in LX and EX trims, and 14.7 cubic feet in the Touring. Rear seats are split 60/40 and seatbacks fold down on EX and Touring trims. Rear seatbacks on the LX do not fold down.

2020 HONDA INSIGHT TOURING

Base price, including destination charge: $29,270

Price as driven: $29,270

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one- week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

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