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Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight


PUBLISHED FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2021

Two hybrid cars to command your commute.

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Hero | CarMax

When it comes to fuel-sipping transportation, few vehicles compare to the miles per gallon of a hybrid car. If you're shopping for a hybrid, you likely have the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight on your list. Now in their respective fourth (2016-present) and third (2019-present) generations, both models have long histories as popular hybrid cars.

Whether you want something for the carpool lane or desire to lead a greener lifestyle, the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight do not disappoint. Each model boasts a tech-filled cabin and high EPA ratings but there are a few key differences, which are covered in this comparison review. Read on for more about the Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight.

Side-by-Side Comparison

Toyota Prius

Honda Insight

Average Price

$21,000

$22,000

Performance

Base Engine

1.8L four-cylinder and electric motor

1.5L four-cylinder and electric motor

Horsepower

121 hp

151 hp

EPA est. MPG

52 (combined)

52 (combined)

Interior

Seating

5

5

Cargo Space

24.6 cubic feet

15.1 cubic feet

Front-seat Legroom

42.3 inches

42.3 inches

Rear-seat Legroom

33.4 inches

37.4 inches

Overall Interior Space

93.1 cubic feet

97.6 cubic feet

Ratings

Tailpipe Emissions

176g

170g

NHTSA Safety Rating

5/5

5/5

Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

Features and Trim Options

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Toyota Features and Trim #1 | CarMax

Offering around-town maneuverability and a quiet cabin with abundant technology, the Toyota Prius is a comfortable midsize hybrid hatchback that can be great for city commuting. Standard driver aids, including a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection (2017-2020 models), are designed to provide extra confidence in high-traffic situations. All 2017-2020 base models also come equipped with:

Toyota Prius front profile
  • 15-inch five-spoke alloy wheels with full wheel covers

  • Heated power outside mirrors with a folding feature

  • LED taillights and stoplights

  • Six-way adjustable driver's seat

  • 60/40 split fold-down rear seats with a center armrest

  • Integrated backup camera

Honda Insight

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Honda Insight and Trim #1 | CarMax

The Honda Insight is a midsize hybrid sedan with a spacious cabin and elegant design. Featuring plenty of room for passengers and their belongings, this model also boasts desirable connectivity features. All 2019-2020 Insights come standard with Bluetooth® integration and a five-inch touchscreen infotainment system, as well as these base-level features:

Honda Insight front profile
  • 16-inch alloy wheels

  • LED headlights with an auto-on/off feature

  • Automatic climate control system

  • Lane departure warning

  • Forward collision warning

  • Multi-angle rearview camera

Engine Options

Fourth-generation Toyota Prius models (2016-present) are equipped with a 1.8L four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Together they generate a combined 121 hp, which is fed through an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission to power the front wheels. 2019 and newer Prius AWD-e models also include an electric motor on the rear axle.

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Toyota Prius Engine | CarMax

All third-generation Honda Insights (2019-present) use a 1.5L four-cylinder engine and electric motor to generate a combined system output of 151 hp. The hybrid powertrain connects to an electronic continuously variable transmission and a front-wheel drive system.

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Honda Insight Engine | CarMax

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy estimates from the EPA vary depending on the powertrain and drivetrain you choose. To give you an idea of what to expect, both the 2019-2020 Honda Insight and 2016–2020 Toyota Prius, equipped with a four-cylinder engine, electric motor, and front-wheel drive, get an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined.†† If you want to limit fuel stops on your commute, the 2016-2020 Prius Eco with front-wheel drive has the same powertrain but is lighter in weight, getting more miles to the gallon with an EPA-estimated 56 mpg combined.††

Tech Features

Both the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight come nicely equipped with helpful technologies, but the Prius gets you more standard features. 2016-2019 base Priuses include a 6.1-inch infotainment display and a seven-inch touchscreen on 2020 models, unlike the 2019-2020 Insight's standard five-inch display. You'll also find Apple CarPlay® and Amazon Alexa smartphone integration on all 2020 Prius models, but you'll have to climb the 2019-2020 Insight's trims to get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility (EX and Touring only).

2017-2020 Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Toyota Prius Tech | CarMax
  • Integrated backup camera

  • 12V auxiliary power outlet

  • Bluetooth connectivity

  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection

  • Lane departure warning with steering assist

2019-2020 Honda Insight

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Honda Insight Tech | CarMax
  • Bluetooth connectivity

  • Rearview camera

  • Lane-keeping assistance

  • Forward collision warning

  • Six-speaker sound system

Cargo Space

While the 2019-2020 Honda Insight has more passenger space, with 37.4 inches of rear-seat legroom, the Toyota Prius can carry as much cargo as some small SUVs. Depending on the trim you choose, 2016-2020 Prius hatchbacks can hold 24.6 to 27.4 cu ft of groceries or other items. Folding the rear seats expands capacity to 65.5 cu ft to carry items like sporting equipment and camping gear in 2019-2020 models.

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Toyota Prius Cargo Space | CarMax

By comparison, the 2019-2020 Insight LX and EX trims only offer 15.1 cu ft of cargo space, while Touring models have less, with 14.7 cu ft. The fold-down rear seatbacks make it possible to carry more luggage, but Honda doesn't provide a figure to quantify the added volume.

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Honda Insight Cargo Space | CarMax

Pricing

Side-by-side, 2017-2020 Toyota Prius and 2019-2020 Honda Insight models offer comparable pricing from one year to the next. Here's a closer look at what you can expect in terms of cost.

Toyota Prius

The 2021 Toyota Prius is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Toyota Prius.

  • 2017 - Average prices less than $19,000

  • 2018 - Average prices less than $19,500

  • 2019 - Average prices less than $21,000

  • 2020 - Average prices less than $24,000

Honda Insight

The 2021 Honda Insight is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Honda Insight.

  • 2019 - Average prices less than $22,000

  • 2020 - Average prices less than $24,500

Safety Ratings

The 2019 Toyota Prius and 2019 Honda Insight both achieved an overall five-star safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

2019 Toyota Prius (FWD model)

Toyota Prius front view

Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Test: A head-on collision between two similar vehicles traveling at 35 mph.

Overall: 4/5

Side Barrier Crash Rating Test: A vehicle standing in an intersection sustains driver-side impact from a vehicle moving at 38.5 mph.

Overall: 5/5

Side Pole Crash Rating Test: A vehicle slides sideways at 20 mph and impacts a tree or telephone pole.

Overall: 2/5

2019 Honda Insight

Honda Insight front view

Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Test: A head-on collision between two similar vehicles traveling at 35 mph.

Overall: 5/5

Side Barrier Crash Rating Test: A vehicle standing in an intersection sustains driver-side impact from a vehicle moving at 38.5 mph.

Overall: 5/5

Side Pole Crash Rating Test: A vehicle slides sideways at 20 mph and impacts a tree or telephone pole.

Overall: 5/5

Reliability

RepairPal gave the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight overall reliability ratings of 4.0 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as above average.*

Toyota Prius

Cost: RepairPal reports that the average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Toyota Prius is $408, compared to an average of $526 for midsize cars and $652 for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.

Frequency: According to RepairPal, Toyota Prius owners bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.5 times per year, compared to an average of 0.3 times for midsize cars and 0.4 times for all the vehicle models RepairPal considered in its dataset.

Severity: RepairPal reported that the probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 11% for the Toyota Prius, compared to an average of 12% for midsize cars and 12% for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.

Honda Insight

Cost: RepairPal reports that the average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Honda Insight is $392, compared to an average of $471 for alternative fuel vehicles and $652 for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.

Frequency: According to RepairPal, Honda Insight owners bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.4 times per year, compared to an average of 0.4 times for alternative fuel vehicles and 0.4 times for all the vehicle models RepairPal considered in its dataset.

Severity: RepairPal reported that the probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 16% for the Honda Insight, compared to an average of 9% for alternative fuel vehicles and 12% for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.

RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2010–2019 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features.

*RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. These ratings are based on RepairPal Reliability data as of 12/31/2018. Learn more.

Performance

The 2019 Honda Insight is equipped with a 1.5L four-cylinder and electric motor that creates a combined system output of 151 hp. With this hybrid powertrain, the 2019 sedan can go zero to 60 in eight seconds (according to the manufacturer, when new) and reach top speeds of 120 mph.

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Honda Insight Performance | CarMax

In comparison, the 2019 Prius' 1.8L four-cylinder and electric motor generate a combined system output of 121 hp, achieving a zero to 60 time of 9.8 seconds (according to the manufacturer, when new). Toyota also offers an electronic all-wheel drive system on the 2019 and newer Prius, giving it an edge over the Insight in harsh weather conditions.

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Toyota Prius Performance | CarMax

Despite the differences in their hybrid powertrains, the FWD 2019-2020 Honda Insight and FWD 2016–2020 Toyota Prius both get an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined.††

Emissions

EPA estimates for greenhouse gas emissions vary depending on which model year of the Toyota Prius or Honda Insight you choose. If you want the lowest grams per mile, look to the Prius Eco. These estimates are based on a brand-new model. Visit fueleconomy.gov for more details.

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Toyota Prius Emissions | CarMax
  • According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2016-2020 Toyota Prius Eco's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 158 grams per mile.

  • According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2016 Toyota Prius' tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 170 grams per mile.

  • According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2017 Toyota Prius' tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 171 grams per mile.

  • According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2018-2019 Toyota Prius' tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 170 grams per mile.

  • According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2020 Toyota Prius' tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 169 grams per mile.

  • According to EPA estimates, the AWD 2019-2020 Toyota Prius' tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 176 grams per mile.

Honda Insight

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight: Honda Insight Emissions | CarMax
  • According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2019-2020 Honda Insight's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 170 grams per mile.

  • According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2019-2020 Honda Insight Touring's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 184 grams per mile.

The Bottom Line

Both the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight bring a lot to the table. If you're looking for a stylish sedan with generous passenger space and rear-seat legroom, the Insight has you covered. If you're seeking a greener lifestyle, the weight-reduced Prius Eco delivers lower tailpipe emissions and higher gas mileage, with the added benefit of cavernous cargo volume.

Want to do more research? Check out these related articles:

Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
††Based on prices on carmax.com from August 1, 2019, through January 1, 2021. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features, and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
* Price excludes taxes, title, registration, and fees. Applicable transfer fees are due in advance of vehicle delivery and are separate from sales transactions.

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