Before we benchmark any long-term test vehicles, we like to put at least 1,000 miles on the odometer to break in various components and systems. The first road trip in our 2019 Insight EX easily accomplished this, so heading to the track and strapping in Vbox test gear for MT‘s standard battery of instrumented tests was the next logical step.
At 7.3 seconds to 60 mph, the Insight’s accelleration is pretty good for a hybrid. It absolutely smokes a recent Toyota Prius we tested, which hit 60 mph in 9.8 seconds and took 17.4 seconds to run the quarter mile. Our Insight covered that distance in only 15.8 seconds at 84.6 mph. Road test editor Walton notes that the Insight has a “slow launch, but then the engine ramps up quickly (and noisily) for impressive, linear acceleration.”
At the opposite end of the equation, our Insight needed 122 feet to stop from 60 mph. That’s a good deal better than the 131 feet required by the Prius, but not as good as the 117-foot stop by a different Insight (Touring grade) we also tested. The difference? Better rubber. Walton’s notes reflect Honda‘s no-surprises approach to deceleration: “Soft pedal, modest dive, but steady and straight. Typical Honda fade.”
On our figure-eight handling course, testing director Reynolds knocked out a few invigorating laps in the Insight, recording a 27.5-second time around the course at average of 0.63 g. The kicker is that although the Insight beats the Prius in braking and handling, the latter gets around our course significantly quicker, taking just 26.3 seconds at 0.64 g (avg). Prius also records a higher max lateral grip (0.90 g avg) than the Insight (0.87 g avg).
Reynolds describes the Insight’s handling as “surprisingly pleasant” with these details: “Its body motions are very well controlled but without any accompanying harshness. [Insight] turns in very precisely and has good brake pedal feel, too, as you approach the corner. [It] seems to like a quick release-brake/turn-in as opposed to trail-braking. Understeers but with some steering feel of the tires that offers some pleasantness.”
Next update: signs of wear creak in, rubbing us wrong …