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Is Honda Insight a Hybrid (20 Useful Answers)

Hybrid cars are all the rage in the auto market, praised for being eco-friendly and reliable. Honda is one of the most reputable companies with some of the best names in the hybrid market. You may wonder if Honda Insight is a hybrid, too.

Read on to learn more about Honda Insight as I explore 20 questions regarding hybrid cars and the Honda Insight.

Are All Honda Insights Hybrids?

All Honda Insights are hybrid. The first generation of Honda Insight was born in 1999 and marketed in the US as the first hybrid car. Insight was the first Honda model that featured Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist system, the main technology used in Honda’s hybrid cars.

The first generation of Honda Insight was ZE1, introduced in 1999, followed by the second generation, ZE2, and ZE3, released in 2009. The first generation was a coupe, two-passenger liftback, while the second generation turned into a five-passenger, four-door liftback.

The third-generation Honda Insight was ZE4, introduced in 2018, sharing similar features and dimensions with the tenth generation of Honda Civic. So, it’s a four-passenger sedan.

The Insight is one of the most fuel-efficient cars thanks to its optimized aerodynamics and lightweight aluminum, plastic, and magnesium structure. Honda Insight doesn’t feature a plug-in capability.

Instead, the Integrated Motor Assist system acts as a generator to recharge the vehicle’s batteries during braking and acceleration.

The first-generation Insight increased efficiency and reduced fuel consumption through digital-analog instrument clusters.

The second-generation Insight featured an “eco” button that showed the driver how to reduce fuel consumption and go green. However, Honda discontinued this model in 2014 before introducing the third generation in 2018.

The third-generation Insight, ZE4, features Honda’s third-generation hybrid powertrain with a 1.5-liter gasoline engine, an electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery, while the previous models feature NiMH batteries.

Also read: 3 Popular Honda Scooters For Adults

Is Honda Insight Electric?

Honda Insight is a hybrid car that features a gas engine and an electric motor as Honda’s two-motor hybrid powertrain. The third-generation powertrain features a 1.5-liter gas engine and an electric motor with a 60-cell lithium-ion battery pack.

The battery capacity is 1.1 kWh with 129 horsepower and 197 lb/ft torque.

The previous models used a NiMH battery recharged by Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist system.

Does the Honda Insight Use Gas?

The Honda Insight uses gas as it’s a hybrid car running on gas and electricity. The gas engine acts as a generator that recharges the battery, provides power for the front wheels’ movement and supplies the driver motor’s electricity.

The Atkinson-cycle motor produces 107 horsepower and a torque of 99 lb/ft, leading to 40.5 percent thermal efficiency.

The EPA ratings of Honda Insights include 55 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway, making it one of the most efficient cars.

Can Honda Insight Run Without Gas?

The Insight can run without gas for only one mile and needs the gas engine to kick in and supply electricity to the electric engine. However, since it’s a hybrid car, it can’t run exclusively on electricity, either. 

It needs gas to provide electricity for the front wheels. The two-motor hybrid system used in Honda Insight enables the driver to use an Engine Drive mode, an EV drive mode, and a Hybrid Drive mode depending on the conditions.

The driver can switch between these modes seamlessly to allow for the highest performance in every situation.  

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Is the Honda Insight a Plug-in Hybrid?

Honda Insight isn’t a plug-in hybrid, so you don’t need to spend time recharging the battery since it gets recharged with everyday driving. The Insight features a two-motor hybrid powertrain in which both the gas and the electric engines work together to run the car

The 60-cell lithium-ion battery gets recharged whenever you brake and accelerate the car. The gas engine is connected to a power generator that provides electricity for the wheels.

What Kind of Hybrid is the Honda Insight?

The Honda Insight is a parallel hybrid car, which means the engine, the batteries, and the electric motor are connected to the transmission. Therefore, the wheels get their power from the engine and the motor/generator whenever required. 

The driving conditions and the driver can determine where to switch between these power-supplying components.

Its advanced powertrain features a compact 3-cylinder engine and a permanent magnet electric motor. The electric motor provides power when required, like when you accelerate the car or climb a hill.

Is the Honda Insight a Civic Hybrid?

While the 2018 Honda Insight looks very much like the Civic, built on a Civic chassis, they’re different in many aspects. Compared to the Civic, Honda Insight is quieter and offers higher mpg. However, both give you a comfortable ride, safe steering, and a beautiful interior.

Since the Civic was an inspiration for Insight, both are similar in safety, but it has more headroom, making it more comfortable. But the surprising difference is definitely their reliability scores.

While consumers ranked the Civic three out of five in reliability, this number was five out of five for the Insight.

Can You Drive a Honda Insight Without the Battery?

Honda Insight can’t run without the battery, more specifically, the integrated Motor Assist system. That’s because the car doesn’t have a traditional alternator that charges the battery in non-electric cars.

As a result, the system can’t recharge the battery, and you can only continue driving as long as the 12V battery has enough charge.

Is Honda Insight Parallel Hybrid?

Honda Insight is a parallel hybrid since it features an electric motor and an internal combustion engine to propel the wheels. Each of these motors can work individually or with the other motor to run the car

In addition, the electric motor also acts as a generator, getting its power from the gas engine to produce electricity.

How Long Does the Battery Last on Honda Insight?

The Honda Insight comes with a warranty of 10 years for its battery. That’s equal to 15,000 miles. However, some experts recommend checking your battery after 3 to 5 years and ensuring it doesn’t need replacement. That said, you can make it last longer than ten years with good care and proper maintenance.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Honda Hybrid Battery?

Replacing a Honda hybrid battery can cost between $2,000 and $3,500, depending on the model and age of your car. The labor costs, taxes, shipping, and local fees may also drive up the costs. 

For example, a 2000-2006 battery pack with 12 months warranty costs lower than the same battery with 36 months warranty.

Are Hybrids More Expensive to Fix?

Hybrid cars can be more expensive to fix because not many repair shops are willing to work on them. So, you may need to turn to dealerships for repairs, which can be more expensive.

However, routine maintenance for hybrid cars can be cheaper than regular cars. Plus, there’s less wear and tear on the motor because the gas engine stops working, and the electric motor takes over when the car is idle or running at low speeds.

How to Know If My Hybrid Battery Is Dying?

You’ll know it’s time to replace the hybrid battery when the car doesn’t start quickly after you turn the key. Another sign is a clicking sound when you turn the key. Check the battery for any signs of corrosion on the cables and connectors.

These are alarming signs, but a certified technician can help you decide if you need to replace the battery or it’s repairable.

When Should I Replace My Honda Insight Battery?

If your battery is more than ten years old or has over 150,000 miles on it, you may need to have it checked. Look for the following signs of battery failure:

  • You notice the mpg has reduced, which shows the car relies on the gas engine more than the electric motor. Or, the car itself shows signs that the gas engine is used more.
  • When the car isn’t in operation, it has a drop in battery charge.
  • You’ll notice unusual fluctuations in the state of charge (SOC) especially if you haven’t used the car much.

Do Hybrids Need Oil Changes?

Hybrid cars need oil changes but not as frequently as regular cars. That’s because the gas engine has less workload and it shares the work with the electric motor. Plus, the electric motor takes over when you drive the car at low speeds or when the car is idling.

Change the oil after 5,000-10,000 miles and go for an air filter change every 40,000 miles.

Are Honda Hybrids Good?

Honda hybrids are among the most popular hybrid cars on the market. They’re prized for their efficiency, reliability, and safety, in addition to the comfort they offer. 

Honda Insight ranks high among hybrid cars because of its user-friendly infotainments system and strong and reliable powertrain.

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What Are the Disadvantages of a Hybrid Car?

The biggest disadvantage of hybrid cars is probably the lower power they offer. That’s because of the smaller gas engine and lower power production of the electric motor, compared to regular cars. 

This lower power doesn’t make them less expensive. On the contrary, they’re more expensive than regular cars due to their complex systems.

Plus, some hybrid cars are heavier than regular cars because they run on two engines. They need a battery pack, a regenerative braking system, and an associated cooling system, making things much heavier than a regular car. 

Read more: Popular Luxury Honda SUVs

What Are the Most Popular Hybrid Brands?

The most popular hybrid brands are Honda, Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, and Lexus. According to Forbes, Honda Accord, Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, and Hyundai Sonata are among the highest-ranking hybrids. Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Honda Clarity are other popular hybrids.

Are Hybrid Cars Good for Road Trips?

You can certainly drive your hybrid car on a road since they’re safe, reliable, and efficient. However, they’re more efficient inside the city, according to their EPA ratings. 

For example, a Honda Insight’s mpg for city ride is 55 and 49 for the highway. The efficiency in highways lowers because you don’t use the regenerative braking system as often. Still, a hybrid car is more efficient than a regular car, even on the road.

Are Hybrid Engines Reliable?

According to data gathered from consumers, hybrid cars are highly reliable. Although hybrid cars have more complicated engines, they’re less prone to wear and tear

For example, most of them feature a CVT transmission that doesn’t have a clutch. The electric motor also has fewer moving parts and helps the gas engine in most situations.

Final Thoughts

Honda Insight is one of the most reliable and popular hybrid cars on the market, thanks to its IMA system. Hopefully, this article has answered your questions regarding hybrid cars and the Honda Insight to help you make an informed decision in choosing your next car.