The Honda Insight is a hatchback with its spirit in the right place, but everything else about it has practically no spirit at all. Honda has finally seen to its lackluster hybrid by tweaking nearly everything about it. Its face has been given blue eyes courtesy of tinted headlight covers, and the grille and front spoiler benefit from a welcome sharpening. In back, a revised profile for the spoiler means improved visibility.

The Insight's sparse plastic interior is where TLC was most needed, and the loving comes via nicer seat fabric, "wood look paneling," and stitching that breaks up the synthetic expanses. There is also more room inside, and less noise.

Under the hood is the familiar 1.3-liter i-VTEC mated to an electric motor, but tweaks mean that it gets better gas mileage and now puts out just 96 grams of CO2 per kilometer when fitted with 15-inch wheels. You can find out all about the better, frugal-er Insight in the materials after the jump and the gallery of high-res photos.
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The refreshed Honda Insight is launched at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor show. The Insight is now even more environmentally friendly producing just 96 g/km* of CO2. The Insight also receives a new exterior design including a new front grille. The features within the interior have been improved for a superior perceived quality with two new interior colours to choose from. Rear visibility has been improved and rear passenger headroom has been adjusted. Revisions have been made to the engine and suspension for an overall improvement to ride comfort and stability. Two new exterior colours are available.

96 g/km* CO2 and improved Fuel Economy
The 2012 Insight will be available with either 15" or 16" wheels. In both cases the improvement on CO2 emissions is 5 g/km – which means that models with 15" wheels now boast CO2 emissions of only 96 g/km* and models with 16" wheels 100 g/km.

Fuel economy has been improved by means of improved aerodynamics and power train efficiency. Reduced engine friction and CVT efficiency together with improved air-conditioning benefiting from a new cold storage all contribute to a lower fuel consumption.

The exterior design receives updates that help to emphasise the Insight's smart image with efficient and aerodynamic styling. The new model year includes a refreshed grille and bumper design and also modifications to the headlights.

The rear has had a similar design treatment applied with a new tail spoiler which helps to improve rear visibility. Details of the license plate garnish have been changed as well as the tail lights, where the indicator surround is blue to highlight its hybrid identity.

New interior features confirm the improved quality and comfort of the 2012 Insight. These include a new seat fabric and black wood look panelling. The rear space has been redesigned to allow for improved head clearance of 10mm. This has been achieved by adjusting the angle of the rear seat and re-shaping the headlining so that it is curved at the edges.

N/V Improvement
Driver and passenger comfort has been increased by means of reducing the intrusion of engine and road noise from the suspension and tyres into the cabin. The front lower suspension arms are now made from aluminium, rather than steel and also a new tyre development has reduced the noise within the cabin.

Refinements to the rear design of the car which include a new slimmed tail spoiler allows for a wider rear glass area, an improved tail gate garnish and the wiper motor unit has been reduced in size meaning overall increased visibility at the rear.

Bespoke Hybrid Model
The Insight utilises the efficient, compact and proven 1.3 litre i-VTEC engine, combined with an electric motor. This engine and motor combination is shared with the new Jazz Hybrid and both models benefit from the ability to run on electric power alone under certain conditions.

The combination of an ultra-aerodynamic body and a parallel hybrid powertrain gives the Insight impressive environmental performance with low overall exhaust emissions, not just CO2 emissions of 96 g/km*. The Insight has been developed to offer excellent fuel economy and emissions all of the time, not just in official tests. The Eco Assist encourages and assists drivers in achieving good fuel economy every day with the coaching function and ECON button.

Recycling of Battery Packs
Importantly the Insight is manufactured in a plant where zero production waste ends up in landfill and a suite of energy saving techniques are used to reduce overall impact. At the end of the vehicle's life the Insight is designed to be highly recyclable and recoverable and the batteries can be easily recycled through any Honda dealer.

*Honda internal data

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      What's the deal? You could get it for under 20k. The MPG is great for the car that price in the market right now.
      • 3 Years Ago
      No, the Insight is not a Prius. It's cheaper to buy, and better to drive. Why is that supposed to be bad? Don't we like having choices in the marketplace? This car is rated 40/43 MPG and starts under $20K including freight. It has a good record of reliability. If Honda can make the interior quieter and stay close to the current pricing, then the 2012 model will be an even better buy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not a big fan of hybrids, but the interior of the Insight looks miles better than the Prius', and it looks like more of a driver's car altogether. Unfortunately, can't comment on if it actually is or not... Not bad at all, for what it is.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That sure looks nice.. It looks sporty, even though it's not...
      Daryl Farin
      • 3 Years Ago
      It should be noted, that though the plastic headlight cover looks like it is tinted, it is actually the chromed bits underneath the cover that are actually tinted blue.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've owned my 2012 Insight EX for two weeks...Love it!!! My mpg has been between 44.5 -51.9. I think it delivers what it says. Wasn't looking for a sports car or girl magnet...Just great gas milage a performance to keep the drive safe and fun. I'm loving it and think it is much better than the Prius.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just bought a 2012 Insight and I love it. It's a pity than the Prius overshadows it...I test drove a Prius but it was BORING...the Insight was much more responsive, and it much better, a hybrid for people who like to drive. Being a few thousand dollars cheaper sweetened the deal.
      • 3 Years Ago
      When I opened the picture of the interior I swear the smell of fresh cheap plastic was almost overwhelming.
        • 3 Years Ago
          • 3 Years Ago
          Good plastics should smell like nothing at all. Cheap plastics smell of VOCs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah, I am sure I'll be downrated into oblivion, but I actually like the way this looks. I think people forget when you compare the Insight to a Prius, that you are comparing a B segment vehicle to a C segment vehicle. The Insight has a B segment caliber interior, powertrain, and size while the Prius has all of the above but for a C segment vehicle. Of course there are going to be some shortcomings. When you compare actual TRANSACTION prices, the Insight is over $4,000 less than the Prius. Also, when you check ACTUAL fuel economy reportings, the Insight is doing pretty well according to Fuelly where most owners are beating the EPA figures. Just some things to point out....
        • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      This things still a turd. You can paint it and put all the blue tinted headlights on it that you want. It will ALWAYS be a previous generation Prius rip off. What's wrong with people buying this crap? Even people within this company think that this car is a joke. You all are falling into the trap!
        • 3 Years Ago
          • 3 Years Ago
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