Honda versus Toyota. A feud that I know will never end. However, the competition has become fierce when hybrids get in the mix.
I want to take a look at the Insight and the Prius in the base options to see which one is better. To give a fair comparison to each of the two vehicles, we will need to cover a few things.
Cost: Prius Vs. Insight
The cost can play the ultimate factor in choosing which ride is best for you. Cost needs to be looked at the right way to make sure that you can afford either option.
Toyota Prius 2020 base price starting at $24,200 will get you into the L eco. The Prius also has six trim options as well, ranging from the L Eco, LE, XLE, Limited, LE Awd-e, and XLE Awd-e and giving the consumer far more options when it comes to trim levels and pricing options.
Honda Insight starts at $22,930. While this is $1,270 less than the Prius, there are only three trim options available. While that may not seem that bad, the jumps in between the Honda options are much steeper than the Toyota ones.
Check the details for yourself on Honda and Toyota's websites to see all trim levels and prices. I am not marking either one here a winner just because when it comes to pricing, you have to figure out what is in your budget.
Fuel Economy: The Miles Per Gallon Do Not Lie
I feel the fuel economy segment is the strongest selling point of either car. If you win in this segment, I think that the winner stands the best chance of selling more vehicles. That said, let us take a look and see who takes the cake in this round.
Toyota Prius L Eco comes in swinging hard with an astounding 58 miles per gallon, in-town driving. Fifty-three miles per gallon if you are driving the highway. This best in class fuel economy is what helped make Prius a winning combination over 20 years ago when it came in as a four-seater sedan with incredible fuel economy.
Honda Insight, though, is nipping at the heals. Fifty-five miles per gallon in the city and 49 highway, Insight is a force to be reckoned. Honda, in my opinion, has been probably the only real competitor to the Prius in terms of fuel economy. Now that the Insight as returned in its 3rd generation, Honda has stepped up their game pretty hard.
In the realm of fuel economy, Toyota is still coming in as a supreme leader. The Honda looks promising, but the numbers do not lie.
Standard Features: Items On Everyone's Wish List
We are all creatures of comfort and convenience. If you say you are not here is a tip, quit lying to yourself. The car we choose has to sell on the options that come with it. One reason that power windows and locks have become standard over the years, as well as air conditioning, are due to consumer demands.
When it comes down to it, the more features that car companies can jam into our cars, the more likely we are to drool over options. While I could get real nit-picky over every little detail, I will not go there. However, I will go over what I find is essential to me and which car has it.
Toyota Prius L Eco comes standard with the following base options that have me looking at the Prius as my first option. As silly as this may seem, Apple Car Play is a feature that I must have now when choosing a car. This not all, though. Amazon Alexa, color heads up display, and 3 USB ports. All of these are in my book necessary.
The thing is I cannot judge this car on its features alone. I have to look at where Honda shines to make a fair judgment. Remember, we are looking at base models here, so while Honda does not have Apple Car Play on the LX, other higher trim options do.
The Honda does, however, have some better points over Prius that I would like to point out. The higher horsepower, larger cubic foot room, and available remote start are all included. These features have me second-guessing my next new car option.
All these things must be considered, of course, when making a huge decision. That is why on the Honda website, there is a spot where you can compare the Insight to the Prius. It literally says see how Insight beats Prius. I found that pretty interesting considering they never once mentioned other features than what I listed.
Insight only has Prius beat on a few fronts, and that is what they are selling. Take a look for yourself on the website.
I have owned many Honda and Toyota hybrids but have yet to own two new ones. I think that Toyota still has the upper hand in my opinion and that Honda is desperately grasping on to anything they can to show they can compete with Prius.
My personal feeling is that I am more of a Prius person, but I am biased towards the brand for many reasons. I have liked the Honda hybrids that I have owned, but never really loved them. I think that you have more options with Toyota Prius and a broader range to choose from, wherewith Honda, you get three options with giant price hikes.
Toyota also has plug-in Prius, and Honda has the Clarity, which is not on the same platform as Insight. Prius keeps it all in the family. One last thing, Toyota Prius has available AWD-e, and Honda does not. Knowing this is the nail in the coffin for me on a more personal note, just because of the safety and versatility factor AWD-e offers.
Thank you for reading. See you in the next story Three ways the Honda Insight copied the Toyota Prius and Corolla Hybrid.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting