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2012 Honda Insight: What's New

Reduced friction in the engine and transmission in addition to improved aerodynamics boost gas mileage by 1 mpg over the 2011 model. The 2012 is rated at 41/44/42 mpg city/highway/combined. The combined rating is only 2 mpg less than the substantially more expensive 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid.

The Insight will also be quieter with the addition of thicker sound-deadening material. We thought the Insight had admirable noise dampening compared with other compacts, but not against the midsize Prius. A thinner rear spoiler and a more compactly mounted rear wiper motor improve rearward visibility.

In the cabin, a redesigned rear headliner shape adds more headroom for backseat passengers. The rear seat has been redesigned to improve comfort. There’s a new gauge cluster and larger front-passenger cupholders for large drinks. The armrest (when equipped) has been redesigned for improved support.

In terms of features, the LX trim now gets map lights, steering-wheel-mounted controls and a more premium fabric upholstery. The EX gets Bluetooth connectivity, automatic headlights and a new synthetic leather and premium fabric upholstery. The EX with navigation now has a rearview camera and a 16-gigabyte flash card system to improve routing and FM traffic updates.

All of these updates are small potatoes, but with its 2012 introductory price of $18,350 (up just $150 from 2011) the entry Insight costs $5,170 less than an entry retail-available 2011 Prius, which is likely to see a price increase when Toyota announces pricing for the 2012 model year. Even a loaded EX Insight with navigation is just about as expensive as an entry-level 2011 Prius. With improved gas mileage, the Insight’s value proposition just got a little more enticing.

Continue reading below for more pricing details:

2012 Insight pricing (2011 pricing)

  • Insight: $18,350 ($18,200)
  • Insight LX: $20,125 ($19,900)
  • Insight EX: $21,815 ($21,490)
  • Insight EX with Navigation: $23,540 ($23,265)
  • Destination: $770 (same)
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