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2021 Toyota Prius vs 2021 Honda Insight

  • 2021 Toyota Prius

    A dark gray 2021 Toyota Prius is angled left.

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    2021 Honda Insight

    A dark gray 2021 Honda Insight is angled right.

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    121Max Horsepower (hp)151
    105Base Torque (lb-ft)99
    58 / 53Fuel Economy (city/hwy mpg)55 / 49

    In the arena of hybrids, both Toyota and Honda have been pushing forward to raise the bar when it comes to affordable sedans with quality comfort features and unmatched fuel economy. Between the 2021 Toyota Prius vs 2021 Honda Insight, both offer respectable performance without breaking the budget. Both vehicles are well known for being dependable hybrids, being made available in multiple trims with great fuel economy across the board. Safety and comfort features also play a big part in what makes the Prius and Insight so popular on the market. However, while both vehicles have been able to manage positive reviews when it comes to critical consensus, as well as driver feedback, there are a few key areas where the 2021 Toyota Prius takes the lead. Not only does it offer better fuel economy than the Honda Insight, but the Toyota Prius also comes out ahead when it comes to interior amenities such as seating, connectivity, and infotainment. 

  • Fuel Economy

    A blue 2021 Toyota Prius is shown from the rear kicking up snow after winning the 2021 Toyota Prius vs 2021 Honda Insight comparison.Some vehicles are known for their performance, some vehicles are known for their towing capabilities, and some vehicles are known for their gas mileage. It is the last of those categories where you will find both the 2021 Honda Insight and the 2021 Toyota Prius. While these two hybrids offer some springy performance, it's their fuel economy that really stands out and makes them excellent choices for the budget-conscious and environmentally-friendly driver.

    Fuel Economy Ratings

    The lowest fuel economy rating for any trim of the 2021 Honda Insight is the Touring, which still clocks in at 51 MPG in the city and 45 MPG on the highway. Both the LX and EX trims offer even better fuel economy, boasting 55 MPG in the city and up to 49 MPG on the highway. These ratings easily make the 2021 Honda Insight one of the better hybrids out there and a solid option for a commuter vehicle. However, even the Honda Insight comes up short compared to the 2021 Toyota Prius.

    The LE, XLE, and Limited trims of the Prius all manage a solid 54 MPG in the city and 50 MPG on the highway, giving you the same efficiency as the Insight with more features. However, if you want the ultimate in hybrid fuel economy, opt for the L Eco trim of the 2021 Prius. That version of this iconic car manages an incredible 58 MPG in the city and 53 MPG on the highway. The Eco is capable of managing such high gas mileage thanks to a combination of features, including small aerodynamic improvements that help reduce wind resistance, weight reduction efforts to reduce vehicle mass, and low rolling resistance tires to cut down on friction. All of these features together make it possible for the Prius L Eco trim to achieve such efficient mileage.

    Prius Performance Benefits

    The advantages of the 2021 Prius over the 2021 Insight are not limited to raw fuel economy alone - the Prius still has some tricks up its sleeve. Both the Insight and Prius are also capable of maintaining great fuel economy thanks to being hybrids. Both sedans are parallel hybrids, meaning that they can run without the batteries, but the batteries help increase gas mileage and reduce the overall work on the gasoline-based engine. Both vehicles also use a combination of four-cylinder engines, AC synchronous permanent-magnet electric motors, and electronic continuously variable transmission.

    However, despite the similarities, there are some differences. The large of these is that the Honda Insight is only offered in front-wheel drive. The Toyota Prius, on the other hand, is available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Yes, that's right - the Prius has an all-wheel drive for superior safety and bad weather performance. While it still isn't a car that you would want to take off-roading, this option gives it a major advantage over the Insight for drivers who live in more inhospitable climates.

  • Technology

    A close up shows the Prius emblem on a red 2021 Toyota Prius.The technology that powers both vehicles extends beyond the electric motors that work in tandem with the gasoline engines. Both the Insight and Prius are also chock full of various features and amenities that help with the driving experience and comfort.

    Insight Features

    The 2021 Honda Insight comes equipped with an automatic climate control system, power door locks with power windows, cruise control, telescopic steering, one-touch turn indicators, and push-button start. The Insight Touring trim comes standard with the HomeLink Remote System, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an automatic dimming rear-view mirror. You also have the extra convenience features in the form of heated front seats, driver-side 8-way power adjusting seating, and a 4-way power-adjustable seating for the front passenger side.

    On the connectivity and infotainment front, the Insight features up to a 10-speaker sound system, up to an 8-inch touchscreen display with customizable settings, HondaLink smartphone integration via Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, along with SiriusXM Radio and HD Radio, as well as two USB ports for the upper trims. However, the LX trim comes with only a 5-inch screen and lacks both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - glaring oversights in a modern vehicle.

    Prius Features

    The 2021 Toyota Prius matches many of the Insight's features and also tops them, including a smart-flow climate control system with pollen filtration. You can also modify, monitor, and view records and diaries of the Prius' ECO hybrid system via a 4.2-inch dual multi-information display touchscreen with customizable utilities and apps. Additionally, a standard 7-inch or optional 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is present, along with Amazon Alexa compatibility, two USB charging ports, a USB media port, hands-free voice-activated controls, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a 3-month subscription, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

    Upper trims of the Prius also come with SofTex-trimmed heated front seats with an extended seatback, an 8-way power-adjustable driver seat, and a 4-way power front passenger seat, ensuring both the passenger and driver have maximum amounts of comfort to indulge in while driving. Telescopic steering with Bluetooth hands-free phone and infotainment controls is available, along with illuminated smart key entry and push-button start.

    Power windows, power door locks, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror match the Insight's offerings, but the Prius steps it up with available Qi-compatible wireless smart device charging with a charge-light indicator. The comfort and technology features are topped off with an extendable dual sun visor with illuminated vanity mirrors. Comparing the features of the 2021 Toyota Prius vs 2021 Honda Insight reveals that the Prius comes out ahead across the board - particularly with its far more robust standard infotainment system and its optional massive 11.6-inch touchscreen display.

  • Safety

    A close up shows the illuminated blind spot monitoring icon on a 2021 Toyota Prius.When it comes to choosing an economical sedan for the daily commute, one of the most important features is how safe it is. Both the 2021 Toyota Prius and 2021 Honda Insight score remarkably well when it comes to safety. However, it is the Prius that comes out on top.

    Honda Active Safety

    The Insight comes equipped with the popular Honda Sensing safety technology suite, which consists of a number of driver-assistance aids and alert systems. The Honda Sensing package is standard on all trims and includes forward collision warnings, collision mitigation braking, and a road departure mitigation system. The first two systems will alert you to an impending forward collision and then automatically apply the brakes to mitigate or even avoid the accident. Lane keeping assistance helps maintain a vehicle's stability within the lane, while the lane departure warning system alerts drivers when the Honda sensors detect lane-drifting.

    The Honda Sensing suite also includes adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow and automatic high-beam headlights. To help with reversing safely, multi-angle rear-view cameras come standard on all trims, along with vehicle stability assist with traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, brake assistance, and tire pressure monitoring. This is in addition to six airbags, 3-point seat belts with automatic tensioning, child-proof rear door locks, and the lower anchors and tethers for children known as the LATCH.

    Toyota Active Safety

    The 2021 Toyota Prius features more than seven airbag locations. These include the front driver and passenger-side advanced airbag systems, passenger seat cushion airbags, driver-side knee airbags, rear airbags, and front and rear curtain shield airbags. The LATCH system is also present on all trims for the outboard rear seats too.

    Opposed to the Honda Sensing suite is the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 for the Prius. This includes a pre-collision warning and prevention system, pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with automatic steering assistance, lane tracing assistance to help maintain lane stability, and even road sign assistance.

    The Safety Connect technology also includes emergency assistance, stolen vehicle locator, roadside assistance, and automatic collision notification. The Star Safety System also further enhances the Prius' safety features while on the road, with vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assistance, and smart stop technology to help bring the vehicle to a halt more quickly.

    However, the Prius takes things to the next level in safety with the intelligence clearance sonar that detects possible collisions at low-end speeds when backing in or attempting to park in close-proximity areas. The Prius also offers the option of a Head Up Display that will project critical information such as speed onto the windshield, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road at all times.

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