Honda has a hit seller on its hand with the Insight.  With a sub $20,000 price point and strong fuel economy, sales have exceeded expectations.  But how does the Insight stack up to its competitors?

Now that the Insight has taken to the streets, many reviews are in.  Some are negative and some are positive, but many draw the same conclusions.  The Insight, overall, belies it's low price in terms of interior material quality and lack of overall refinement. 

The leading consumer magazine, Consumer Reports posted their first look results which will soon be followed by a complete test drive and review.  Quoting this magazine is not allowed, but summing up their findings is fair game.  Consumer Reports is widely regarded as non-biased and simply presents the findings the way it is.

During the course of their brief drive, they were able to achieve a respectable 38 mpg; a great number for a gasoline engine car, a measly number for a dedicated hybrid model.  For comparison, the Civic Hybrid returns 37 mpg and the outgoing Toyota Prius easily obtains 44 mpg.

Further hampering the review of this car is the tepid acceleration.  The engine responses are sluggish and the vehicle lacks off the line punch. 

One the plus side, the interior features a good driving position, supportive seats and easy access to the front of the vehicle.  However, access to the rear is difficult and the interior is a bit cramped.

The real negative in the review relates to the overall refinement of the vehicle, citing a stiff, choppy ride, lack of agility, and strong road noise as major drawbacks of the vehicle.  And always a sticking point for Consumer Reports is the lack of stability control on low levels models as that option is unavailable on the base LX version.

The verdict is not in yet, but Honda has to be at least a little concerned about a few early reviewers pointing out several negative aspects about their Insight.  We will post more reviews as they become available.

Source:  Consumer Reports July 2009