Consumer Reports: Honda Insight Disappoints


I can’t remember Consumer Reports ever not liking a Honda.

In a recent press release, though, the popular consumer magazine thrashes the new hybrid Insight, saying,

The Insight is the most disappointing Honda Consumer Reports has tested in a long time. The Insight is a noisy, stiff-riding car with clumsy handling that is nothing like the Fit on which it is based.

Ouch. They go on in the lengthy press release, but I’ll spare Honda more embarrassment here. Not from Jeremy Clarkson, though, who was even more blunt when he said,

It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more.

Ouch again. He didn’t even trash the Chrysler Sebring that badly.

Considering Honda wanted to challenge Toyota’s Prius and take a piece of its monster market share in the hybrid market, these kinds of reviews are killers. Consumer Reports didn’t even give their coveted “Recommended” designation to the Insight, which was beaten badly by the VW Jetta, Chevy HHR, Pontiac Vibe, and Hyundai Elantra Touring. In fact, the Honda ranked 21st out of 22 wagons and hatchbacks.

Number 22 was the Dodge Caliber, but heck, the Tato Nano could beat that automotive disgrace, so it doesn’t mean much that Honda barely did.

To be fair, a Honda spokesman responded to CR’s wrath by telling Edmunds InsideLine,

Feedback from customers and automotive media regarding the all-new 2010 Honda Insight has been very positive. In fact, the Insight has won several hybrid comparison tests completed independently by automotive media outlets including Car and Driver, and Motor Trend.

Whatever, dude. Looks like your car sucks…. Don’t defend it, go build a new one. You’re Honda, and Honda doesn’t screw up. You’d better not start making mistakes now.

Does Consumer Reports influence your car-buying decisions? Would you consider an Insight after this?



  1. Sorry, CR, I’m going forward with my purchase of the Insight anyway. I have no problem in giving up a luxury ride to gain 20 miles more per gallon over my existing ride. Unless you believe gas prices will remain at less than $2.50/gallon over the next ten years. The sweetener will be the $4500 I receive in govenmint moula when I trade in my 93 Villager! Moreover, I’m betting the Insight will have better value five years from now than the other cars tested against. We’ll have to wait and see but it is a gamble I am willing to take. Incidentally, got the EX version at $20,508 including destination.

  2. The new Honda Insight is the first hybrid in history to take the top monthly sales position among all automobiles in Japan. Considering the Japanese are arguably the most discerning automotive customers in the world, the Insight must be a darn good car. It sounds like Consumer Reports had an axe to grind this time and didn’t display their usual unbiased nature. Very sad for Consumer Reports. They obviously don’t know a winner when the drive it.

  3. Ahh! This is dissapointing. I was researching the Insight because I’m interested in buying one… at least, I WAS interested! I don’t even think I’ll take a test drive after reading this. I guess I’ll look at a Prius and see if I can afford it.

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