If you think the Insight’s exterior style and dimensions closely resemble the Prius’s, you won’t be surprised to find that the Honda also matches the Toyota for interior space. The Insight, for example, has the same 408-litre luggage capacity and a similar-shaped boot. The rear seats can take three adults at a pinch (headroom is at a slight premium because of the sloping roof, and it’s also a tad narrow for three grown-ups), and the front is roomy.
Spaciousness aside, the Insight and Prius could scarcely be further removed. The Toyota feels totally unlike a conventional car, but Honda has gone out of its way to make drivers accustomed to regular hatchbacks feel immediately at home in the Insight.
Front seat occupants sit in a conventional, low-slung position, far back in the cabin, in a way that’s straight out of the Civic rulebook. The seats – supportive, well sculpted and comfortable – feel all but identical, too, as does the small, intricate steering wheel. There’s even a conventional, mechanical auto-style gear selector to control the CVT gearbox and a conventional key and start button. Although the Insight has the ability to run without its engine, it needs to be fired initially.
The Insight’s fascia has a similar layout to that of the Civic although it’s slightly more softly sculpted. You look through the steering wheel at the lower of two display consoles for the temperature and fuel gauges, revcounter and trip meter, and above it for the digital speedo, backed by the blue-to-green hue of an econometer.
But despite the pleasing and almost futuristic styling, the interior’s perceived quality is adequate rather than premium, even after its recent revisions.