Honda Insight vs Honda Accord: How Do They Compare?

Honda Insight vs Honda Accord

Where the Accord has nurtured a stellar reputation going back decades, the Insight started its life some 20-plus years ago as a small, unconventionally designed, aerodynamic two-seat hybrid – the first hybrid, in fact, to have entered the U.S. market.

Well, I thought that perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the current-generation Insight. Is it that much different than the Accord? I tested both vehicles to find out.

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Honda Insight vs. Honda Accord Comparison

SpecificationsHonda InsightHonda Accord
Length / Width / Height
183.6 / 71.6 / 55.6 in.
196.1 / 73.3 / 57.1 in.
Passenger Space
97.6 / 94.7 cu. ft.
105.6 / 102.7 cu. ft.
Legroom (front / rear)
42.3 / 37.4 in.
42.3 / 40.4 in.
Available Performance
Hybrid 1.5 liter I-4
Turbocharged 1.5 liter I-4
Hybrid 2 liter I-4
Turbocharged 2 liter I-4
Total Horsepower
151 HP
192 / 212 / 252 HP
Fuel Economy
City / Highway
55 / 49 (Highest)
51 / 45 (Lowest)
48 / 47 (Highest)
22 / 32 (Lowest)

Tale of the Tape

Honda-Accord-Tale-of-the-TapeThe Accord is indisputably the larger of the two vehicles in each of the three dimensions, length, width and height. In fact, the EPA places the Accord in its 'Large Car' segment, though it just barely meets the criteria. Generally, it is considered a midsize vehicle, as is the Insight.

Other than the rear seat legroom being a bit of a squeeze in the Insight, I think that both sedans offer a comfortable amount of interior roominess and sizable trunk space. Clearly, though, the Accord with 8 cubic feet more passenger volume feels more spacious even though the Insight offers the same front-seat legroom and nearly the same headroom. If anything, buyers should note that both models lose about two inches of front-seat headroom when equipped with a moonroof.

The Takeaway: If roominess is at the top of one’s list of vehicle attributes, the Accord has the overall advantage in this comparison, otherwise look elsewhere for more significant differentiations.

Cabin Quality & Design

Honda-Accord-Cabin-Quality-and-DesignAlthough the Accord’s interior feels a tad more posh than the Insight’s, they share a similarity of design in some areas, most notably the instrument cluster and the push-button shifter on the console. More importantly for the Accord, the range of feature choices far outstrips that of the Insight. It shouldn’t be surprising, though, since there are seven trim levels for the Accord, while the Insight offers merely two.

To be fair, Honda isn’t necessarily stingy with the Insight. Its Touring trim is handsomely equipped, just not to the extent of the Accord Touring. Top-shelf amenities such as wireless phone charging and heated rear seats are absent in the Insight. Both vehicles provide Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, but the upper trims of the Accord do it wirelessly.

Even if one compares just the hybrid trims (Insight EX and Touring to Accord Hybrid, Hybrid Sport, Hybrid EX-L, and Hybrid Touring), the differences are nearly as stark. Interestingly, however, the entry-level Insight EX provides a better standard audio package than the base Accord Hybrid (180-watt, 8-speaker vs. 160-watt, 4-speaker), yet the MSRP for the EX is $1,460 less.

The Takeaway: Dollar for dollar, the nicely-equipped interior of the base Insight EX presents a strong challenge to the lower Accord trims. Unfortunately constrained by just two trims, the Insight ultimately falls short of the well-appointed (and pricier) top-of-the-line Accord Touring.

Current Honda Insight Deals & Incentives

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Current Honda Accord Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Honda deals and average prices paid.

Performance & Powertrains

Honda-Insight-Performance-&-PowertrainsIf there is one area of comparison that definitively differentiates the Insight and Accord it’s what’s under the hood. Besides the Insight being strictly a hybrid while the Accord offers both hybrid and turbocharged powertrains, the two vehicles deliver substantially different performance.

The Insight pairs a 1.5-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor to achieve a net output of 151 horsepower. The Accord hybrid trims utilize a more robust combination of a 2-liter gasoline engine and a stronger electric motor to produce a net 212 horsepower.

Granted the bigger engine block will use more gasoline, but the Insight’s hybrid efficiency advantage is much more noticeable in city driving than on the highway.

Across the Accord lineup, performance outdoes the Insight. Even the base Accord LX musters more horsepower thanks to the turbo-boosted 1.5-liter engine. Strictly on a horsepower basis, the Insight is more akin to the Civic LX than the Accord LX.

The Takeaway: A head to head comparison of the two model’s hybrid systems reveals the Insight to be more fuel efficient, while the Accord produces more power. Overall, the Insight is a better performance choice for city drivers, but for those doing a lot of highway driving, the best combination of power and efficiency lies in the Accord Hybrid.

Safety Equipment & Scores

Honda-Insight-Safety-Equipment-and-ScoresAt a glance, the Insight and Accord match up nearly even in the safety category. Both models have earned 2021 IIHS Top Safety Pick designations which should carry over into the 2022 model year, and both are equipped with some of the most sought-after advanced safety technologies such as forward collision warning, collision mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.

However, it’s particularly surprising that blind-spot monitoring comes only in the Accord’s higher trims, whereas it is standard in the Insight. Conversely, the Accord offers features such as an all-position seat belt reminder while the Insight has seat belt reminders for front passengers only.

Other safety-feature advantages found in the Accord but not the Insight include front knee airbags and an available Head-Up Display (Touring trim).

The Takeaway: For the most part, the Insight and the Accord score extremely well for collision safety and available advanced safety technologies. Oddly, Honda has chosen to limit the availability of blind spot monitoring in the Accord.

So Which Is Better - the Honda Insight or the Honda Accord?

If you’re looking for fuel efficiency, the Insight might serve you better, particularly if most of your driving involves short local trips.

However, either the Insight or the Accord hybrid models do quite well at fuel sipping in highway driving. In terms of overall feature availability and performance, the Accord gets the nod, but you may have to pay a higher price for it. I think both vehicles are a great option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are there more trims for the Honda Accord than for the Honda Insight?

Primarily, the Accord is offered in both gasoline/electric hybrid and gasoline-only models. Beyond that distinction, there are sales factors that determine how many trims an automaker will offer. The Accord by far leads the Insight in sales.

What does the Insight compete against?

Besides the sibling rivalry with the lower-priced Accord trims, the most notable competitor at its $25K to $30K price point is the Toyota Prius, but others include the Elantra Hybrid and the Ioniq from Hyundai, as well as the Corolla and Camry Hybrids from Toyota.

Is the Accord more powerful than the Insight?

Basically, yes. Both turbocharged and hybrid powertrains of the Accord provide more horsepower and torque than the hybrid system of the Insight. For the best combination of power and efficiency, the Accord Hybrid stands out.

Which is bigger, the Honda Accord or Insight?

The Accord is indisputably the larger of the two vehicles in each of the three dimensions, length, width, and height.