2012 Honda Insight Review

Hybrid cars have slowly been creeping upon us and we are at a point where we must either embrace them or run out of options. Without question, the future belongs to hybrids and electric cars so the sooner we accept them, the better for us. The Honda Insight is one such hybrid that has slowly been gaining traction in the Kenyan market. Its closest competitor is the Toyota Prius which is arguably the first hybrid to strut this market.

You can get more about this Honda Insight

Detailed Review

The Honda Insight is a hybrid car that has been in production for three generation since 1999. The first generation known as the ZE1 was in production from 1999 to 2006, the second generation known as the ZE2 was in production from 2009 to 2014 and the third generation has been in production from 2019 to Present.

The 2012 Honda Insight comes with two engine options, these are the 1.3 Litre i-VTEC + IMA(Integrated Motor Assist) engine and the 1.5 Litre i-VTEC + IMA engine. These are linked to either a Multimatic S CVT transmission or a 7-speed Multimatic S CVT transmission and available only in 2WD.

2012 Honda Insight Grades

  1. Honda Insight G – This is the base grade that comes with the 1.3L engine, 15-Inch steel rims, key entry + start, clothe seats, CD/Radio player and halogen headlights.
  2. Honda Insight L – This is an intermediate grade that comes with the 1.3L engine, 15-Inch steel rims, smart key, clothe seats, DVD Player, xenon headlights, rear camera and auto tailgate.
  3. Honda Insight Exclusive XG – This grade comes with the 1.5L engine, 15-Inch steel rims, key entry + start, clothe seats, CD/Radio player and halogen headlights.
  4. Honda Insight Exclusive XL – This is a luxury grade that comes with the 1.5L engine, 16-Inch alloy rims, smart key, vinyl seats, DVD player xenon headlights, paddle shifts, rear camera and auto tailgate.
  5. Honda Insight Exclusive XL Inter Navi Select – This is a luxury grade that comes with the 1.5L engine, 16-Inch alloy rims, smart key, vinyl + clothe seats, DVD/Navigation system, xenon headlights, paddle shifts, rear camera and auto tailgate.

Legroom & Space
Being an economy car, the interior is minimalist and everything is functional and deliberate. The legroom at the first row is fairly good and can comfortably accommodate tall people. At the second row, the legroom is decent thanks to the flat floor.

Cabin Storage
There are several storage compartments in the cabin that are useful for storing items such as smartphones, beverages, goggles, handbags etc. At the first row there are 4 cup-holders, door panel storage, a glovebox and a center-box. For the second row, there’s storage on the front seat jacket pockets and door pockets.

2012 Honda Insight Boot Space
Being a hatchback, the boot space is surprisingly big and can actually carry a decent amount of luggage. When extra space is required, the rear seats can be folded to free up 508L of space.

Other Extras: Paddle shifts, USB Charging Port, Reverse Camera, Alloy Rims, ECO Assist.

Safety Features: SRS Airbags, Curtain airbags, ABS, VSA, Front Active Headrests, TRC

The exterior of the Honda Insight is remarkably similar to that of the Toyota Prius. The lower grades come with steel rims with plastic covers while higher grades come with multi-spoke alloy rims that really look good.

2012 Honda Insight Fuel Consumption
2012 Honda Insight 1.3L fuel consumption: 31.0 km/L
2012 Honda Insight 1.5L fuel consumption: 26.5 km/L

2012 Honda Insight Acceleration
2012 Honda Insight 1.3L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 11.5 sec.
2012 Honda Insight 1.5L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 9.8 sec.

2012 Honda Insight Fuel Tank Capacity: 40 Litres

2012 Honda Insight Ground Clearance
The 2012 Honda Insight has a ground clearance of 5.7 Inches(145mm) which is below the minimum recommended clearance of 6.5 Inches for Kenyan roads. It may be necessary to modify the ground clearance to adjust the car to Kenyan roads. Read our guidelines here on how to safely increase a vehicle’s ground clearance.

2012 Honda Insight Stability and Handling
The one thing we found unnerving with this hybrid is the shudder that jolts the car when the engine restarts from a standstill. This process is not as smooth as we would have expected and first time drivers will find it unnerving. Once you get used to it however, the rest is pretty much okay. Around corners, it feels normal and there’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Service Intervals
Minor Service: At 10,000 km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, and Engine Oil
Major Service: At 15,000km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, ATF Filter, Cabin Filter, Plugs, Brake Pads, ATF Oil, and Engine Oil

Spare Parts Availability, Cost & Where to buy
Service parts for the Honda Insight are generally affordable and available in Kenya. Body parts are slightly expensive and not easy to find. The batteries are very expensive and not available in Kenya, they cost upwards of Ksh. 300,000 to import.

2012 Honda Insight Reliability
The driving conditions in Kenya are significantly different from those in Japan and Europe. Reliability reviews done for those markets largely do not apply to the Kenyan market. There are differences in roads, fuel, climate, spares, and technical expertise. To give you accurate and reliable local insights, we interview experts such as mechanics and car dealers, who have in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan market. We also test the cars ourselves. Our aim is to give you the right information to enable you make an informed decision when buying a car.

Hybrid cars use a combination of electric and petrol motors to propel them. For the most part, the Honda Insight system works fine and is reliable. However, the batteries that power the electric motor tend to decline over time and will need to be replaced at some point. This is usually around 150,000 to 200,000 miles. The return on investment for hybrid cars is best realized if the car is bought new or low mileage.

One might be tempted to ask whether the car will run if the hybrid batteries are dead. The answer is a resounding no. The same batteries are used to power basically everything else in the car including the starter. So, if that battery is dead, the car is as good as dead.If you own the Honda Insight or are planning to own one, it is vital that you read the Owner’s Manual. To download the 2012 Honda Insight Owner’s Manual, click here.

Resale Value: Average

Honda Insight Competitors: Toyota Prius

Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: from Ksh.800,000
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 32,000/ per annum- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/- per annum
Change of Tyres(If neccessary) Ksh. 20,000/- for 4 Tyres
See Latest Honda Insight Prices here

What we like about the 2012 Honda Insight
1. Exceptional fuel economy
2. Practical and functional

What we don’t
The batteries are very expensive to replace

The are few hybrids currently in the market that can match the credentials of the Honda Insight. It’s at par with the best economy hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and offers a good return on investment if you buy it at the right mileage.

Where to Buy the 2012 Honda Insight in Kenya
If you are looking to either import or buy the Honda Insight locally, we can help you with this process. Over the years, we have developed a network of trusted dealers both in Kenya and Japan who supply us with exceptional cars. Simply call us or send us a message through our contacts below and we’ll get you the right car at the right price.

Get More With TopCar

If you have a question about this model or any other automotive questions, you can now get answers on our forum.

If you want to sell or trade-in you vehicle, you can list it for free via our seller portal.

If you wish to purchase this model local or abroad, you can do that via our marketplace.

Where To Buy?
You can import or buy local from our marketplace.
Budget In (KSH):
Price varies between sellers:

You can get more about this Honda Insight