2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid vs. 2019 Honda Insight

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Avalon Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Insight doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Avalon Hybrid Limited offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Insight doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Avalon Hybrid Limited offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Insight only offers a rear monitor.

To help make backing safer, the Avalon Hybrid’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Insight doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Avalon Hybrid and the Insight have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

The Toyota Avalon Hybrid weighs 560 to 728 pounds more than the Honda Insight. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Avalon Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Insight.

There are over 18 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Avalon Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Honda is ranked 15th.

Engine

The Avalon Hybrid’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 64 more horsepower (215 vs. 151) than the Insight’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Avalon Hybrid has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Insight (13.2 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Avalon Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Insight:

 

Avalon

Insight

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.06 inches

10.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Avalon Hybrid Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Insight (235/40R18 vs. 215/55R16).

The Avalon Hybrid Limited’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Insight Touring’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Avalon Hybrid XLE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Insight. The Avalon Hybrid Limited’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Insight Touring.

The Avalon Hybrid has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Insight; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The Avalon Hybrid has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Insight doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon Hybrid’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the Insight (113 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon Hybrid is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Insight.

Chassis

The front grille of the Avalon Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Insight doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Avalon Hybrid has 6.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Insight (103.8 vs. 97.6).

The Avalon Hybrid has 2.1 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 3 inches more rear legroom, 7.5 inches more rear hip room and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Insight.

Cargo Capacity

The Avalon Hybrid has a larger trunk than the Insight (16.1 vs. 15.1 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Avalon Hybrid’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Insight’s useful trunk space.

The Avalon Hybrid’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Insight’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Avalon Hybrid. The Insight doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The Avalon Hybrid uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Insight uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the Avalon Hybrid Limited, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The Insight doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Avalon Hybrid Limited’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Insight doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Avalon Hybrid and the Insight have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Avalon Hybrid is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Insight prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Avalon Hybrid’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Insight’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Avalon Hybrid Limited has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Insight doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Avalon Hybrid Limited also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the Avalon Hybrid Limited/Touring is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Insight’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Avalon Hybrid Limited has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Insight offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Avalon Hybrid has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Insight Touring. The Avalon Hybrid Limited also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Insight.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Avalon Hybrid Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Insight doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Avalon Hybrid Limited’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Insight doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Avalon Hybrid has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Insight Touring.

Both the Avalon Hybrid and the Insight offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Avalon Hybrid has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Insight doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Recommendations

The Toyota Avalon outsold the Honda Insight by almost three to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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