2021 Honda Insight vs. 2020 Lexus ES Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Insight deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Insight’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The ES Series’ airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Both the Insight and the ES Series 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Honda Insight is safer than the Lexus ES Series:

Insight

ES Series

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

17%

24%

Neck Stress

139 lbs.

239 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

147/283 lbs.

524/628 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

197

319

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.8 inches

Neck Injury Risk

26%

33%

Neck Stress

111 lbs.

159 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

159/44 lbs.

473/518 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

There are over 4 times as many Honda dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Insight’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The battery on the Insight is under the floor, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Insight’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The ES Series’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Insight is faster than the ES 300h:

Insight

ES Series

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

On the EPA test cycle the Insight gets better fuel mileage than the ES Series:

MPG

Insight

1.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

55 city/49 hwy

Touring 1.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

51 city/45 hwy

ES Series

300h 2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/44 hwy

350 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/32 hwy

350 F Sport 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/31 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Honda Insight higher (7 out of 10) than the Lexus ES Series (5 to 7). This means the Insight produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the ES Series every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Insight stops much shorter than the ES Series:

Insight

ES Series

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

140 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The Insight’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The ES Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Insight EX handles at .87 G’s, while the ES 300h pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Insight Touring executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the ES 300h (27 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Insight’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the ES Series’ (35.7 feet vs. 38 feet). The Insight’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the ES Series w/18-19” wheels’ (35.7 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Honda Insight may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 pounds less than the Lexus ES Series.

The Insight is 1 foot shorter than the ES Series, making the Insight easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Insight has 1.8 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the ES Series.

Cargo Capacity

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The Insight’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The ES Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics

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Consumer Reports rated the Insight’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the ES Series’ headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

Insurance will cost less for the Insight owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Insight will cost $920 to $5105 less than the ES Series over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Insight will be $13866 to $14477 less than for the Lexus ES Series.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Honda Insight and the Lexus ES Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2019 issue and they ranked the Honda Insight Touring higher than the Lexus ES 300h.

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

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