2021 Honda Insight vs. 2020 Volvo S60

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the Insight and the S60 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.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Insight its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The S60 is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2020.

Warranty

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Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Insight 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the S60. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the S60 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Insight’s reliability 47 points higher than the S60.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in reliability. With 58 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 12 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Insight gets better fuel mileage than the S60 running its gasoline engine:

MPG

Insight

FWD

1.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

55 city/49 hwy

Touring 1.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

51 city/45 hwy

S60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

28 city/33 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Insight uses regular unleaded gasoline. The S60 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 Volvo S60 (5 to 7). This means the Insight produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the S60 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Insight has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The S60 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the Insight uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the S60, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

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 S60 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the Insight’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the S60’s (35.7 feet vs. 37.1 feet).

Chassis

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The Honda Insight may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 1350 pounds less than the Volvo S60.

The Insight is 3.8 inches shorter than the S60, making the Insight easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Insight uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The S60 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Insight a Mid-size car, while the S60 is rated a Compact.

The Insight has 1.9 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the S60.

Cargo Capacity

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The Insight has a much larger trunk than the S60 (15.1 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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Consumer Reports rated the Insight’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the S60’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Insight has standard extendable sun visors. The S60 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

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The Insight will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Insight will retain 38.77% to 39.07% of its original price after five years, while the S60 only retains -498.28% to 42%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Insight will be $13740 to $23589 less than for the Volvo S60.

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 2020/08/11

Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda Insight, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volvo S60 isn't recommended.

The Honda Insight outsold the Volvo 60 Series by 17% during 2019.

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