2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2021 Honda Insight

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 2020/10/26

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S60 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Insight doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Insight doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the S60 and Insight have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Insight’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The S60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Insight doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Insight doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The S60 offers optional CTA Auto Brake 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 S60 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Insight doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The S60 offers an optional 360° Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Insight only offers a rear monitor.

Both the S60 and the Insight have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 and driver alert monitors.

The Volvo S60 weighs 579 to 1444 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

© 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 2020/10/26

The S60 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Insight’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The S60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Insight’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Insight.

Engine

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The S60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 99 more horsepower (250 vs. 151) than the Insight’s 1.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The S60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 165 more horsepower (316 vs. 151) than the Insight’s 1.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The S60 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 249 more horsepower (400 vs. 151) than the Insight’s 1.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volvo S60 is faster than the Honda Insight:

S60 T5

S60 T6

Insight

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

5.2 sec

7.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.2 sec

12.8 sec

23.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

13.8 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

103 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

131 MPH

114 MPH

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 2020/10/26

On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Insight:

MPGe

S60

AWD

Electric Motor

70 city/68 hwy

Insight

MPG

FWD

1.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

55 city/49 hwy

Touring 1.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

51 city/45 hwy

The S60 Recharge’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 22 miles, 22 times as far as the Insight’s 1-mile range.

The S60 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Insight (14.5 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S60 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Insight (15.9 vs. 10.6 gallons).

The S60 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Insight doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S60’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Insight:

S60 T5

S60 Polestar

Insight

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

10.2 inches

The S60’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Insight are solid, not vented.

The S60 stops much shorter than the Insight:

S60

Insight

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/10/26

For better traction, the S60 has larger tires than the Insight (235/45R18 vs. 215/55R16).

The S60’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Insight’s standard 55 series tires. The S60’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Insight Touring’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Insight. The S60’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Insight Touring.

The S60 has a standard space-saver spare (not available on Recharge) 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

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The S60 has vehicle speed sensitive 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 S60’s wheelbase is 6.8 inches longer than on the Insight (113.1 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S60 is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Insight.

The S60’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55% to 45%) than the Insight’s (60.6% to 39.4%). This gives the S60 more stable handling and braking.

The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .94 G’s, while the Insight Touring pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the Insight Touring (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The S60 has 1.6 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more rear headroom and 6.1 inches more rear hip room than the Insight.

Cargo Capacity

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To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the S60’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Insight’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Insight doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The S60’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.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S60 offers cargo security. The Insight’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the S60. The Insight doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S60’s trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Insight doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The S60 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Insight has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The S60 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

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When three different drivers share the S60, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The Insight doesn’t offer a memory system.

The S60 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Insight doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the S60 and the Insight have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the S60 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 S60’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.

The S60’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Insight’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the S60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Insight doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Insight doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the S60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Insight doesn’t offer cornering lights. The S60 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the S60 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 S60’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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.

Both the S60 and the Insight offer available heated front seats. The S60 T6/Recharge also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Insight.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the S60 Inscription 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 S60’s optional 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 S60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Insight.

The S60 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 S60 and the Insight offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the S60 has available 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo S60 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Insight doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The S60’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Insight doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/10/26

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S60 second among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Insight isn’t in the top three.

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

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