2019 Honda Insight Goes Mainstream

What is it? Honda‘s third try at sticking the Insight name on a hybrid—this time on a sedan with mainstream looks instead of a quirky economy hatchback.

Why does it matter? Convention dictates a hybrid has to look like a hybrid—it has to stand out, or else no one will know it’s a hybrid. That was the rationale by which Honda styled the hatchback first- and second-generation Insights from 2000 thru 2006 and 2010 thru 2014, respectively, and perhaps what led each to sales so slow it was discontinued.

But for the 2019 model year, Honda’s unleashing an Insight that looks, well, normal. Wearing the brand’s flying-wing grille and a coupe-like roofline, Honda’s hoping making the Insight look mainstream might make it go mainstream, sales-wise.

Not too mainstream, though: whereas the older-gen Insight tried to undercut rivals like the Toyota Prius on price, the new car is aiming slightly up-range, slotting between the Civic and Accord.