Comparison: Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. Honda Insight

  • Christian Wardlaw has 25 years of experience serving in automotive editorial leadership roles with Autobytel, Edmunds, J.D. Power, and Tribune Publishing. A married father of four, Chris is based in the Los Angeles suburbs and believes fuel cell electric vehicles will power the future.

can be reached at christianwardlaw@gmail.com
  • Christian Wardlaw has 25 years of experience serving in automotive editorial leadership roles with Autobytel, Edmunds, J.D. Power, and Tribune Publishing. A married father of four, Chris is based in the Los Angeles suburbs and believes fuel cell electric vehicles will power the future.

can be reached at christianwardlaw@gmail.com
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In my early twenties, after years of driving old used cars that broke down on a regular basis, I bought my first new car. It was a cheap little shi…I mean, econobox, but it was brand-new and equipped with a warranty. That Ford Festiva took me well over 100,000 miles with only one unexpected repair. It was absolutely worth the 60 months of payments I made, and I recall it fondly to this day.

You might find yourself in a similar situation. If that’s true, both the 2020 Honda Insight and the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid are certain to provide years of faithful service while saving you a bunch of money on gas. And they are so much nicer than my first new car, inside and out. But, which one of these two compact hybrid sedans is better? That’s the purpose of this comparison between the Honda Insight and Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

Honda re-introduced the Insight to its lineup for 2019, basing the car on the Honda Civic. Changes for 2020 are almost non-existent.

2020 Honda Insight Changes:

  • New Platinum White Pearl paint color

The Corolla Hybrid is based on the completely redesigned 2020 Corolla Sedan. Dramatically improved over the previous Corolla, the new 2020 version is more sophisticated, more stylish, and better to drive. Plus, it comes in a new Corolla Hybrid flavor.

2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Highlights:

  • Based on the redesigned 2020 Corolla sedan
  • Uses the same Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain as the Toyota Prius
  • Lower entry price than the Prius, but less utility
  • Available in a single LE trim level, with no option packages

With the stage set, let’s take a closer look at the Honda Insight and Toyota Corolla Hybrid, and help you to decide which one is better.

2020 Honda Insight Price and Configurations

Silver 2020 Honda Insight Touring Front Quarter View
Honda offers the 2020 Insight in three levels of trim. Shown here, the Insight Touring features handsome 17-inch aluminum wheels and chrome exterior accents. (Honda)

For the 2020 model year, the Honda Insight is offered in three trim levels: LX ($22,930), EX ($24,310), and Touring ($28,340). Upgrading from LX to EX trim adds the following features:

  • Dynamic guidelines for the reversing camera
  • LaneWatch right-side blind spot monitoring system
  • Keyless Smart Entry system
  • Walk-away automatic locking system
  • Remote engine starting capability
  • 60/40-split-folding rear seat with center armrest
  • Upgraded 8-speaker audio system
  • Infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • HD Radio and satellite radio
  • HondaLink Bluetooth connection
  • Text-messaging support
  • Dual quick-charge USB ports

Both the LX and the EX include standard Honda Sensing advanced driver assistance technologies (ADAS). They include:

  • Adaptive cruise control with low-speed following capability
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Road Departure Mitigation system
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Traffic sign recognition system

The Insight Touring is the top-of-the-line trim level. It adds the following features to the EX trim:

  • Reduced fuel economy from 52 mpg in combined driving to 48 mpg
  • 17-inch aluminum wheels and chrome exterior accents
  • LED fog lights and turn signal indicators on side mirrors
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Power sunroof
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Leather upholstery
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Heated front seats
  • 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat
  • Rear seatback pocket
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Universal garage door opener
  • 10-speaker premium sound system
  • Navigation system with a compass
  • HondaLink subscription services with Wi-Fi hotspot

Honda dealerships offer a long list of extra-cost accessories for Insight personalization. You can even get a wing-style rear spoiler, which is both useless and unconvincing. More helpful are the rear parking assist sensors and cargo hooks for the trunk, from which you can hang plastic grocery bags.

2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Price and Configurations

Blue 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE Front Quarter View
Toyota sells the Corolla Hybrid in a single trim level, and without any options aside from dealer-installed accessories. (Toyota)

For the 2020 model year, the Corolla Hybrid comes only in LE trim ($22,950). Selected standard features include:

  • LED exterior lighting
  • Heated side mirrors
  • 15-inch aluminum wheels
  • Automatic climate control
  • Height adjustable driver’s seat
  • Smart Key keyless entry
  • Automatic up/down operation for all four power windows
  • Dual quick-charge USB ports
  • 6-speaker sound system
  • Infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa
  • Scout GPS Link navigation app
  • Safety Connect and Wi-Fi Connect services

Every Corolla Hybrid also has Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This suite of ADAS technologies equips the car with:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Lane centering assist
  • Road Edge Detection system
  • Driver monitoring system
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Road sign recognition system

Additionally, Toyota offers dealer-installed accessories for the Corolla Hybrid, including carpeted floor and cargo mats, body and finish protection upgrades, removable crossbars for the roof, and tablet holders for the back seat.

The Best Things About the Honda Insight

Honda Insight vs Toyota Corolla Hybrid Front Quarter Views
Both of these cars get 52 mpg in combined driving, unless you choose the Insight Touring, which is EPA-rated to get 48 mpg in combined driving. (Honda and Toyota)

Based on an analysis of Honda Insight features and specifications, these are the best things about the car in comparison to the Toyota Corolla Hybrid:

  • Three trim levels instead of just one
  • 151 horsepower (30 more than Corolla Hybrid)
  • Larger interior at 97.6 cu.-ft. of passenger volume (vs. 88.6 cu.-ft. for Corolla Hybrid)
  • Bigger 15.1 cubic-foot trunk (2 cu.-ft. more than Corolla Hybrid)
  • Includes Android Auto in addition to Apple CarPlay
  • Superior headlight illumination gives Insight a “Top Safety Pick+” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
  • Exclusive features contained in the EX and especially the Touring trim levels
  • Wins a Best Resale Value Award from Kelley Blue Book

The Best Things About the Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Honda Insight vs Toyota Corolla Hybrid Dashboards
Each of these compact hybrid sedans has a stylish interior with modern infotainment systems. Toyota provides more technology at its base price, while Honda makes leather and other upscale features available for the Insight. (Honda and Toyota)

When compared to the Honda Insight, these are the best things about the Toyota Corolla Hybrid based on an analysis of the car’s features and specifications:

  • 4-gallon fuel tank (vs. 10.6 gals. for the Insight)
  • The driving range is 592 miles (vs. 551 mi. for the Insight)
  • Free scheduled maintenance for the first two years or 25,000 miles of ownership
  • Better standard infotainment system
  • Offers Amazon Alexa compatibility, tuning knob
  • Standard Safety Connect and Wi-Fi Connect services
  • Superior package of standard ADAS

Honda Insight vs. Toyota Corolla Hybrid. Which is Better?

Honda Insight vs Toyota Corolla Hybrid Rear Quarter Views
If you need lots of trunk space, the Honda Insight is your pick, at 15.1 cu.-ft. The Corolla Hybrid’s trunk measures 13.1 cu.-ft. (Honda and Toyota)

Each of these compact hybrid sedans is rated to get 52 mpg in combined driving, and each has an appealing starting price. The Corolla Hybrid offers more value at that starting price, while the Insight supplies greater interior room, trunk space, and variety in terms of equipment.

Choosing between the two, the Insight gets our nod. In addition to leading its segment in resale value, according to Kelley Blue Book, the Insight is a “Top Safety Pick+” according to the IIHS. And, in Touring trim, there is no denying that it is an attractive and upscale hybrid.

You do, however, need to pay extra in order to get a more appealing Insight. Therefore, people looking for basic, efficient transportation will want the Toyota Corolla Hybrid. People looking for that, and more, will want the more stylish and better-equipped Honda Insight.

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Comparison: Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. Toyota Prius


About the Author

  • Christian Wardlaw has 25 years of experience serving in automotive editorial leadership roles with Autobytel, Edmunds, J.D. Power, and Tribune Publishing. A married father of four, Chris is based in the Los Angeles suburbs and believes fuel cell electric vehicles will power the future.

can be reached at christianwardlaw@gmail.com
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