2019 Prius vs. 2019 Honda Insight

All-Wheel Drive.


High Safety Ratings.


2 Year/25,000 Mile Maintenance Warranty.


Greater Cargo Space.


Gold Standard Fuel Economy.


The Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight kicked off the hybrid movement in the 90s. Since then, alternatively fueled vehicles have become more and more prevalent. With all new hybrids on the market, these two vehicles have faced more competition every year, but they have remained among the best-selling and most popular hybrids year after year. Now in 2019, we will compare the hybrids that started it all.

The 2019 Toyota Prius comes with a welcome addition. For the first time ever, the Prius is offered with All-Wheel Drive (AWD). AWD is a system that sends power to all the wheels of a vehicle. The 2019 Prius comes standard with Front-Wheel Drive (FWD), a system that sends power primarily to the front wheels. The 2019 Honda Insight is only offered in FWD.

But what is AWD useful for? Why would you want power to all of the wheels if FWD gets a car moving well enough? The advantage arrives with the snow and rain. In rough conditions, FWD vehicles can lose traction. AWD allows all the wheels on your Prius to maintain traction when the going gets rough. Not only does the 2019 Prius offer AWD, but it is a special version of AWD. Typically, AWD vehicles get worse fuel economy due to their added equipment. For the Prius, Toyota has created AWD-e, a system that activates AWD when traction is needed but leaves FWD on when conditions are good. Truly, you get the best of both worlds. (Note: AWD only activates below 43 mph.)

With Toyota messing with the standard formula, you might wonder if the Prius’ safety ratings have been affected. Luckily, the 2019 Toyota Prius is still rated highly. The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has given the 2019 Prius a 2019 Top Safety Pick award. Similarly, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has rated the 2019 Prius 5 stars for safety.

Now, there is an argument to be made the 2019 Honda Insight has greater safety than the 2019 Toyota Prius. After all, the 2019 Insight earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. It has similar 5 star safety scores from the NHTSA as well. The standout difference between the two vehicles comes in the form of safety technology. The NHTSA recommends all vehicles have four technologies: Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Dynamic Brake Support, and Crash Imminent Braking. The 2019 Insight proudly offers Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning standard. But it does not offer Dynamic Brake Support or Crash Imminent Braking at all. All four technologies come standard on the 2019 Toyota Prius.

Such great safety technology creates a sense of peace. What further enhances that sense of peace is Toyota Care, a free service for all new car purchases. This gives new car buyers free maintenance for 2 years/25,000 miles. It also provides a roadside assistance service for 2 years and unlimited miles for free. While Honda offers a similar roadside assistance service, they force you to pay for your own maintenance right from the beginning.

With that safety and warranty in tow, you may want to go on a road trip. Luckily, the 2019 Toyota Prius has incredible cargo space.. The smallest cargo space in the 2019 Prius lineup is 24.6 cubic feet on the LE trim. The rest of the lineup, including the base model, comes with 27.4 cubic feet standard. This discrepancy exists because the LE trim comes with a standard spare tire. Most hybrids have to go without a spare tire because of the extra hybrid technology, but the 2019 Prius LE breaks this trend.

The 2019 Honda Insight falls off quite a bit when comparing cargo space. The 2019 Insight has a standard 15.1 cubic feet of space. On the Touring model, that number falls slightly to 14.7 cubic feet. This means that there is a 12.3 cubic foot difference between the largest cargo spaces of both cars. That is the size of a small refrigerator. Additionally, a spare tire is not available on the 2019 Honda Insight.

Now, all of these factors are important when deciding what vehicle you would like to drive for the foreseeable future. But we’re talking about hybrids here. There is one thing that buyers are looking for when they shop for hybrids: fuel economy. Both the Prius and the Insight are impressive when it comes to fuel economy, but the Prius, as it has for many years, holds the edge.

For the 2019 model, the Toyota Prius has three different fuel economies based on which trim you choose. The base L Eco trim earns the highest rating at 58 mpg in the city, 53 mpg on the highway, and 56 mpg combined. All other trims without AWD-e earn an impressive 54/50/52 mpg split for city/highway/combined. When equipped with AWD-e, the numbers fall slightly to 52/48/50. Even at its lowest efficiency, the 2019 Toyota Prius still earns a 50 mpg combined rating.

While the 2019 Honda Insight also has impressive fuel economy numbers, they fall off from the Prius’ estimates. On the base trim, the 2019 Insight earns the same combined number as the Prius’ LE/XLE/Limited trims at 52 mpg. The difference is that the Insight does better in the city and worse on the highway. The 2019 Insight earns 55 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway. When you upgrade to the Touring trim of the 2019 Insight, the economy falls. The Touring trim earns a 51/45/48 split for an even lower total than the 2019 Prius AWD-e. Remember, the Honda Insight does not offer AWD but still falls lower than the Prius AWD-e’s ratings.

All of these numbers are estimates from the EPA, and sometimes, those numbers don’t come out quite right in real world tests. Luckily, Car and Driver and MotorTrend have tested both vehicles to see what these estimates look like in practice. Car and Driver reports from their tests that the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e had an observed fuel economy of 44 mpg. This is a bit lower than the projections, but it remains better than the 2019 Honda Insight Touring they tested. On that vehicle, the observed fuel economy was 38 mpg. Similarly, MotorTrend’s tests revealed a similar scenario. For this test, a 2019 Toyota Prius Limited was tested against a 2019 Honda Insight Touring. The Prius ended up with real mpg scores of 50.0/54.7/52.0 mpg city/highway/combined. The Insight only earned scores of 44.6/57.5/49.6 mpg.

In the end, the 2019 Toyota Prius remains among the best of the best when it comes to fuel economy. Its cargo space is almost twice the size of the Insight’s, and if that isn’t enough, it comes with a free maintenance warranty and greater safety technology. Even with all of that, it is the only car-based hybrid with AWD. The 2019 Toyota Prius stands high, ready to get you wherever you want to go with efficiency and comfort.

If you are interested in purchasing a 2019 Toyota Prius, you can visit us at 515 W Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46808. You can also call us at (260) 482-3730. We hope to see you soon!

Websites/Articles Mentioned (in order mentioned):

IIHS 2019 Toyota Prius Safety Ratings: https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/toyota/prius-4-door-hatchback/2019

Car and Driver 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e Test: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a25475797/2019-toyota-prius-awd-e-drive/

NHTSA 2019 Toyota Prius Safety Ratings: https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2019/TOYOTA/PRIUS/5%252520HB/FWD

Car and Driver 2019 Honda Insight Touring 10,000 Mile Check-In: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a26287347/2019-honda-insight-reliability-maintenance/

MotorTrend 2019 Prius vs. 2019 Insight: https://www.motortrend.com/cars/honda/insight/2019/2019-toyota-prius-2019-honda-insight-hybrid-comparison-review/