Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A blue 2020 Honda CR-V is shown from the rear at an angle after leaving a Honda dealer.

3 Hondas That Fight the Rising Costs of Fuel

Talks at the watercooler used to be about weekend plans, newly released movies, and maybe even celebrity gossip. However, these days, all the attention seems to be focused on the astronomical cost of filling up at the gas station. Gas has never been higher, and relief is nowhere in sight. While states like California are considering stimulus checks to offset the pain, many Americans are left wondering what they can do to curb the stress. It turns out the answer may be to visit a Honda dealer. By tinkering with existing models, Honda improves its fan favorites and draws us in, riveted by what they will do next.

Honda is working diligently on its hybrid lineup. The brand is keenly aware that many shoppers today want the full picture when it comes to the total cost of ownership. While the hybrid market was originally dominated by the Toyota Prius, the last few years have seen an onslaught of worthy contenders from Ford, Hyundai, Kia, and Honda. When inundated with so many options, one of the first questions on a buyer’s mind is, “what’s the MPG?” Hondas like the Accord, CR-V, and Insight are taking center stage. Let’s examine all three and how the new technology for 2022 is saving us bucks while still being fun to drive.

#1 – Honda Insight

The 2022 Honda Insight is a delightful little hybrid. It doesn’t stray too far off the beaten path as far as signature Honda styling. Its sleek shape and stylish cabin make it appealing to the eye, while the 52 MPG combined rating makes it appealing to every other sense. With the 2022 model offering just two trim levels, the EX and the Touring, it’s a breeze to pick the right Insight and start saving. With a slightly smaller body than the Civic, the Insight comes with Honda’s renowned smooth ride and highly responsive steering. A well-designed cabin means a quiet ride. The EX trim comes with the benefit of a lower MSRP and reduced body weight. Because the standard package is so comfortable, it doesn’t feel like this trim is lacking. However, those interested in things like heated front seats and a one-touch power moonroof could spring for the Touring for those and other extra features.

A car like the Insight provides peace of mind. Besides the obvious gas savings, it’s also highly rated in safety. In fact, the 2022 Insight has received an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. It is also not as slow as conventional hybrids (no offense, Prius). The Insight’s zero to 60 time is about 7.7 seconds, putting it squarely in the middle of the pack for compact sedans. While the electric motor can travel a full mile on its own at lower speeds, asking for acceleration kicks the gas engine into gear, preventing lag and giving the driver that fun sensation of speeding up. As Honda has in the past, it has once again built a car with a refined suspension that nicely handles bumps and potholes, and braking is a piece of cake. Steering is made easy and responds with lightning precision to turns.

A red 2022 Honda Insight is shown from the side on the road.

#2 – Honda Accord Hybrid

While improvements from previous years’ Accords may not be glaringly obvious to the untrained eye, Honda is certainly heading in the right direction. The signature look of the Accord family has always been the longer nose, housing a bigger engine bay than its smaller relative, the Civic. On the Accord Hybrid, the shape of the body is the same, but the powertrain behind it is entirely different. The gasoline engine is paired with electric motors and Honda’s e-CVT technology, pumping out 212 hp.

It’s estimated the newer models can offer 600 miles of range on a single tank of gas. The Accord Hybrid can also make its way from zero to 60 in a mere 7.1 seconds, not only faster than the Insight but, more importantly, significantly faster than other hybrids in its class. The Toyota Camry Hybrid has a 7.8 second zero to 60 time, while the Hyundai Sonata Limited Hybrid takes 8.1 seconds. As for efficiency, the EPA gave the 2022 Accord Hybrid a rating of 48 MPG in the city and 47 MPG on the highway.

Honda didn’t skimp on the inside either. There are 16.7 cu.ft. of cargo space for you and all your stuff in the trunk, the same amount of room as the regular Accord. With room to comfortably seat five, there’s plenty of space for their stuff, too. Each Accord Hybrid comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen that pairs with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, there is an option for a wireless charger and navigation to help reduce clutter in your car.

The standard safety features are also an integral part of the tech. Accord Hybrid comes configured with lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a traffic sign recognition system. It truly feels like a personal assistant. Additionally, the cabin is outfitted with luxurious feeling trim, a sleek center console, luxury matching trim on the dash and door panels, and available 19-inch alloy wheels.

A silver 2022 Honda Accord Hybrid is shown from the front.

#3 – Honda CR-V Hybrid

As the single hybrid SUV in the collection, the CR-V Hybrid is an important addition to Honda’s lineup. If the sedan market seems short on hybrids, the SUV market is even shorter. Under the hood is the same powertrain as the Accord Hybrid for the same 212 hp. The CR-V Hybrid is a bit faster on the uptake than the regular CR-V, and it’s miles ahead on fuel efficiency, pun intended. The powertrain delivers an estimated 40 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway, remarkable statistics for a vehicle of its size. While most SUVs don’t offer much in the towing department, the CR-V Hybrid manages a towing capacity of 1,500 lbs. The combined motors are smooth in their transition of power, giving an undisrupted ride.

With a handful of available trims, we think going with the base EX is a fun choice. It’s stacked with useful features, including blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, a moonroof, and heated front seats. All three trims come standard with a 7-inch touchscreen that syncs with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is incredibly user-friendly. We’re also impressed by the finishing touches, including leather trim accents and other lux materials.

An optional heated steering wheel provides relief for achy palms or just a nice reprieve from cold climates. The interior is also home to faux-wood accents, brushed-satin finishes, and chromed plastic if you swing for the Touring trim. The seats are ergonomic and comfortable during extended drives. Speaking of seats, the back seats lay completely flat, offering the best-in-class luggage space. If there’s a car to consider for road trips, the CR-V Hybrid should top the list.

So Why Honda?

We are impressed at the direction Honda is going with these three models. Not only do the Insight, Accord Hybrid, and CR-V Hybrid come with Honda’s trusted reliability, but they also stack up when it comes to fuel efficiency. City drivers rejoice! The beauty of hybrids is that they are actually more efficient in city driving. The start-and-stop of city traffic means that a hybrid can run on the electric motor and make use of regenerative braking more often, gaining even higher MPG than in highway driving. Whether it’s the smaller Insight zipping you through town, the Accord Hybrid marrying speed with savings at the pump, or the CR-V Hybrid accomplishing all that we could want from an SUV that’s environmentally friendly, Honda keeps improving and keeps up paying attention.