2021 Honda Insight vs. 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

2021 Honda Insight vs Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Want a hybrid car to: a.) save on gas; b.) save the planet; or c.) save yourself a few trips to the pump? You’re in good company, as millions of Americans also make the switch to hybrid every year.

Two of the more popular, up-and-coming small hybrid cars might feel familiar to you. There’s the Corolla Hybrid, which takes a lot of cues from its gas-powered Corolla sedan. Then there’s the Honda Insight, which looks like a more subdued Civic. Which of these hybrid cars is right for you? With more room, features and trim levels than its rival, the 2021 Honda Insight may just be what the good doctor prescribed.

2021 Insight - Extra Space

Look at All the Extra Space for Activities!

Because Insight’s battery is snuggled under the rear seat, cargo and cabin space aren’t hindered in the slightest. In fact, the Insight is one of the most spacious hybrid cars in its class, offering up to 15.1 cubic feet of trunk room, 97.6 cubic feet of passenger volume, and a surprising amount (37.4 inches) of rear legroom.

How does that compare to the Corolla Hybrid? Toyota’s compact hybrid is definitely categorized properly as a “small car.” In the trunk, Corolla Hybrid offers just 13.1 cubic feet of space. Surely that’s to make the cabin feel larger -- right? No. Inside, you only get 88.6 cubic feet of passenger volume, nine fewer than the Insight. And don’t get us started on Corolla’s back row (34.8 inches of rear legroom just doesn’t cut it, Toyota).

2021 Insight LX 2021 Corolla Hybrid LE
Cargo Volume 15.1 cu ft 13.1 cu ft
Passenger Volume 97.6 cu ft 88.6 cu ft
Front Headroom 42.3 in 38.3 in
Front Shoulder Room 56.9 in 54.0 in
Rear Shoulder Room 55.0 in 42.0 in
Front Legroom 42.3 in 34.8 in
Rear Legroom 37.4 in 34.8 in

Variety: The Spice of Hybrid Life

Unlike the Prius, which is offered in seven trims, the Corolla Hybrid has just one model: LE. So, if you want one with all the bells and whistles, you won’t have to travel far. But that doesn’t mean you actually get all the bells and whistles with the range-topping/baseline Corolla Hybrid LE. You’d be missing a lot of features that come with upper-level Insight trims.

2021 Insight - Premium Sound System

Premium Sound System

Every Corolla Hybrid includes a 6-speaker audio system. We know what you’re thinking: “Six speakers? What is this -- a car for music-haters?”

For a silky-smooth listening experience every time you drive, go with the Insight Touring. A buttery 450 watts of power surge through its sound system which features a James Earl Jones-quality subwoofer and 10 glorious speakers. Now, doesn’t that sound nice? It sure does.

2021 Honda Insight - Navigation


You’ve got places to go and people to see. But finding them in the Corolla Hybrid won’t be an easy task -- not without a navigation system.

A Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System is equipped in every Insight Touring model. This includes Voice Recognition A.I. and Honda HD Digital Traffic. Enjoy...wherever and whomever it is you’re visiting.

2021 Honda Insight - Heated Seats

Heated Seats

Insight Touring models come standard with heated front seats. Your tushy will stay chilly inside the Corolla Hybrid, which doesn’t include any cabin heat aside from its automatic climate control system.

Heated Side Mirrors

Insight Touring models come standard with heated front seats. Your tushy will stay chilly inside the Corolla Hybrid, which doesn’t include any cabin heat aside from its automatic climate control system.


Enjoy personal VIP service with Insight’s available HondaLink system. At its max level, HondaLink Remote fits your Insight with a slew of first-class features, like remote start, remote unlock and lock, Find My Car, geofencing alerts, Amazon Alexa Skill, Stolen Vehicle Locator, and Key by Amazon In-Car Delivery. Consult your Honda dealer for more details.

2021 Honda Insight - Walk Away Auto Lock

Walk Away Auto Lock

While the Corolla Hybrid comes with keyless entry, Insight’s Smart Entry system with Walk Away Auto Lock is exclusive to the Honda brand. Walk Away Auto Lock lets you lock the car automatically without touching a button -- just walk away and feel confident knowing your Insight is taking care of itself.

(Perhaps the Toyota Prius should give the Corolla Hybrid a couple of its trims.)

2021 Honda Insight - Power

The Power. The Prestige.

One doesn’t choose a hybrid car for its horsepower--that’s preposterous. But should one hybrid car offer more hp than another, it’d be even more preposterous to turn a cold shoulder to those extra ponies.

That’s the case with the Insight and Corolla. The Corolla Hybrid LE comes with a 1.8L 4-cylinder that makes 121 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque. Those are relatively meager numbers, especially when compared to Honda Insight’s total system horsepower of 151.5* and 197 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Insight LX 2021 Corolla Hybrid LE
Engine 1.5L 4-cylinder 1.8L 4-cylinder
Horsepower (total) 151.5* 121
Torque (lb-ft) 197 105

City Commuting Done Right

What hybrid shoppers do look at: MPG. In that respect, the Corolla Hybrid and Insight are on fairly even ground, returning an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined. However, the Honda Insight fares better on cul-de-sacs and through downtown. Insight returns 55 mpg in the city, while the Corolla Hybrid only nets you 53 mpg.

2021 Insight LX 2021 Corolla Hybrid LE
City MPG 55* 53


Total system horsepower as measured by the peak, concurrent output of the two electric motors and gasoline engine.

55 city/49 highway/52 combined mpg rating for LX and EX trims. 51 city/45 highway/48 combined mpg rating for the Touring trim. Based on 2021 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.