Volkswagen Jetta TDI  vs Honda Insight Hybrid 

Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan

  • $23k
  • 2.0L Diesel
  • 30 city 42 hwy
The TDI isn’t a jackrabbit sprinter, but ours did post an ecorespectable 0-to-60 time of eight seconds and a quarter-mile of 16.2 seconds at 85 mph.
by Car and Driver (Aug, 2013)

Honda Insight Hybrid

  • $19k
  • 1.3L Hybrid
  • 41 city 44 hwy
The engine itself, with but two valves per cylinder, is relatively low tech, but everything else is appropriately high tech.1.3-liter inline-4 (plus 10-kilowatt, 13-horsepower electric motor)98 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm123 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-1,700 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 41/44 mpg.
by KBB (Oct, 2012)

RideNerd Review Our evaluation of Sedan vs Insight Hybrid


Will it break the bank?

Annual cost

Fuel economy

Is it a gas sipper or guzzler?

Fuelly MPG and EPA highway mileage

Air quality

Help the world breathe easier with higher scores.

NMOG/mile, carbon monoxide/mile and nitrogen oxide/mile

Climate friendly

Higher scores leave less of an impact on global warming.

combined CO2/mile and EPA greenhouse gas score

RideNerd Score

Affordability, Fuel economy, Air quality and Climate friendly

Honda Insight Hybrid 

RideNerd recommends the Honda Insight Hybrid  based on its affordability and air quality.

See full details

Benchmarks Real world tests of Jetta TDI vs Insight Hybrid

Annual Cost The yearly cost to drive 15,000 miles, including fuel and car payments.

Average MPG of Fuelly Users Owners report actual MPG based on their experience.

Annual Fuel Cost The cost of fuel to drive 15,000 miles each year.

Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Volkswagen Jetta TDI

Reasons to consider the
Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan

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Runs on diesel Yes vs No Diesel engines typically last longer than gas engines and cost less in maintenance
More emission control devices 3 vs 2 1 more catalytic converters; typically results in cleaner emissions
Better highway driving range 609 miles vs 466 miles More than 30% further range on the interstate
Less energy used per car made 1,790 kWh/vehicle vs 1,916 kWh/vehicle 5% less per car made; less dirty energy used in the manufacturing process benefits everyone
Front view of Honda Insight Hybrid

Reasons to consider the
Honda Insight Hybrid

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Emits much less non-methane organic gases per mile 0.01 g vs 0.01 g Around 40% less NMOG per mile; organic gases contribute to respiratory problems and ozone production
Causes much less acid rain 0.01 g vs 0.05 g 4.8x less nitrogen oxide emitted per mile
Has a hybrid drivetrain Yes vs No Hybrid cars can run on batteries at low speeds to decrease fuel consumption
Produces much less smog 0.1 g vs 0.49 g 4.9x less carbon monoxide per mile
Saves on fuel $1,287 vs $1,700 Around 25% cheaper based on 15,000 miles/year
Stops the engine instead of idling Yes vs No Decreases fuel use and emissions in stop-and-go traffic
Disables engine cylinders under low loads Yes vs No Cylinder deactivation can improve fuel economy
Cheaper annual cost $5,007 vs $6,311 More than 20% less expensive per year
Slightly higher EPA city mileage 41 MPG vs 30 MPG More than 35% better fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic

Annual Costs Which is the smarter choice for your wallet over 5 years?

$23,055 11.3¢/mile Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Honda Insight Hybrid $18,600 8.7¢/mile
Infrequent drivers     Up to 10,000 miles/year
Average drivers     Up to 20,000 miles/year
Heavy drivers     Up to 40,000 miles/year
The Honda Insight Hybrid is cheaper (per year) in all scenarios, because of its lower price and cheaper fuel costs per mile.
Our math for 15,000 miles / year, over 5 years
Volkswagen Jetta TDI Honda Insight Hybrid
Price $4,611 ($23,055) $3,720 ($18,600)
Fuel $1,699 (2,179 gallons) $1,312 (1,773 gallons)
City 30 MPG 41 MPG
Highway 42 MPG 44 MPG
Customize our assumptions
% of city miles
$ per gallon of gas
$ per gallon of diesel
$ per gallon of ethanol
$ per gallon of natural gas

Reviews Word on the street

Jetta TDI  vs Insight Hybrid 

Even though the Insight uses a continuously variable automatic transmission, the computer can select fixed gear ratios when using the paddle shifters.
Insight Hybrid



8.2 Out of 10
7.7 Out of 10

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Jetta TDI  vs
Insight Hybrid 
Brand Volkswagen Honda
Body style
Model year 2013 2013
City range 435 miles 434 miles
Highway range 609 miles 466 miles
MSRP $23k $19k
Annual cost $6,311 $5,007

Manufacturing Emissions

Energy per car made 1,790 kWh/vehicle 1,916 kWh/vehicle

power & handling

Max torque 236 ft-lb @ 1,750 RPM 123 ft-lb @ 1,000 RPM
Max HP 140 HP @ 4,000 RPM 98 HP @ 5,800 RPM
Power-to-weight ratio 22.58 lb/hp 28.03 lb/hp
Curb-to-curb turning radius 36.4 feet 36.1 feet

suspension, wheels & brakes

Rear suspension Beam Beam
Front brakes 11.3 in Ventilated Disc 10.31 in Ventilated Disc
Rear brakes 10.71 in Disc 7.91 in Drum
Front wheel width 205 185
Front wheel diameter 16 inch 15 inch
Front wheel aspect ratio 55 60

safety features

Active head restraints No Yes
Head curtain
Antilock brakes Standard Standard
Child door locks Standard Standard
Electronic stability control Standard Standard
Traction control Standard Standard
Rear camera N/A N/A
Rear sensor N/A N/A
Park assist system N/A N/A
Communication system None None

physical dimensions

Width 70 in 66.7 in
Front track width 60.4 in 58.3 in
Height 57.2 in 56.2 in
Length 182.2 in 172.3 in
Wheelbase 104.4 in 100.4 in
Curb weight 3,161 lb 2,747 lb
Has a rear spoiler No Yes
Seats 5 5
Front seat room 49 ft³ 50 ft³
Rear seat room 44 ft³ 35 ft³


Jetta TDI  vs
Insight Hybrid 
Carbon monoxide/mile 0.49 g 0.1 g
Methane/mile 0.04 g 0 g
NMOG/mile 0.01 g 0.01 g
Nitrogen oxide/mile 0.05 g 0.01 g
Vapor canisters 0 1
Bleed canisters 0 0
Catalytic converters 3 2
Stops the engine instead of idling No Yes
Disables engine cylinders under low loads No Yes
Recirculates exhaust gas Yes Yes

engine & drivetrain

Engine size 2.0L 1.3L
Air compressor None None
Cylinders I4 I4
Paddle shifters N/A N/A
Gearing type Traditional Continuously-variable
Transmission 6-speed Manual 2WD Automatic 2WD

stereo & entertainment

Brand Generic Generic
Speakers 6 2
Has a speed sensitive volume Yes Yes
Has a subwoofer No No
Auxiliary input Yes Yes
AM/FM radio Standard Standard
CD player Standard Standard
CD changer N/A N/A
Satellite radio Standard Optional, $340
Entertainment system N/A N/A


Cruise control Standard N/A
Front A/C Standard Standard
Front passenger A/C N/A N/A
Keyless entry Standard Standard
Keyless ignition N/A N/A
Sun roof N/A N/A
Navigation system N/A N/A
Roof rails N/A N/A
Power locks Standard Standard
Power mirrors Standard Standard
Power outlets Standard Standard
Power steering Standard Standard
Power windows Standard Standard
Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan
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Honda Insight Hybrid
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