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Honda Civic Hybrid



  • hch2004hch2004 Posts: 3
    Hybrid owners do not just by the car because of some perceived savings over other small cars.

    No matter how much cheaper any car is vs. my HCH, unless it is a special fuel car, it ain't getting me in the HOV lanes. You can't put a price on that. And if you could, my time is worth way more than 8, 10, or 12 thousand bucks.

    Whether it is because it's green (or to flame "we love our country and environment and you don't"), it's cool ("i've got the latest technology and you don't"), it's built well ("american cars are pieces of ...."), or a combination of the above, it is more than just price.

    btw, I have found my dash mpg indicator to be relatively accurate. I usually get arounf 40 mpg and it is not signifcantly more or less than that when I do the math myself. I don't drive 35 on the highway, and I only hope the mpg gets better as the car ages as some have suggested.

    any thoughts on whether it matters "where you live" (hilly vs. flat, humid vs. dry, etc.)?
  • wrl56wrl56 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2004 HCH and only get 38 mpg ... rather miffed at being 10 miles off to the EPA's rating of 48 city-47 hwy. In Arkansans we are hilly but not extremely mountainous like Colorado. Also humid.

    I'm about to go to the dealership to complain, but is this normal to be 10 mpg of the EPA's rating?
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    The EPA values are nothing but estimates for the sake of vehicle comparison, no promise of performance in any way.

    Look closely at your window sticker. The Prius one specifically says (sorry, I don't have a HCH sample available), "Actual Mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits, and the vehicle's condition. Results reported to EPA indicate that the majority of vehicles with these estimates will achieve between 51 and 69 mpg in the city and between 43 and 59 on the highway."

  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    Yes, from the majority of people on these boards, it appears the Hybrids rarely get what the EPA estimates. Many other cars, on the other hand, have no problem reaching the EPA estimates. No guarantees for performance, but the numbers are less relevant for the Hybrids.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    The car that doesn't make the EPA estimates is the Prius. The EPA testing is out of date with lots of stop-n-go and an average highway speed of only 48 mpg. The EPA test favors the full hybrid setup of the Prius, but many peoepl are only achieving the low 40s on Mpg. There has been a lot of discussion that the Prius mileage is based on winter resilts, which are usually 10 mpg lower, but there have also been some Californians that report only mid-40s.

    Another factor is that many of these people seem to change their driving habits and drive much slower when they get a Prius just to see how high of mileage they can get. Supposedly one person drove an average speed of 35.8 miles per hour fro some 900 miles so they could acheive a screenshot of miles per gallon in the 80s. However this is more Ripley's Believe-It-or-Not than real world.

    Most Honda HCH owners get close the the EPA estimates. The "mild" hybrid, in which the ICE is need all the time and the el;ectic motor assist when needed seems to have much better milage characterisitics on the highway. It is rare that a HCH owner only gets 28 mpg. It could be terrain and driving habits, but it sounds like something is wrong with the car.

  • Try resetting the trip odometer. That will also reset your fuel consumption display. See if the mpg improves after that. It might be that someone driving the car before you bought it, just drove it uneconomically. When I first bought my 2004 HCH CVT at the end of last year I drove it fast to see if it was up to my performance standards. I was getting around 40 mpg going fast. By fast I mean 70s and 80s on the highway. After I was satisfied with my own performance testing I tried going slow in granny mode to see if the car would get the EPA ratings. Going no faster than 65. The best I could get on the FCD was 46 and 45 at the pump. So I decided to just mostly go fast and try to keep my FCD at 42. Funny thing happened this week. I decided to try going slow again and to my amazement I am now showing 49 on my FCD. I guess my at the pump calculation will be about 48. This must be because I now have about 13,500 mile on the car and the engine is finally broken in. I will continue to experiment to see if this new driving style is acceptable. I will probably end up with a happy compromise of high mpg driving and fast driving when I need or feel like it. It is neat watching that horizontal meter and trying to keep it to the right. It takes some time to learn how to keep that meter to the right. After a while it is like playing a game. One tip for the HCH is that full throttle acceleration at low RPMs is actually good because it maximizes the electric motor assist and minimizes engine pumping loss. This makes for more fun driving! Hilly terrain does have an affect, but usually the mpg goes down going up the hill and then you get it back coming down. I think I read somewhere that humidity has an affect too, but I'm not sure. I wish you luck with your new car.
  • likramerlikramer Posts: 3
    Hi everyone,

    I am wondering whether any of you can post the price you paid for honda civic hybrid if you bought the car in the past month or so. I got a price quote 3-4 months ago from a dealership and it was $17,700 for manual transmission and $18,600 for CVT. The dealer told me the price now has increated to 19K-20K for out of the door price due to high demand.

    I would like to see what other people have paid.

    Thanks a lot,
  • marknmarkn Posts: 1
    Just purchased my Civic Hybrid, CVT last week. There is a waiting list here in San Diego, but I badly needed one and bought one in transit. Ended paying mark-up, so out the door price was $22,000. I have been VERY happy with the car so far. I have about 250 miles on it and am getting about 44 mpg. I am driving the car a quite a bit more carefully than my Porsche, but it is not too hard to realize a lot better mileage than the Landcruiser that it replaced!!
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A newspaper reporter is interested in hearing from hybrid drivers in New England. If you are willing to share your story, please respond to with your daytime contact information no later than Thursday, June 10, 2004.
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
  • solar_dadsolar_dad Posts: 22
    This is exactly my experience here in Southern California. Internet quotes were in the $18.8K range until May, when they started approaching sticker due to demand. I bought a CVT on May 15 for $20.4K.

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,892
    I'm not sure I want to open this can of worms again, but.....

    I had a 5 year old Civic VP. Due to an accident, it was totaled (other guys fault). Over the last 5 years, it averaged 38 MPG highway and 29 MPG city. For argument's sake, let's say it averaged 35 MPG for all driving.

    So, one of the first stops I made was to the local Honda store to see what a new one would run me. I thought an LX with automatic would be nice. With no negotiations, they came out with a beginning price of $15K. No doubt I could have bought it for less, but lets use that figure to make things simple. Let's also assume it gets the same MPG as my older Civic

    In the showroom is a 4-door Ciic Hybrid with CVT transmission. After inquiry, he said that all hybrids were selling for MSRP...nothing less, which would amount to a little over $20K, but let's use the $20K purchase price to make this easy. With the gas prices rising to $2/gal I had no reason to doubt him. To keep things simple, let's say that the hybrid gets 45 MPG overall.

    Both cars are equipped similarly. I drove both. Both were nice except for the glaring fact that the hybrid was much slower than the gas only model and possessed a few driving quirks (that I'd probably get used to over time).

    Let's move onto the financials.

    Based on say....15K miles/year driving the Civic hybrid, it would use 333 gal. of fuel @ $2/gal. That's $666 in fuel/year.

    Using the same 15K miles per year for the Civic LX automatic, it would use 429 gal of fuel per year. That's $858 in fuel/year.

    The difference between the two is $192 more for the Civic LX auto for fuel used in a given year.

    Let's say you keep either car to 100K miles. That's roughly about 7 years of useage. 7 years times $192 in fuel savings with the hybrid nets you $1,344 in fuel savings over the Civic LX.

    Some comparisons using the $5K price differential (probably more given the deals being made on the Civic) between the real world cost of the two cars....

    --you would have to drive the hybrid civic 19+ years to make up the difference in price over the civic LX auto
    --you would have to drive the hybrid 180,000 more miles than the Civic LX to make up the price differential

    That doesn't account for the added cost of replacing the hybrid's batteries if you did drive it that long. It also doesn't account for the much more lethargic acceleration of the hybrid when compared to the regular gas Civic LX.

    Buying a Civic VP? The above figures are even more dramatic.

    Point being, give Honda (and Toyota) credit for their entry in the hybrid sweepstakes, but from an economic point of view, they aren't quite ready for "prime time".
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > they aren't quite ready for "prime time".

    It would be best to judge each hybrid individually, rather than generalize.

    The upcoming Accord-Hybrid will put putting more emphasis on power, than efficiency.

    The primary purpose of Prius is maximum emission reduction, not MPG. That's a big difference from Civic-Hybrid. And yet, it still delivers greater efficiency. (I'm averaging 54 MPG at the pump with my 2004 Prius.)

    The hybrid SUVs will place an interesting twist on things too. The Escape will be a good all-around balanced hybrid. The RX400h will instead put emphasis on power & speed.

  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    I ran into the same thing at a Honda delaership last Saturday. They were selling for MSRP, salesman said the sold 46 Hybrids last month. The other Civics wee selling for a couple of hundred under invoice.

    Rising gas prices and fear and uncertainty, makes hYbrids go up in price. WOW.

    But with the HCH you get auto temperature and the cool blue instrumentation.

    I can order a 2004 Isight for MSRP with 90 day delivery. I'm just not sure.

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,892
    Everyone makes good points, but the Honda Civic Hybrid is the topic here.

    I can appreciate the hybrid cars being cleaner. That may be advantageous for some, but in all honesty, I've seen reports which show that even the largest SUVs have cut down their emmissions to the point where cows emit more pollutants than than they do.

    IMHO, the only other reason to have a hybrid Civic would be a financial one. I'm having a very hard time making that justification. The cool blue lights and temp control just aren't going to get it done.

    Now, if they offered some sort of performance gain, then that would get my attention. The current one's in the showroom today aren't there yet, however.

    Even using the previous mention of the Prius getting 54 MPG (that sounds a big high given just about every other report has the average closer to 42 MPG for the Prius, but we'll use the 54 number). That means it will use 278 gal of fuel in a year's use of 15K miles. That's $556 in fuel usage in a given year. That's a yearly difference in fuel costs of $302 over the Civic LX. You'd still have to drive the Prius approx 14 years to even out the cost differential between the Prius and the Civic LX. You'd also have to drive it approx 110,000 more miles than the Civic LX to make up the difference. You'd still have the cost of replacing the batteries during that period, which would make the equation even more lopsided.

    I think for the most part, hybrids are being bought more as a knee jerk reaction to the present gas prices without many doing any real financial comparisons.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > I've seen reports which show that even the largest SUVs have cut down their emmissions to the point where cows emit

    That seemingly tiny difference is actually quite massive when you step back and look at the big picture...

    There are 60 MILLION new vehicles sold every year worldwide!

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,892
    Yeah, but how many cows are there?
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Yeah, but how many cows are there?

    Just because there is one type of poison does not mean we can allow another to go unchecked. We reduce where we can.

    Remember, we are dealing with tolerances, not absolutes. Our goal is to keep below a threshold.

  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Cow as well as humans and other animals emit CO2, carbon dioxide, cars emit CO2 and... NO2, NO3, CO, SO4, SO3 (all acid rain causing pollutants), as well as particulates such as soot. I have yet to see a cow that emitted soot. Manure may stink, but it is an excellent fertilizer. What does a car emit that is helpful?

    As to fiscal reasoning behind the hybrids, there is none. A motorcycle will cost you well under $10K, and runs 60 miles to a gallon, has great acceleration. Heck a bike costs $100 and no opertating costs besides the tires and maintenance.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,892
    Hey guys, I'm not trying to start a flame war here.

    I was moderately interested in the hybrids. Personally, I don't see what they offer for the price differential over the Civic LX. The LX has power everything, crusie control, A/C just like the Civic hybrid (or the civic EX). The EX costs about $1K more than the LX. The same numbers apply. I still couldn't make the justification for a hybrid regardless of the comparison you want to use...emissions, financial, equipment levels, model, etc.

    I think one big mistake is that some are not comparing real world out of pocket costs. Hybrids are selling for MSRP. In the real world, Civic LXs, EXs are steeply discounted. These are real dollars that come out of your pocket. If you want to compare MSRP to MSRP, that's OK by me. It doesn't reflect what's happening in reality, however.

    I can't make the case for hybrids over the regular Civics. Maybe someday they will get to the point where they make sense. That day, IMHO, isn't here yet.
  • warnerwarner Posts: 196
    I agree with others who can find no financial justification for buying a Hybrid, which is why I bought an LX instead. Using Carsdirect pricing, the automatic LX can be bought for $15,011 and the Hybrid can be bought for $19,744 - a difference of $4733. Someone mentioned all the extra "options" that the Hybrid has (in an attempt to justify the cost difference) - what exactly ARE those great options for $4,700? Front side airbags (available on the LX for $228), antilock brakes, automatic climate control, trip computer, variable-intermittent wipers (mine are intermittent as well, just not "variably intermittent"), rear spoiler (dealer offered this to me for $575 installed - didn't like it), and alloy wheels (I got the EX alloy wheels for $419). So, the options that are available for the LX to bring it closer to the equipment of the Hybrid would have cost me $1222. That leaves anti-lock brakes, automatic climate control, trip computer, and variable intermittent wipers making up the $3,511 difference. The anti-lock brakes would be a nice option - let's say those are worth $1,000. That would leave the climate control, trip computer, and variable wipers at a cost of over $2,500. Worth it??? My neighbor bought a new Hybrid and she loves it.....I don't see much difference between it and my LX (in fact, I hate the aluminum wheels on the Hybrid - like the EX Alloys much better). Everyone has their own motives I understand, I just don't think it's possible to justify their additional cost. Also, my LX is an ULEV so I doubt there is much if any difference in the emissions between the two vehicles. As long as everyone is happy with their choice, it's working out the way it should - I just could never justify that additional cost. The lowest mileage that I've gotten out of my first 3 tanks of gas was 35 mpg; the highest was 40 mpg. On this 4th tank I already have 250 miles on the first half tank, so this will probably be 40 or better as well.

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