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Honda Civic Hybrid vs Toyota Prius



  • Is it true that the civic hybrid doesnt run ac while at stop and the prius does? this is an important deciding factor where I live.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The Prius A/C runs off the high voltage battery, so will work whenever the car is on (even when stopped at a light with the engine shut off). It's a very nice A/C system, in that it uses a variable speed compressor, which is a lot more efficient than running the compressor at full speed all the time.

    I can't comment on how the Civic Hybrid system works. Perhaps over on the Civic Hybrid forum.
  • The current Civic Hybrid runs the AC while stopped. But I believe this was not the case with the earlier version.
  • That is correct. My 2002 would shut off the air at stop lights when the engine stopped. My 2006 continues to cool even after the engine stops.

    I really like this as now I don't lift my foot off the break to get the engine to run so I can have A/C. Nice improvement.
  • We looked at both the HCH and the Prius prior to purchasing our 2006 HCH. We traded in a 2002 HCH.

    One of the major things that really kept me with the Honda is the resell value. As one dealer said, Honda does very little leasing of the HCH therefore their resale value is higher than the Prius that has a lot of leases.

    I don't know if that has an effect, but it made since and when I researched it, it seemed as though that was true.

    Plus we were so happy with our 2002 HCH that we stuck with the 2006. I really liked the color we got. It is the Magnetic Pearl with the dark blue interior. We had the interior protection done on it and it is very easy to keep looking good.
  • I've been torn between the two for a while myself. Here is my analysis:

    The Prius has better acceleration (0-60 in 9.8s for the Prius vs. 11.7s for the HCH according to Consumer Reports).

    The Prius is more fuel efficient (44 mpg overall for the Prius vs. 37 mpg overall for the HCH - again according to Consumer Reports).

    Stability Control is not available on the HCH, but it optional on the non-base Prius models.

    Prius has many more optionals available than the HCH does.

    The HCH is a cleaner car according to the EPA SmartWay Ranking because the Prius produces slightly more pollution (

    Auxilary input for I-Pod and Cruise Control are standard for the HCH, but not for the base model of the Prius.

    There is still a $1100 federal tax credit for the HCH, there is no longer a federal tax credit for the Prius.

    I hope this helps you with your decision even though it hasn't helped me with mine yet...
  • wistlowistlo Posts: 13
    We are considering a new car to supplant our 2001 Civic EX. It's got 170,000 miles and has had a flukey engine sensor fail twice six months apart, unfortunately both times in the presence of in-laws. They are are Not Happy that their month-old granddaughter is traveling around in that car.

    I'm 6'5 and have sat briefly in both cars. CIvic seemed to have a smidge more front legroom, but as with all cars, driving position is knees up for me. Prius seems to win the trunk-luggage space hands (and literally, rear seats) down.

    Local dealers (New Orleans area) are quoting around MSRP for Honda, and MSRP plus $1000-4000 for Prius. Prius has 3 month wait, put $500 down and expect a car in 3 months. Civic is catch as catch can, and all Civics have 1.9% financing available for another month or so.

    Also, I was told no new 2008 Honda Fit orders are being taken, but not yet taking any for the new 2009 model.
  • seiker0808seiker0808 Posts: 4
    The deal breaker for me was that I couldn't get the HCH in leather. I really wanted leather. So I am getting a Prius with leather at the end of this week. But I did really like how the HCH drove.
  • FrungyFrungy Posts: 5
    I'm in the north bay area of California (sonoma county) and took a look at a Prius and Civic Hybrid. I liked the Prius for its trunk space and fold down seats, and disliked it for its terrible rear window- there's seriously a bar right across the middle, and the window is already tiny. I liked the Civic because it's just like a regular Civic for its feel, and disliked it because it has little cargo room and the seats do not fold down in the back. I liked how both had pretty good standard features. However, the dealbreaker for me was the pricetag. While the MSRP for both cars appears to be similar on Edumnds, Toyota was charging me 23k base price without tax for option 2, and no special financing (so 5-6%). Honda had the civic hybrid for 23k out the door (with tax, DMV etc), and is now offering 2-3% financing, AND there's still the 1k tax credit. It was a no brainer for me... it boiled down to 24k total for the civic vs. something upwards of 28-29k for the prius after financing/tax credits.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "The deal breaker for me was that I couldn't get the HCH in leather. I really wanted leather. "

    I'm pretty sure that a dealer could add leather for around 2K, and it would be a better job than most factory leather. My Honda dealer offered it to me with my 2003 CR-V, and it would have been included in the 36K/3 year warranty.
  • jcook123jcook123 Posts: 1
    Nice Analysis, thanks

    Here are a few additional items to ad to your list that I found on an autoMedia article called Civic vs Prius: Compact Hybrid Comparison

    * The EPA considers the Prius a Midsize Hatchback vs the Civic as a Compact Sedan. This is based on interior volume.
  • Compliments to Frungy for this simple yet important analysis. I too went through the same dilemma recently. Looks are a matter of personal choice. Although I travel more often and require a car with better boot space the trade off was with the price. The guys at hendrickcars did a good job in explaining the cost difference. I am glad I bought the HCH.
  • I have the Prius, my co oworker the Honda. Both behave similarly as far as fuel mileage and handling. 4 things make the Prius the better car:
    1. The ability to run up to 40 mph on the battery. Today I traveled 1.75 miles mostly on battery, with the MFD reading 99.9 mpg. Of course I was on the side roads, and was running 25 mph BUT it was still an amazing feat
    2. The MFD - amazing. Even in my package 2 it is an outstanding feature.
    3. The Smart Key and the HomeLink mirror. No more house keys for me! I still need 1 to get into the office but I could laways just sit on the porch and wait for a co worker to show up, but they usually are there after 9, and I get there around 8:15.
    4. The amount of interior space. I traded a 2001 Ford Sport Trac for the Prius and I now have more rear passenger room. The HCH is very small feeling inside, and the truck is also small.

    Get the Prius
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Regarding the ability of the Prius to run on the electric motor only. We rented a Prius over the Memorial day week end and part of my travels included a (admittedly downhill) run on a very rural 2 lane road during which we traveled between 9 and 10 miles on the electric motor alone. Even when the strictly downhill part ended and the road leveled off we continued to drive on the electric motor an additional 2-3 miles on this same rural road. I was impressed using NO gasoline for probably 12-13 miles.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    The Prius is a totally different animal.I have read very few complaints about it unlike the Honda which seems to be ovewhelmed with problems.
    We have friends who have driven their Prius over 100K miles without a single repair.
  • If I could take a Prius and put a Civic body on it, I would buy it.

    It is godawful ugly in my opinion.

    Also, to replace the battery in a Prius, you need like $5000, so you may be problem free longer than the HCH, but if you plan on keeping it past the warranty, you better start a saving account for the battery. The Civic battery is more like $1800
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This is absolutely erroneous. It was a fear back in 2001 and 2002, but it's been disproven nearly 1 million times over now.


    It may even turn out that the battery and hybrid components are the most reliable parts of the vehicle needing no replacement for any normal lifetime. As of today the Prius is the No 1 most reliable family vehicle in CR's hierarchy ( the Camry Hybrid is No 4 ). The Prius is also the most reliable vehicle in its class in JD Power's annual survey.

    It would not get these rankings if battery replacements were an issue.

    Finally there is the most validating fact of all......................EVERY vehicle manufacturer is now getting into hybrid production because they've seen Toyota's great sales and the bulletproof reliability and simplicity of the technology. The competing vehicle makers wouldn't be investing $Billions if there was a substantial risk.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "It may even turn out that the battery and hybrid components are the most reliable parts of the vehicle needing no replacement for any normal lifetime."

    I'm more concerned with other aspects of the Prius creating failure points. If the main display dies, the Prius won't start. That is an expensive part.

    Does the Prius have a model without the center display? I know that the FEH has it both with or without, including the higher end models, if desired.

    That makes a big difference. If my radio goes on in the FEH, I don't have radio. If the center display goes out in a Prius, I don't drive.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Aside from the fact that I have never seen any accounts of the display failing on the Prius I'm not sure it won't start if it did fail. Sure, the radio operation controls, AC operation controls, and various driver information pages are displayed on the main center display screen but it probably would start/drive without it being operational. Once again, I don't quote any of this as fact but opinion. No, one cannot get a Prius without the display and on the Civic the "with and without" display you mention is the GPS/navigation system and has nothing to do with the operation of the car. You can also get this as a page on the Prius' display and as with the Honda it is an option.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Sorry that's not accurate. It has nothing to do with the operation of the vehicle.

    Over on PriusChat there are a few limited reports of the MFD failing but it's just a small computer screen that goes out. It has nothing to do with the running of the vehicle.

    Yes Toyota would like to replace them a premium prices but there are numerous sources from the net to obtain a replacement for several hundred dollars then it's just 'plug and play'.

    Another unfounded misconception put to rest.
This discussion has been closed.