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Honda Civic Hybrid

ike3ike3 Posts: 81
The timing of the release of this new vehicle from Honda couldn't come at a better time. Fuel prices continue to rise. Civic highway MPGs are at 50 mpg. What is your "real world" experience with mileage on this car? USA Today's review said that their testing showed the mpg gauge was saying 34 mpg in their mixed use testing. My bet is that prices will be firm on this vehicle. Comments are welcome to this new thread.


  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Have seen on yahoo honda-hybrid that the Civic gets more like 55 - 60 MPG, not sure why USA today got such poor mileage.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Car and Driver averaged 38 mpg in mixed use with a heavy foot. The best they got was 49 mpg doing a consistent 70 mph. You have to flog this engine to get respectable acceleration (10.9 sec 0-60 with a full charge and 13.1 with the battery depleted; slower then all regular cars but the 3 cylinder Metro), so my guess is that real world mileage isn't going to be much better then the regular Civic. They did say this was the best hybrid yet as far as driveability though. Until they put in a powerful enough engine that can post good city mileage as well as highway mileage, I don't see the point in paying so much more money. It only makes sense for those that commute strictly on non-congested freeways.
  • PeterunPeterun Posts: 83
    Yes, I own an '03 Civic hybrid . . . Love this car. Perhaps it's just a state of mind . . or the pleasure of feeling as though I'm beating the system . . . I do average approx. 45 mpg, city and freeway combined. And I find this vehicle incredibly well built, comfortable, vibration free and quiet, at all speeds. It is perhaps the smoothest car I've owned. Suspension is very tight. Power: No lack. Lots of torque. Always enough.

    I know the formula: That it would take ten years to recapture the dollars I spent on the differential between a non-hybrid Civic and mine. Still, I think this is worth the price. Maybe because it's the only Civic model built in Japan? The build quality is superior. Seems to do everything very well. And what about the satisfaction of spending so little on oil consumption? My take. Pete
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    Honda sends over other (non hybrid) Civic sedans from Japan. Not a lot of them, but they are out there. They also send over some Accord sedans and of course
    the CR-V.
  • Your interpretation of the Car and Driver article is some what misleading. Honda's IMA manual system works slightly differently than a conventional manual. This car and the Insight have a light in the cabin that indicates the proper time to shift in order to get the best performance. These shift points are different from a conventional manual because in the hybrid they take into account the ability of the electric motor to help. The C&D article actually mentions having to relearn shifting, notably that you don't want to coast to a stop in neutral in a hybrid. If you drive the car correctly, you'll never be accelerating from 0-60 with a completely depleted battery.

    I wish that they tested a CVT equipped hybrid. The results would be far more reliable.
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    I was somewhat interested in the civic hybrid for a commuter car. What with gas prices and all. But I have to say I just can't understand why they even bother. I'm not bashing at all here, just asking. I had owned a crx hf that averaged over 50 mpg and got 60 on the highway. No special technology or anything. Was a great college car as I could drive home and such and hardly spend money on gas. Now they are raving about getting 55-60 in a hybrid. At least the new hybrid is a 4 door sedan, so that makes it a little better. The old one was basically a crx with fancy engineering and still barely beat the mpg in regular driving.
    Are there other real advantages to the hybrid other than mpg? Maybe I'm missing something.
    At this point I much rather just have my old hf back.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    I don't think you are missing anything. The Civic Hybrid as you pointed out is larger and more mainstream than your CRX was (nice vehicle BTW). It does get better mileage than a comparable gasoline powered Civic, so there is a benefit to some. IMO a lot of the benefit is intangible. People want to do their little part and there is nothing wrong with that.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    What parts of my statement were misleading? I think you don't quite understand what you are talking about and misunderstood my comments. The shift light is not about performance. It's about getting the most fuel economy out of the car (I drove a 00 Swift that had a shift light that came on around 2400 rpms, which is definitely not where you should shift if you want to get anywhere at a modest pace). If you shift using that light, you will have some difficulty keeping up with traffic, but you will be getting good mileage and keep the battery from being drained. However, if you drive a little more aggressively to keep up with traffic, your mileage will drop down to a regular Civic and the battery will start draining, making it even slower if you continue driving like that. Thus, that's why I stated real world mileage isn't going to be much better then regular Civics. The less power a car has, the more you tend to drive it hard to keep up with traffic. With a more powerful engine, I think the hybrid idea could work. As it stands, it's amazing they need all this technology to do what cars in the 80s used to be able to do. The hybrid idea does work for those who drive mostly on the highway and drive very timidly, but for the average person, I think they would quickly get annoyed with the lack of power and see little gains in fuel economy over the already fuel efficient Civic.
  • ficklefickle Posts: 98
    Since you are the only one on this board that actually owns a hybrid, I'd like to know what caused you to purchase the Civic rather than a Prius? What kind of car did you own before?

    I may be changing jobs and the new job will be completely stop and go traffic. (1 hour to go 10 miles.) I hate sitting in traffic just thinking about all the gas being burned. Therefore, I'm thinking of getting a hybrid, even though people are saying you can't recoup the initial cost difference and the gas you'd save. I'll miss the 6 cylinder engine going up the hill to my house but at 3 mph on the freeway, I'm sure I won't notice it at all!
  • PeterunPeterun Posts: 83
    To answer your question . . . I own several other cars, including a C320 wagon, and a new Mini Cooper. I've also owned and sold a Prius. Had that for about four months. Liked it, well sort of. Found it less driveable, less fun than the Civic. The Civic is definately more controlled and feels safer at high speeds. Also, more comfortable and luxurious. Of note, both have electric assisted steering . . . . . the Prius' made squeaking sounds . . . .and did not appear to be as refined as the Honda. The Civic's steering definately tightens up at speed and gives a good amt. of road feel back to the driver. Civic has side protective moldings - Prius has no protection . . more of a metal slab design. Honda offers standard side air bags; cruise control, driver's side armrest. Prius offers all maint. for 36,000 miles as standard. My dealership, Sierra in Monrovia Ca., gives free oil changes for as long as the original owner owns the vehicle. Typical of Honda . . . this car is perfect right out of the box. Almost one thousand miles . . . and I have no reason to return to the dealership. Runs absolutely perfectly. And no, I do not work for Honda. Hope this answers your question. Pete
  • ficklefickle Posts: 98
    I went and test drove the Civic hybrid today. They only had one and it was a manual. Drives just like an ordinary car. I like the looks of the controls.

    One thing the salesman said to me was that you could get a $3000 tax credit on your tax return. Anyone know what that's about?
  • After a relatively disappointing test drive of the new Honda Civic Hybrid automatic two weeks ago, we thought we'd give the Toyota Prius one last chance. Even though we first test drove the Prius last year, we now had a solid competitor to compare it to.

    The Prius only comes as an automatic, and that is what we test drove yesterday.

    Having owned my Honda Accord for 17 years now, I have to admit I'm biased towards Hondas, but facts are facts. The Toyota Prius outperformed the Honda Civic Hybrid in two significant areas where we found the Civic lacking: Where we were less than thrilled with the Civic Hybrid's acceleration, the Prius took off up an uphill freeway entrance ramp with punch and pep comparable to any other compact economy car. Where Honda only offers the Civic Hybrid in three limited and boring colors, the Prius comes in at least six colors, including a nice navy color we thought would be a good pick for my girlfriend who is now a vice president of her environmental engineering firm, and something a guy like me wouldn't be embarrassed to drive as well.

    While quirky and unconventional, the interior of the Prius is also more aesthetically pleasing than the two-tone Civic interior. The dash mounted automatic shift lever takes a little getting used to, as do the digital readouts and touch screen computer, but so what? When most people still think you have to plug these cars in at night, what's wrong with educating your passengers as they ride. The Prius' interior also makes you feel as if you're in more of a luxury car than you actually are. The Civic Hybrid's only slightly modified interior makes you feel as if you're still riding in just another Civic. The only advantage that the current Civic Hybrid has over the Prius right now is that the Prius wheel wells may be too small to accommodate chains.

    Even though the word on the street is that the Honda Civic Hybrid standard version has better acceleration than the Prius, and Honda promises better exterior colors in the future, we don't have time to sit around and wait for Honda to get their act together. We're buying a Prius next week.

    Chris Thatcher

    Postscript: The Sierra Club's magazine "Sierra," published an article in their May/June 2002 issue (p. 64) where they compared the performance and environmental impact of a Toyota Prius Hybrid to a GMC Yukon SUV in a side-by-side road trip of over 700 miles in Florida. The Prius costs $20,450, the Yukon costs $35,552. Over the identical distance, the Prius achieved an overall gas mileage of 44.5 mpg, while the Yukon only achieved 16.3 mpg. The Prius used 16.24 gallons of gas during the entire trip, at a cost of $22.84, while the Yukon burned through 43.01 gallons, at a cost of $60.21. The Prius only produced an estimated 308.56 pounds of CO2, versus 817.19 pounds for the Yukon.
  • joncabjoncab Posts: 8
    I tried to buy the Honda Hybrid Civic.

    I got two quotes from different dealers. Ready? First $3,000, Second $5,000 over MSRP.

    My feet got cold...NO WAY.

    I am in Nor Cal.
    Anderson Honda, and Gilroy Honda.

    What kind of deals are they offering the rest of you? JEFF
  • Jeff,

    I was given an Internet quote from a dealer in Austin, TX, of $21,010--which is what Edmunds says is the MSRP and their True Market Value.

    I went to test drive one; but, they didn't have any on the lot, and they wanted a $500 deposit to hold one just to test drive it (they give you right of first refusal).

    On paper, the Civic Hybrid looks like a better deal. I test drove the Prius yesterday (there were five on the Toyota lot) and it seemed just fine. But, it looks like the Civic has more head and leg room, bigger tires, and is slightly longer in length. And, its standard equipment includes many of the things Toyota has as options.

    Tough call, I think. Right now I'm leaning toward the Civic Hybrid (if I can ever actually SEE and DRIVE one), but does anyone else have opinions?

    La Grange, TX
  • I have heard the batteries last 10 years ("expected"). Has anyone heard any information about estimated costs of the replacement? I would like to consider this in the whole scheme of a purchase. I have only heard references here to purchase price of Hybrid vs regular and how long gas savings takes to cover the upfront cost. Especially with current deals out there on LX's and EX's and the deals likely to come later this year. Personally, this part of the cost doesn't bother me, but I would like to learn more about long range repair costs before diving in.

  • I have another thought for everyone. Everyone's stories of how hard it is to find a Hybrid to even test drive them is reminding me of the birth of the PT Cruiser. I don't know about anywhere else in the country, but today I saw no less than 20 PT Cruisers at a lot near my home. Maybe waiting for the dust to settle will be a good move for getting a Hybrid..

    Just a passing thought.
  • PeterunPeterun Posts: 83
    I read Mr. Thatcher's post re: Civic Hybrid vs. Prius. As an owner of both cars, I am at opposite ends. The Civic is such a superior vehicle. It's rock steady at freeway speeds - Prius moved about aimlessly. Steering on the Civic tightens up significantly at speed. Now that I have more than 1,000 miles on the Civic, the mileage has gotten much better - closer to 50 mpg on freeway and 45.5 on local streets. I really love this car. Again . . not a single problem. Pete
  • pglistpglist Posts: 2
    Has the Civic Hybrid been crash-tested, and if not, is it safe to assume it would perform as well in an accident as the standard Civic?

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    The hybrid Civic has a gas engine and an electric assist. The electric assist is usually available when needed, but not all the time. Long uphills will drain the battery.

    I can't help but wonder what the car would be like if Honda dropped the electrical part of the equation. The car would be 200 lbs lighter - this would help acceleration ALL of the time. Highway mileage would actually be better as well because of the reduced weight.

    The car would be easier to work on, and would be more mechanic friendly, also no worry about battery replacement down the road.

    In my opinion Honda should do the following. Take a regular Civic down to 2,100 lbs with an aluminum body (the extra cost of the aluminum would still probably be less than the IMA system) place the 1.3 liter engine from the hybrid in there and you have a car that outperforms the 2,650 lb hybred in every way. I do realize that Honda has no interest in my opinion, so I doubt this will ever happen, especially since tax credits are being set up to reward technology not efficiency. This means that a hybrid SUV that gets 22 mpg will get a tax credit, while a non hybrid Civic that gets 35 mpg will not get a credit.

    By the way, VW has done this already, and has an aluminum car in Europe that gets 100 mpg (on the highway) with a conventional diesel engine (no electric assist)
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    is advertising the Civic Hybrid for $18XXX (either 590 or 950, sorry my dyslexia is showing).
  • Hi folks. Just wanted to join in the discussion, as we purchased a Civic Hybrid 5-speed (the opal blue) this past Sunday. I've driven it everyday to commute to work (50 miles/day) and like it a lot.

    It was Really Tough finding a dealer that had one, though. We live in NorCal, and we missed the initial shipment up here that happened on April 1 (we were not able to get to the dealers that day). Most dealers were sold out of their single vehicles within days if not hours. We finally expanded our search to the Los Angeles area (in total I must have contacted somewhere near 40 California dealers), and were fortunate enough to find a dealer with one in stock. They were asking a ridiculous price ($5000 over MSRP) but were able to negotiate it down to not too much over MSRP (we suspect their initial high price may have scared most potential buyers away, which worked out for us). Next shipment in NorCal is supposed to happen within a week, but nobody around here will budge to sell one for under $2000 over MSRP. Youch!
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Setting the "green" aside, what do you think it a better value, the Golf or Jetta TDI or the Civic hybrid? MPGs should be somewhat similar, especially for the manuals. The GLS versions of the TDI have more amenities and all VWs have head curtain airbags in addition to the front and side.
  • jeff186jeff186 Posts: 95
    Seems that the HX comes close on mileage and can readily be obtained below MSRP. Of course, the HX doesn't have the cachet of being a hybrid.
  • travelitertraveliter Posts: 9
    jeff186 -- I saw the HX but it apparently only comes in coupe. We specifically wanted a four-door sedan. Plus I believe the mpg for city on the HX is only 33.
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    can any of the owners share their real world mpg? thnx.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I was reading in the paper that it would take 20-30 years of gas saving to make up the extra cost of a Honda Hybrid over the regular Civic? Anyone know if this is true.

    I think these cars are good for people who like to have the latest thing, but for most I think a regular small car would be a better choice. I'm sure this will change over time though.
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 720
    but you must assume interest and inflation rates as well as fuel price. But present hybrids at current prices will not pay back their difference in purchase price over the life of the vehicle. When you consider also that the performance of the hybrids does not equal the conventional alternative, you must place a high value on appearing "green" to justify the purchase (or you just like to be the "first kid on the block" with something new).
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The hybrid idea is VERY cool and I really hope Detriot and Europe also pick up on this idea. I think it can work, even with SUVs eventually. Unfortunately for most, it's an expensive option.
  • raychuang00raychuang00 Posts: 541
    I had a chance to drive a Honda Civic Hybrid with the CVT automatic lately.

    I was NOT impressed. The car felt flat-footed going onto the freeway, especially freeway ramps with an incline. Also, because the battery back for the IMA system resides right behind the back seat, it also cuts into trunk space, too.

    Say what you want about the Toyota Prius, but I found the acceleration of the Prius to be much superior and also because of the placement of the batteries doesn't impinge into trunk space.
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