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Honda Civic Hybrid

ike3ike3 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • spidermonkeyspidermonkey Member Posts: 30
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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?
  • christhatcherchristhatcher Member Posts: 5
    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 Member 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
  • robvig12000robvig12000 Member Posts: 16

    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
  • viking651viking651 Member Posts: 2
    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.

  • viking651viking651 Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 545
    is advertising the Civic Hybrid for $18XXX (either 590 or 950, sorry my dyslexia is showing).
  • travelitertraveliter Member Posts: 9
    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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • daysailerdaysailer Member Posts: 720
    of low cost.
  • travelitertraveliter Member 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 Member Posts: 152
    can any of the owners share their real world mpg? thnx.
  • dindakdindak Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • curlykimbacurlykimba Member Posts: 1
    I've test driven both the Hybrid 5spd & the automatic. I prefer the 5spd. I live in S Fl. where it is very hot for at least 6months out of the year. I'm wondering how much having the ac on all the time will affect the gas mileage. If the air is on, the car won't shut off at red lights. Does anyone out there have any experience with these set of circumstances?


  • dindakdindak Member Posts: 6,632
    I would think a 5-speed would be better on any of these cars. Europeans almost all have 5-speeds in their cars as low HP motors run much better that way.

    That said, given the grid lock that is usual around here on the highways, I won't be giving up an automatic anytime soon.
  • daysailerdaysailer Member Posts: 720
    begs for a manual transmission. The only condition where I find an automatic tolerable is highway cruising where the need to shift is infrequent.
  • sfbobsfbob Member Posts: 1
    i saw my first civic hybrid last night, in redwood city, california (Menlo Honda). dealer markup was $5,000 over MSRP, but "negotiable". dealer policy on test drive is: no test drive until a price has been agreed upon.

    are things any better elsewhere in california?
  • ulsterulster Member Posts: 1
    My wife wants to replace her '92 civic DX with a Civic Hybrid- she likes the feel of the car, the reliability ( 2 water pumps and the cost of about $13,000 over 10 years = about $100/month!)

    We live in New York State and we MAY get a tax credit and a reduction in the sales tax- see:

    Its a problem as the state wants a letter from Honda stating the value of the electric drive components- the parts that qualify for a rebate.


    Without an incentive, I am being tempted by the...Passat! Help! I once owned an Audi 100LS- the worst car made outside France.

    Please e-Mail Honda and ask them to "encourage" NY state to get helpful to the taxpayers.


  • daysailerdaysailer Member Posts: 720
    would someone agree to a price for an unknown product??
  • dindakdindak Member Posts: 6,632
    Going to test drive an Accord when they just came out and the dealer did not want to let me test it unless I put down a deposit. Needless to say I bought something else. Some dealers are very arrogant and I'm surprised that is still the case given the competitive nature of the car biz.
  • robvig12000robvig12000 Member Posts: 16
    I test drove both the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid. I came away more favorably impressed by the Civic Hybrid. Longer wheel base, more leg room, better finish inside, more equipment standard than the Prius, and compatible in terms of ride and handling. In fact, I felt better with the Civic. Both are good cars; but, I'm leaning toward the Civic Hybrid.

    Anyone else test drive both these cars and have impressions?

    The Honda dealer in Austin initially tried to charge me $500 to hold a Civic Hybrid so I could test drive it. When I balked at that, surprise, surprise, a week later they had two available to test drive, the CVT and the manual. I test drove the CVT and thought it was fine. In and around Austin traffic is hell.

    I also confronted the dealer about Honda dealerships asking for more than the MSRP. They said they don't and would not do that. Having said that, they did tell me they are not dealing on the Honda and that I should expect to pay full MSRP. The Toyota folks said the same thing.

    La Grange, TX
  • leemondoleemondo Member Posts: 4
    I had great experiences here in Maryland (although I have run into some boneheaded salesmen in the past). Both dealerships that I went to have no markups, and they just photocopied my license and threw me the keys.

    One dealer has an agreement with my credit union and the cost breakdown for the CVT automatic is:
    $18775 invoice
    $ 460 delivery
    $ 500 dealer profit
    $19735 total +
    $ 195 tags and processing (no MD sales tax)
    $19930 on the road

    I was fairly impressed with the automatic's pickup ability. Does the 5 speed really give you THAT much more pickup?

  • rob135rob135 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a Civic Hybrid this weekend and thought I'd share a little ....

    I got the CVT for just under $20k. I found one in a rural ag town about 400 miles away and emailed them (you can check inventories at - just as I thought, they were eager to get rid of it.

    The car rides great, though the gas mileage for the trip home was a little lower than expected (42 mpg driving 65 to 70 w/ AC on and a pretty consistent head wind). Does anyone know if the gas mileage should get better as the engine is broken in?

    I have to agree with just about everything that the Edmunds review had to say about it - it rides great (though the suspension is a little soft), power is fine for most drivers, and it seems well made. There's nothing really exotic about it except what's under the hood and the right side of the dash (which I found myself looking at way too often).
  • kcisivkcisiv Member Posts: 23
    Does anyone have an authoritative source for the invoice price for the Civic Hybrid 5-speed?

    My credit union also has an agreement with a dealer matching service, but unfortunately their lists don't yet include the '03 Hybrid. For other models, the dealer guarantees a no-haggle price of $300 over invoice, and I might be able to hold them to something close. No invoice price on Edmunds or as far as I can tell any of the other major services.

  • leemondoleemondo Member Posts: 4
    kcisiv, from the same dealer I mentioned above --
    Civic hybrid 5 speed:
    $17863 invoice
    $460 delivery
    $500 profit
    $18823 + $190 tags

    Rob -- I've read reviews from media test drives that suggest that 40-42 MPG is what you can expect. If yours gets better, please let us know! Seems pretty deceptive if the EPA estimate is that far off...

  • dindakdindak Member Posts: 6,632
    Mileage usually improves on normal engines after a few fill ups but it's hard to say what will happen with a hybrid. Let us know if it improves.
  • hybirdsharkhybirdshark Member Posts: 10
    Civic Hybrid is quoted for MSRP at Capitol Honda in the San Francisco Bay area. I got mine from my local dealer for MSRP after showing them the quote from Capitol Honda. If the supply of Hybrid Civics improve, you may be able to negotiate a better deal.

    It is kind of disgusting that we (Northern Californians) seem to have to pay more for cars than anywhere else in the country.
  • rfruthrfruth Member Posts: 630
    Yea the media test drivers get in the low 40s but once the vehicle is broken in and the driver(s) learn to maximize regenerative braking etc the MPG should be 50 or so. Rob (no hybrid yet) Fruth
  • hybirdsharkhybirdshark Member Posts: 10
    There is some new legislation about the tax credit for hybrid vehicles currently in the congress. It has not been signed into a law yet but from what I was able to "decode" from the text of several bills currently in consideration, you might be able to get about a $1500 tax credit if you purchase a Civic Hybrid this year. Of course, if the bill passes in its current form, etc. It looks like part of the tax credit will be proportional to the ratio of power from the electric motor vs the gasoline engine, which sucks.
  • daysailerdaysailer Member Posts: 720
    bases the tax credit on the % electric power, it will represent yet one more example of legislative ignorance and arrogance. For a legislative body to presume to promote a particular solution rather than the ultimate objective is counterproductive at best. In this case it would appear to give the largest subsidy to a series hybrid design which is a less efficient system than a parallel hybrid and will therefore consume more gasoline and produce more emissions than more efficient alternatives.
  • library1library1 Member Posts: 54
    Federal Income Tax Deduction for the Honda Insight and Other Hybrids


    See IRS Publication 535, Business Expenses, for the year 2000. (This publication refers to Title 26, Section 179A of the Internal Revenue Code, "Deduction for clean-fuel vehicles and certain refueling property," which is the law that applies.)

    The upshot is this: Hybrid owners are eligible for a federal income tax deduction up to $2,000 in the year of purchase equal to the total cost of the parts of the vehicle involved in storing, delivering, and "burning" electricity. Since the cost of replacing the battery pack alone for my 2000 Insight would be close to $2,000, undoubtedly the maximum deduction applies.

    American Honda currently is involved in getting the IRS to make an official ruling on what qualifies and what the dollar figure should be.

    You may want to see:

    Publication  463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses  544 Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets  946 How To Depreciate Property

    Form (and Instructions)  8834 Qualified Electric Vehicle Credit See chapter 14 for information about getting publications and forms.

    Deduction for nonbusiness clean-fuel vehicle property by individuals. Individuals can claim the deduction for clean-fuel vehicle property used for nonbusiness purposes by including the deduction in the total on line 32 of Form 1040. Also, enter the amount of your deduction and "Clean-Fuel" on the dotted line next to line 32.

    State Credit

    tax incentives in the western part of the country tend to be more simplified than in New York. He said Colorado wrote a specific base price -- $4,000 -- for a sales tax exemption on the Prius into its law after working with the company to arrive at such a figure.

    Toyota tells customers to claim a $1,200 credit on the Prius in New York.

  • dindakdindak Member Posts: 6,632
    That's a great idea. I wish they would do that up here. I think the government should credit all of these cars and really promote gas efficient cars. Maybe we can start slowly cutting reliance on the middle east that way.
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