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Toyota Prius vs. Honda Civic Hybrid v. Honda Insight v. ?



  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Hey folks - in case you haven't visited our new blogs yet, check out Karl on Cars (Karl Brauer our Editor in Chief) and see the entry about

    Toyota Prius v. Honda Civic Hybrid

    You can comment on it there - hey! another place for you to post...

    note - if you have autologin/remember me you might have to put the URL in as for some reason clicking on it is giving a redirect to our main blog Straightline
  • I have owned 3 Civics and two Accords, so my shopping started with Honda. The Civic is small for my needs (need the trunk space especially) and the Accord is too expensive, even the non-hybrid. Keeping the Civic in mind with the possibility of hybrid or not, I looked at a Prius.

    The Prius had the room that I need and the functionality that I need. Certainly the non hybrid Civic would be cheaper, but it wouldnt have the space that I need. It really was as simple as that. The test-drive went fine and the car met my expectations. Certainly not a dragster, but I am not looking for a muscle car, just a car to commute with. And as I sit in traffic for too long, the Prius made sense as it turns the ICE off.

    So, I asked the Honda dealer for a test drive in a non-hybrid Civic. He couldn't produce one in the trim that I was looking at, much less a hybrid. What bothered me is that he then told me that I didn't need a hybrid and that Honda only made hybrids to compete with Toyota.

    I then asked the Toyota dealer for a test drive in a Prius. It happened within 3 days. The Prius provides the room that I need; the Civic (hybrid or otherwise) doesnt. Mine is currently on order. Sure, it is more expensive, but it is a better car. As far as the HCH, I didn't like the idea of a belt-driven transmission. I have had some 'negative experience' with Hondas and belts.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    You ought to find a Honda dealer willing to give you a test drive in a HCH. It is much improved over the 05. It is also a very nice looking sedan! I know a few people that have already driven them, but they still prefer their Prius (another forum forbidden to be linked). Can't hurt to try one so that you know for sure you made the right decision. Good luck!!!
  • " ... Accord is too expensive, even the non-hybrid"
    " .. (Prius) Sure, it is more expensive, but it is a better car. "

    Based on what you stated, you should not get a Prius, but you should get a LX Accord or Special Editon Accord instead. They are much less expensive to purchase than even the base Prius. If TCO is one of your key criteria, which it appears to be, then the Prius will not pay off!

    Your "better car" will end up costing you a lot more!
  • Hmmm.
    Have to think about that one... :confuse:
  • Ok, did some looking and some comparing. My Honda dealer was selling Accord EX (non-hybrid) at $30k, LX at $25k. Other Honda dealers have quoted me similar prices. Granted, the Accord has more room. Still, the price would be a wash. So I will be going with the Prius, if only to have a different model/make of car for a change!
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    If you get the Prius..take delivery in Jan to take advantage of the tax credit of ~3k.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Accords are pricey in your neck of the woods! EX I4 Accords sticker for much less than $30k. With that kind of gouging, the Prius would make sense unless you stretch your search beyond the Prius and Accord.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,417
    My Honda dealer was selling Accord EX (non-hybrid) at $30k

    That does seem a bit stiff. The 2006 leather NAV version in San Diego, a known Honda gouging location, is right at $26k. By comparison the 2005 pkg 6 Prius is $28,629 locally. The 2006 Prius with leather is going to be a bit more. I would think it would be easier to find an Accord than a Prius also. Good luck in your quest.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    Anyone looking for an 06 Prius should opt out and buy the leather aftermarket. Don't forget the nice juicy tax credit too. 28k turns into 25k at the blink of an eye. Gotta love it!!!
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    should I do the same with the RX400H?
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    Leather is standard.
  • I haven't seen many comments on the big price difference. Over $4000 ($3000 after the tax credit next year). I'm thinking about an 06 Prius and looked at an 06 Civic hybrid today (compared it to my 05 Prius).

    To each his/her own on looks, but to my eye the Honda is much better looking on the inside. Both have the same cloth arm rests 'mistake' and neither one has rear A/C vents.

    The Civic driving position is better becuase of the tilt/telescope wheel and height adjusting seat. The rear seat head room is much better in the Civic.

    Width is better in the Prius as is rear leg room. The Civic trunk is tall, but very shallow front to back. The rear seat in the Civic is too low (almost knee in the chest) and it is a low bridge getting into the front of the Civic.

    The Honda nav system is far superior. I like the Civic - a lot. BUI, it does not have stability control, xenon lights, or the key stays in the pocket lock system.

    Stability control is a must for us, so even though I like the Civic hybrid better than the Prius, it was a no sale. Hopefully the leather seat 06 Prius will have a nicer interior than our 05.
  • cooljwcooljw Posts: 47
    The Civic Hybrid doesn't have folding rear seats because the batteries are located in that space between the seats and the trunk. This is really bad if you surf.

    But the Prius is fold down all the way through, so you can stash a surfboard in there. Anyone know how long of one you can fit?

    For example, I can fit an 8' board in my 2005 Corolla after pushing the front passenger seat forward. From the looks of it, you should be able to get something even longer in the Prius.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    That wood inside the Prius is 10 FEET long!


  • cooljwcooljw Posts: 47
    WOW!!! Now THAT is impressive! :)
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    COOL... I just hope you wrap the front of that wood with a towel. Wouldn't want to mar that dashboard. Prius.... a truly incredible vehicle. Gotta love it!!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Break out the long boards, dude, surf's up! :D

  • kdlukdlu Posts: 4
    I'd like to get the Clean Air Vechile Stickers to drive in carpool lane but I heard DMV is only issuing 75,000. Does anyone know how many has been issued thus far? I don't know whether to wait til Jan '06 to purchase (for tax credit) or to purchase now and still try to get the sticker. Thanks.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I've read there are plenty of stickers to go around. Definitely wait. The allotment is definitely greater than the amount of hybrids registered. Furthermore, not every hybrid owner in CA will need/want the sticker. Good luck!!
  • keemkeem Posts: 2
    I'm thinking about buying a new or used hybrid next month because I'm sick of the gas prices and the idlling & horrible traffic here in Seattle. and am wondering, if any of you die-hard honda people have ever had your car stolen? Well I have a '97 civic that has been repeatedly broken into and actually stolen right in front of my house. After this happened, the alarm went off but they got away. So when I got it back, eventually, I got a break lock, now when thieves try it again, they just rip the cheap plastic things on the window seal and spit all over the windows because they finally see that they can't drive away. I have had to replace this almost every other month. I want to know if the new hybrids, both toyota & honda have a re-design for anti-theft protection. Also, are the interiors more air-tight in the newer models? the '97 civic is loud as hell.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The reports from owners of the new 2006 Civic have mentioned how quiet the car is. Some of the owners even had 2004 or 2005 Civics and say the new one is far quieter than those were.

    As far as theft protection, well, it's HARD to prevent things like you mentioned - if they know it's not going to be easily stolen and then the car is vandalized in anger, there's really nothing to do about that.

    If you want "theft proof" you need to lock in into a garage in the house where you are sleeping - that's about the hardest theft to pull off.

    I have heard of a company called RAVELCO which touts a theft deterrent system which has never been compromised, if you want just sheer "this car will not be stolen" protection, but even the best alarm is useless if they bring a tow truck.
  • keemkeem Posts: 2
    Of course there is no "this car will not be stolen" guarantee, but there is a huge epidemic in my area, and I'm sure on a wider scale considering how popular hondas are and in the aftermath of the angry vandalizers, I can see how easy it really is to steal one. the ignition is encased in a plastic shell that comes off and then there is a white plastic cap that anyone can stick a pencil or a screwdriver or even a long fingernail into and start the car and drive off. My question is: are the new hybrids different in this design? are the windows/shields encased in steel instead of cheap foam?
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I just read a review that complained about the high amount of road noise in the 2006 Civic. I can't remember where I read it. I will try and find it and post a link here.
  • I test drove a 2006 Civic Sedan, Coupe, and bought the Hybrid. The Coupe was very noisy but the sedan was not and my hybrid is really quiet.
  • hklhkl Posts: 9
    Sylvia, thanks for sharing the site. I have also seen a comparison test report which says basically the same results. For a long time, I can't believe how the published fuel economy for the Prius is SO MUCH better than the Honda civc hybrid. Toyota knows that its numbers are exaggerated. I am disappointed at its dis-honesty. I happen to talk to a Prius owner ( of two years )and he is not too impressed by the hype on his car's high mileage either. He is mildly disappointed by the numbers his Prius is getting. Of course, I thought he was just a rare case at the time of conversation.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    You can't blame Toyota, blame the EPA. They are the ones that set the standards for how the tests are conducted. Also read the fine print! Below those mileage numbers are ranges for that type of car size. YMMV. I know many people who get mid to high 40s with mixed driving and they're very pleased. It will be interesting to see real world numbers for the new Civic.
  • I have been a ZipCar member in Boston since 10/2000, and I have borrowed from the pool of Toyota Prius and been rather impressed. When I first borrowed the HCH, I was even more so. The handling is superb, the smoothness of ride delightful, the quiet sublime. I now work 20 miles from home, and as a result pushed ZipCar from being my only car to being my second car. The 2006 Civic Hybrid which I now own is still impressing me.
  • Two missing features “Traction Control” and especially ESC (Electronic Stability Control) are major failings of the new 2006 Honda Civic. By not making ESC available, Honda is missing out on one of the major advancements in safety in the last ten years.

    To put things in perspective, check out
    Now try it without ABS, EBD, ESP, EBA ..
    which is an article about people who normally drove cars with these safety features, and who were than put in cars without them. While they may not have known they had them in their own cars, they noticed something was very wrong in a car that did not have them. It's not specifically about ESC and traction control but I think you can get the idea. The Volvo S70 they refer to has a more sophisticated version of ESC.

    I just saw another article which says the 2006 Sonata will have "Standard ESC" for under 20k. When Hyundai which most Honda owners laugh adds more safety features than good Old Honda, one of the most auto prestigious companies you know there's something rotten in the state of Denmark/Japan!

    Here are two quotes from the Insurance Institute for Safety

    “…About half of the 28,000 fatal passenger vehicle crashes that occur each year involve a single vehicle. Equipping cars and SUVs with electronic stability control (ESC) can reduce the risk of involvement in these crashes by more than 50 percent. The effect on all single-vehicle crashes (fatal and nonfatal) is somewhat less (about 40 percent), and the effect on multiple-vehicle crashes is much less. These are the main findings of a new
    Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study comparing crash rates for cars and SUVs with and without ESC…”

    “….Together these studies, including the Institute’s new one, indicate that widespread application of ESC in the vehicle fleet can be expected to afford a significant safety benefit. If all vehicles on U.S. roads had ESC, we might avoid as many as 800,000 of the 2 million or so single-vehicle crashes that occur each year. About 14,000 fatal single vehicle crashes occurred in 2003, which means there’s a potential to save more than 7,000 lives each year…”

    So Honda has made a deal with the devil and traded safety for styling and the “Car of the Year” award (which is probably given to the biggest bribe anyway) .
    The bottom line, is you can’t take that award into the operating room at the hospital!
This discussion has been closed.