Honda Civic Hybrid Review
2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
Among the many hybrid vehicles available, the Honda Civic Hybrid is often the most overlooked of the bunch, especially in the shadow of the Toyota Prius family. The 2012 model offers a few improvements and refreshed styling, but many shoppers are now wondering whether the track record of the Civic compact is worth taking a chance on this unique vehicle.
The 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid is available in two trims: the standard base trim that is equivalent to the mid-level Civic EX sedan and a top-tier trim that adds leather seating, heated mirrors and headed front seats. Both vehicles are outfitted with 15-inch alloy wheels shod with low-rolling resistance tires and LED taillights.
Honda Integrated Motor Assist
As with its other hybrid offerings, Honda offers the Integrated Motor Assist system. With a 90-horsepower 1.5-liter SOHC four-cylinder engine connected to a 23-horsepower electric motor and continuously variable transmission, the Civic Hybrid offers an EPA-estimated 44 mpg in both city and highway driving while remaining capable of accelerating to 60 mph from a standstill in only 10.1 seconds. That’s not bad for the average driver, but significantly slower than the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s time of 7.3 seconds.
Unlike previous models, the Civic Hybrid takes advantage of the latest in lithium-ion automobile battery technology, giving the hybrid’s electric motor more torque to use. On the performance front, the automatic CVT also features an “S” mode that holds higher revs for added performance, at the cost of fuel efficiency and engine noise.
Interior Finishes, Build-Quality
Even when the interior is fitted with leather seating surfaces, the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid always reminds both driver and passengers that they are ultimately within the confines of an economy-minded vehicle. The hard plastics might look better from last year’s, but it’s still a poignant reminder of this vehicle’s ultimate mission for many people. Nevertheless, the rest of the interior remains relatively high-grade in terms of materials.
Civic Hybrid Price and Value
$24,050 seems like a pretty steep price tag, but it’s par for the course when it comes to most hybrids. For instance, the competing Toyota Prius offers roughly the same MSRP. The 2012 Honda Insight is much cheaper at $18,970, but buyers get fewer options. The 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid is a good choice for those who are familiar with the Civic lineup, but want better fuel economy to go with the experience.