GO
Avg. Price Paid:$7,953 - $8,520
Original MSRP: $22,600 - $24,350
MPG: 49 City / 51 Hwy
Search Used Listings:

2007 Honda Civic Hybrid Performance

This performance review was written when the 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid was new.

Reviews find the 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid's ride is similar to the conventional Civic's. While USA TODAY finds the current Civic Hybrids "more powerful" and " less strained in demanding driving" than pre-2006 models, many reviewers are still underwhelmed with its engine power.

As Forbes Autos says, that the driving experience is "quite ordinary, which is just as Honda intended" For the Civic Hybrid. It gets an EPA-rated 40 mpg city and 45 mpg highway, which falls short of the Prius' efficiency in around-town driving. The Prius is rated at 48 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.

Acceleration and Power

Featuring a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with an electric motor, the Civic Hybrid makes 110 horsepower and 123 pounds-feet of torque. This combination, known as Integrated Motor Assist (IMA), helps Honda hybrids function with smaller engines to maintain great mileage. Most reviewers explain the engine's auto-stop feature, which turns off the engine when the car is stopped for traffic to save fuel, then restarts the engine once it's time to accelerate. As Cars.com notes, "it can catch you off guard sometimes; the engine occasionally needs to be started even when you're not moving, which can make the car creep forward if your foot isn't firmly on the brake pedal."

A number of reviews complain that the Civic Hybrid's acceleration is somewhat sluggish. "Overtaking cars on the highway at speeds above 70 requires forethought and planning," as Autobytel says, while CNET calls accelerating "underwhelming," and Consumer Guide Automotive gave the Civic Hybrid's acceleration lower marks than its class average.

In terms of fuel efficiency, reviewers caution drivers that the Environmental Protection Agency's high ratings, 40 miles per gallon in the city, 45 miles per gallon on the highway, are "rarely achieved," as Car and Driver finds. "To get mileage in the high-40-mpg range requires gradual acceleration, timid cruising speeds, and cautious use of the throttle." About.com: Autos' writer finds something different: "In my time with the car, I was hugely impressed with the fuel economy, averaging over 50 mpg while driving vigorously in both urban and country surroundings."

The 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid incorporates a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that Forbes Autos says "doesn't register the jolts that standard transmissions exhibit while shifting gears."

Handling and Braking

While there were some sources that say the Hybrid feels tight in its handling, a few, including Forbes Autos, mention the electric motor's heaviness as a minus that causes some twist-aversion. Additionally, MSN Autos' reviewer dislikes the Hybrid's "jolts when I drove over potholes." The 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid has a unit-body construction standard, with a MacPherson strut suspension in the front and multi-link rear suspension. Steering is provided by electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion and the curb-to-curb turning diameter is 34.8 feet.

In terms of braking, the Civic Hybrid has anti-lock brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist. As a hybrid vehicle, this Civic's brakes are also regenerative, which critics find takes some getting used to. Newsday claims the brake pedal has "an artificial and somewhat nonlinear feel because a variable amount of the stopping is being done by friction in the electric motor," and Cars.com discovers "the brakes are a bit shy of feeling like a regular car's -- especially as one nears a complete stop."

Review Last Updated: 5/2/08

Next Steps: Honda Civic Hybrid