2008 Honda Civic Hybrid Interior
The five-seater 2008 Civic Hybrid is still a carry-over from the remodeled 2006 version that many critics gave a warm welcome. Forbes says, "While the layout takes a few miles to get used to it's not long before the view is quite natural." However, others were thrown by the minimal seating and cargo space, and find some design elements unusual.
"Simply stated, the new Civic is loaded and ready to rock," said the Car and Driver calls the new Civic and Civic Hybrid's interior odd and lacking adjustable lumbar support: "The result feels as if the small of your back were resting on a Dura flame log.". But
Reviews determine the Civic Hybrid's front seats are supportive and comfortable, but its back seat is basically along for the ride. While all of those seats have "nice upholstery, with a soft, chenille-like feel," says the Car and Driver reports. Some reviewers also had space issues up front: As Edmunds notes, "The manual height adjustment on the driver's seat pivots on front hinges, forcing drivers to choose between seat height and legroom.", the back is a bit cramped. The 2006 design included a 3.2-inch increase in the wheelbase of the car, but rear-seat legroom was decreased by 1.4 inches, which "means that while up to three adults can be seated in the back, they won't necessarily want to stay there for long."
As with most Honda's, the 2008 Civic Hybrid comes fully loaded, including XM ® Satellite Radio, and a digital audio-card reader, power-assisted doors and windows and a climate control with air filtrations. An exterior raked windshield results in an elongated dashboard that most reviewers issue strong opinions about. "The top of the dashboard is expansive and unsightly," Forbes claims, while MSN finds the two tiered effect combined with a smaller steering wheel "contributed to my initial reaction that I was in front of a video game, rather than driving a car."
Stereo and Entertainment
CNET reports that the sound quality from the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid's 160-watt audio player is "somewhat underwhelming but clear enough," but enjoys the XM Satellite Radio that now comes standard. CNET also gives high marks for the iPod auxiliary input, which hooks up with ease, as well as the digital audio-card reader, "a feature Honda has been offering for some time but which we've seen little of elsewhere."
New this year to the Honda Civic Hybrid is a Satellite-Linked Navigation System TM with voice recognition, available as an option. As CNET explains, "the optional voice-controlled navigation system is the highlight of the cabin tech in the Civic (Bluetooth cell phone integration is unfortunately not available), and we continue to enjoy using it. We've seen better graphics and resolution (generally in much more expensive cars), but the voice recognition system and the overall ease of use are excellent."
If you'd like more flexibility to take your nav in and out the car, there are plenty of stand-alone units with comparable features to Honda's Satellite-Linked system. Check out our GPS reviews and buying guide for more insight on the best GPS for you.
The 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid has 10.4 cubic feet for cargo space, something Cars.com calls "slightly smaller than the regular sedan's." But other reviews mention that the Civic Hybrid is long on storage bins, nooks, map pockets and cup holders. What's missing to several writers is a folding rear seat or pass-through for long objects -- something many compact cars possess. The absence of this feature causes the Car and Driver reviewer to describe the Civic Hybrid as "basically a bench seat and some seatbelts."