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Honda Civic Hybrid Performance

The 2015 Honda Civic Hybrid gets excellent fuel economy for a compact car, though its fuel economy among small hybrids is typical. Reviewers report that its hybrid powertrain operates smoothly and quietly. Still, reviewers remark that acceleration is leisurely. The Civic Hybrid has a comfortable ride, but isn't very engaging to drive and its fuel economy-oriented tires don't offer much grip for cornering. As is fairly common among hybrids, test drivers note that it can be challenging to stop the Civic Hybrid smoothly.

  • "The hybrid system is largely unobtrusive, which means you rarely hear or feel it kick into action." -- AutoTrader
  • "Performance fun is virtually nil. …" -- Chicago Tribune (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Civic Hybrid is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce 110 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. The Civic Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 44/47 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the compact car class and typical for a small hybrid.

Reviewers report that the Honda Civic Hybrid's acceleration is slow, though they’re not surprised given the car’s emphasis on fuel economy. Still, they report that the transition between electric and gas is smooth and quiet.

  • "On the road, we're a little disappointed by the Civic Hybrid's acceleration, which lags dramatically behind other Civic models. And these cars aren't typically known for high performance." -- AutoTrader
  • "Overall, we think that just about all Civic buyers will be happy with the CVT's operation. You can expect slower acceleration from the Civic Hybrid, though obviously, efficiency is the overriding priority." -- Edmunds
  • "As mentioned, the Civic hybrid's primary mission is to conserve fossil fuel. So we shouldn't have been surprised when a geriatric piloting a Buick Lucerne-apparently unaware of our impromptu race-poignantly demonstrated this truth by smoking us from a stoplight." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Handling and Braking

Test drivers write that the front-wheel drive Honda Civic Hybrid rides comfortably, but many comment that it doesn't handle very well because of its small wheels and tires. They note that the tires, which are optimized to help the Civic Hybrid maximize fuel economy, offer little cornering grip and cause the Civic Hybrid to have long stopping distances. Critics also report that the 2015 Civic Hybrid's regenerative brakes make it hard to bring the car to a stop smoothly, though this a fairly common complaint in hybrid vehicles.

  • "We also think the Civic Hybrid's smaller wheels and tires make it feel a little less stable than other Civic models, although this is a minor gripe." -- AutoTrader
  • "Apply some brake pressure and nothing happens, apply some more and wham! It stops on a dime. Smooth stopping is nigh impossible on every Civic Hybrid and Prius I've driven, and this car is no exception. Brakes are way too grabby." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "The hybrid version, however, rides on fuel-economy-optimized Bridgestone Ecopia tires, their hard, narrow construction limiting lateral grip to 0.77 g on the skidpad. The low-rolling-resistance Ecopias also contributed to an abysmal 196-foot stop from 70 mph to 0." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "Ride is smooth and comfortable, though." -- The Chicago Tribune (2013)
Review Last Updated: 3/3/15

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