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#27

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $24,635 - $27,335
Invoice: $22,882 - $25,382
MPG: 44 City / 47 Hwy
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Honda Civic Hybrid Performance

The 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid isn't especially fast, reviewers say, and the transition between power sources feels disjointed, they add. Several critics complain about the touchy regenerative brakes. Overall, test drivers think the ride is composed, but say the Civic Hybrid isn’t much fun to drive.

  • "Performance fun is virtually nil. …" -- Chicago Tribune (2013)
  • "There is certainly still a lack of refinement with the grabby brakes, unsmooth engine stop/start feature and the cargo space dominated by the battery pack." -- AutoWeek (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid has a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce 110 horsepower combined. A continuously variable transmission is standard. The Civic Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 44/47 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a compact car and competitive with rival hybrids’ fuel economy, but not as good as the Toyota Prius c’s.

Reviewers say the Civic Hybrid accelerates leisurely, though they’re not surprised given the car’s emphasis on fuel economy. They also say the transition between gas and electric power can be choppy.

  • "You can expect sluggish acceleration from the Natural Gas Civic and Civic Hybrid, though obviously, efficiency is the overriding priority on these models." -- 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)
  • "Another problem I've had with other Civic Hybrids, and this one as well, is that the switching back and forth between gas and gas-and-battery power is anything but smooth, and that's just in normal driving." -- AutoWeek (2013)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the 2014 Civic Hybrid is a breeze to drive and offers a pleasant ride. Some test drivers note that steering and handling are more responsive than in previous model years, but most say that overall, the Civic Hybrid isn't much fun to drive. Several auto writers add that the regenerative brakes are too sensitive, which is a common complaint of hybrid cars.

  • "Performance isn't earth-shattering, but we enjoy the Civic's effortless driving feel: It seems simple and easy to pilot. That feeling extends to the Civic Hybrid's braking and handling performance, as well, and we find the Civic to be among the sturdier, better-built compact cars." -- 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)
  • "Ride is smooth and comfortable, though." -- Chicago Tribune (2013)
  • "Behind the revised look are slightly beefier springs, thicker anti-roll bars, and a stiffer front-end structure-all of which deliver subjectively better handling and body control over last year's car. Thanks to a quicker ratio and reduced friction in the rack, the electric power steering is more accurate, too." -- Car and Driver (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

Next Steps: Honda Civic Hybrid