Main article: Honda Civic
The Honda Civic Hybrid is a hybrid version of the Honda Civic sedan. Honda added a continuously variable transmission and an Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system similar to that of the Insight, creating a fuel efficient hybrid sedan. It is an assist hybrid.
It was first introduced in February 2002 as a 2003 model, based on the seventh generation Civic. Along with the conventional Civic, it received updated styling for 2004. Due to a delay in rolling out the succeeding Hybrid, the first generation Hybrid continued to be sold alongside the eight generation Civics for several months in 2006. The second generation Civic Hybrid is based on the eighth generation Civic, with styling differences between the USDM and JDM Hybrids.
1st Generation (2003-2005 Model)
- 1.3L single overhead cam i-DSI lean-burn internal-combustion engine with VTEC Cylinder Cut-off System, which allows up to three cylinders to cease operation during deceleration. This decreases friction losses generated by engine aspiration and allows more effective regeneration of energy.
- 15kW (20hp) brushless, permanent magnet assist motor, which functions as a generator during deceleration and loads (recharges) batteries.
- 120V Nickel-metal hydride batteries with 6.0A·h capacity.
- Multimatic S continuously variable or 5-speed manual transmission (latter available only in USA).
- SULEV or optional AT-PZEV certification by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
- Low rolling resistance tires (P185/70R14) on alluminum rims and regenerative braking.
- Electric power-steering.
- Does not need to be plugged in (nor is a factory plugin available).
2nd Generation (2006-Present Model)
Note: only advancements specified, those items remaining the same not mentioned.
- 4th generation IMA (Integrated Motor Assist).
- 1.3L single overhead cam four-cylinder gas engine same as before; yet, there is now the addition of high profile camshaft. This increases power to 93hp (69kW) @ 6000rpm.
- Addition of third stage of i-VTEC and VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) permits deactivation of all four cylinders when decelerating and constant cruising. This allows the car to run only on electric power for the first time.
- Manual transmission option discontinued.
- EPA increase to 40mpg (US) (5.9L/100km, 16.94 km/L) city, 45mpg (US) (5.2L/100km, 19.23 km/L) highway.
- 15-inch lightweight alloy wheels (would later be made part of the conventional Civic DX-G package as well)
Comparison of the Civic with the Toyota Prius
Civic Hybrid is frequently compared to the Toyota Prius. The Civic Hybrid has a smaller but more powerful gasoline engine (1.3L 95BHP), versus (1.5L 76BHP) for the Prius. The Civic's electronic assist motor is (20BHP), while the Prius has a slightly more powerful electronic motor, (67BHP). The Prius is credited as having better fuel mileage. The base-MSRP for the Civic is (US) $22,600 ,and the Prius base-MSRP is $21,500 to $23,770.
The Civic Hybrid's engine won the International Engine of the Year "1litre to 1.4litre" size category award for three years straight from 2002 through 2004 as well as the "Best Fuel Economy" category for 2003 and 2004. It has won Motor Trend 2006 Car of the Year award, along with the rest of the Civic range.