2007 Honda Civic Hybrid Expert Review

You'll Like The 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid If...

Whether your interest in hybrids is driven by political, environmental or financial considerations, the Civic Hybrid allows you to address those issues in a vehicle that's just about as comfortable and stylish as a compact sedan can be with little sacrifice in drivability.

You May Not Like The 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid If...

If your interest in the Civic Hybrid is purely financial, you may be discouraged by the math (see our Pricing Notes in this review). The Civic Hybrid's sedan body style also isn't as functional as the hatchback design of the Prius, which also offers a fold-down rear seat. Lastly, if you'd like your hybrid vehicle to make a statement, the Civic doesn't speak as loudly as the uniquely styled, hybrid-only Prius.

What's New

No major changes for 2007.

Interior Features

The Civic's already progressive interior, featuring a distinctively shaped two-spoke steering wheel and innovative two-tier instrument panel, is even more cutting-edge with the hybrid's battery level, charge/assist and instantaneous fuel consumption gauges. A two-tone blue cloth interior is exclusive to the hybrid and a voluminous center console/armrest is big enough, according to Honda, to accommodate 25 CD cases. In-cabin technology is highlighted by an available navigation system. The front seats are comfortable, and most will find the back seat adequately so, especially for the typically short trips that involve three or more. Compared to its gasoline-only counterparts, the Civic Hybrid gives up only about 10-percent of trunk room to accommodate the additional hybrid hardware.

Exterior Features

The attractive Civic Hybrid is quickly distinguishable from conventionally motivated Civic sedans by its aerodynamic disk-type wheels. Other external differentiators include side mirrors with integrated turn indictors (the only Civic to offer this feature), clear front turn signal lenses, mild trunk spoiler, small roof-mounted antenna and hybrid badging. Beneath the sheet metal, all Civics feature an advanced body structure designed to better absorb and distribute collision forces, especially in impacts involving taller SUVs and the like.

Driving Impressions

Despite the sophistication of the technology under the hood, the Civic Hybrid delivers essentially the same experience you'd expect from any very good small car. It may not ride, handle or accelerate exactly like its gas-only Civic sedan counterpart, but the only differences you're likely to notice on your daily commute are the unique behavior of its "gearless" continuously variable transmission and the engine's stop/start operation at stoplights.

If you're trying to decide between the new Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius, you'll have to rely on factors other than driving dynamics to make your decision. In back-to-back drives, we found the two largely similar. We like that other hybrids will accelerate from a stop on electric power alone (the Civic doesn't), but that fondness is based on novelty only.

Pricing Notes

The well-equipped Civic Hybrid starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $23,195 and tops out around $25,000 with a navigation system. That's almost $3,000 more than a Civic EX Sedan, which also has very respectable mileage of 30/40-miles per gallon. Looking only at sticker price and fuel economy then, the Civic Hybrid may not make financial sense (compared to the EX) until you've logged over 100,000 miles. One must also take into account any hybrid tax credit savings. We expect our Fair Purchase Prices to reflect real-world transaction prices at or even above the MSRP, and resale values to mirror those of the rest of the Civic lineup, which has proven to be one of the most financially durable nameplates in the industry.

Notable Equipment

Notable standard equipment on the Civic Hybrid includes power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, automatic climate control, six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3/WMA CD playback capability, auxiliary audio input jack (for MP3 players and such), cruise control, steering wheel-mounted cruise/audio/navigation controls, four-way adjustable steering column, height-adjustable driver's seat and an impressive list of safety equipment including front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, active head restraints, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and more.

Notable Options

The only significant bit of optional equipment offered on the Civic Hybrid is a navigation system that features voice recognition, a 6.5-inch customizable touch screen and a PC Card slot that gives you the ability to play music from almost any type of digital media card. When you choose the navigation system you also get XM Satellite Radio. The Civic Hybrid doesn't offer the moonroof or fold-down rear seatback available on other Civic models.

Favorite Features

50-Miles Per Gallon

Perhaps the only commuters who wouldn't appreciate the Civic Hybrid's theoretical maximum range of more than 600 miles are those hooked on Gas 'n' Sip delicacies like beef jerky, lottery tickets and half-gallon fountain drinks.

Two-Tier Instrument Panel

While some non-traditional instrument panel layouts come across as gimmicky, the Civic's two-tier execution seems to make all the sense in the world.

Under the Hood

The Civic Hybrid delivers both 18-percent more power and five-percent better mileage than the previous generation Civic Hybrid. The latest Honda system features an electric-only mode in which the vehicle will run on battery power alone in certain lower-speed cruising situations. A manual transmission is not available, but the continuously variable transmission is a more natural fit anyway. The Civic Hybrid runs on regular unleaded gasoline.

1.3-liter in-line 4 Gas/Electric Hybrid Propulsion System

110 horsepower @ 6000 rpm

123 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1000-2500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 49/51

Editors' Notes

Honda continues to make into reality what other manufacturers only talk about. Take, for example, the Civic Hybrid. It's a car that employs a small gasoline engine assisted by an electric motor that can, under certain low-speed situations, become the car's sole powerplant. Urban commuters will find the Civic Hybrid superior to its gasoline counterpart because it allows for equally frugal city and highway fuel economy, while producing minimal-to-no greenhouse emissions. Unlike the Toyota Prius, which assumes a functional but futuristic appearance, the Civic Hybrid closely mirrors the newly restyled Civic Sedan, with only few minor exterior and interior changes to differentiate the two cars.

Road Test Video Reviews

2007 Honda Civic Hybrid Owner Reviews

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You get more car for your buck

2007 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sdn Hybrid

Have had very few problems with my Honda Civic Hybrid although I bought it used and it is an older model. It saves me a lot of money in gas by getting 60 miles to the gallon. If it is maintained properly (regular oil changes and tune-ups), it will not cause you to have to make any major car repairs. I bring it to my local Honda dealer for all repairs and maintenance and they always do extras to make sure that my car runs smoothly. Overall, it is a dependable car that meets my family's needs and I have had very little problems with it in the time that I have had it.

- Mary Ann H

Reliable and affordable that's my Honda!

2007 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sdn Hybrid

My Honda-civic Hybrid is a tough little car. It drives EXTREMELY well. I was in two accidents and my Honda came out of repairs smelling like a rose. It is a comfortable car, gets great city mileage and has not had any mechanical problems. It is a fully loaded model with a GPS system. The trunk is pretty big and the exterior of the car has a nice sleek compact look.

- Janet B

Honda Civic family car. Or great teen first car.

2007 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sdn Hybrid

It's a nice family car they run good and stay in good shape the only issue we have had was with the brakes had to replace them twice in 2 years and the inside Interior wears out fast. The top of the car tears easily and the glue underneath gets everywhere and it's hard to clean up... honestly don't waste your time pick a different car

- Cheyenne B

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