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Safest Hybrid on the Road
By Jon Allen on
Vehicle
2006 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Review
I have driven Zip Car share vehicles since 2000, and so I knew well my options. The Prius was a perfectly nice car to drive, but I couldn't avoid noticing that it is dangerous to backup without making a sound, and the car is narrow and without great crash performance. The Civic Hybrid, on the other hand, is just like a regular Civic, only the gas engine can stay below 1500 RPM without lugging, a truly impressive feeling when you are averaging over 47 MPG in stop and go traffic. I would not reccommend it for anyone who mostly drives on the highway, but then, that is not what any hybrid does well, unless you can plug it in to a cheaper and/or cleaner energy source.
Favorite Features
My favorites are its instantaneous MPG gauge, as well as its computed average display. I was a fairly efficient driver before I bought it, but now I know exactly how to brake to maximize the recovered energy to the battery, as well as the timing of acceleration and coasting. Good sound system too.
Suggested Improvements
I had to visit the Civic Hybrid Owners Forum in order to learn all of the cars functions and how to work with them. They should have a more rigorous owners manual. It is a basically easy car to drive, but if you like to know how every function interacts with your commands, you have to learn it.
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