2009 Honda Civic Hybrid Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Honda Civic Hybrid

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Honda Civic Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 110 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 40/45 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Honda Civic

  • Comfortable, smartly designed and available in a wide array of configurations, the 2009 Honda Civic sets the bar for the small-car segment.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Wide-ranging engine lineup offers both fuel efficiency and performance, roomy and refined interior, strong crash test scores, available as a sedan or coupe.

  • Cons

    Controversial gauge cluster design, Bluetooth and stability control only available on upper trims, slow acceleration times of Hybrid and GX models.

  • What's New for 2009

    Marking the changes for the 2009 Honda Civic are a slight nose and tail job, new wheel designs, a pair of new trim levels (LX-S and DX Value Package) and a number of high-tech enhancements (including Bluetooth availability and a USB audio input).

Full 2009 Honda Civic Review

What's New for 2009

Marking the changes for the 2009 Honda Civic are a slight nose and tail job, new wheel designs, a pair of new trim levels (LX-S and DX Value Package) and a number of high-tech enhancements (including Bluetooth availability and a USB audio input).

Introduction

To borrow a line from Yogi Berra, it's déjà vu all over again.

Back in the mid-1970s, fuel prices jumped during the first gas crisis of that decade. Honda was there with a neat solution: the Civic, which it had introduced to Americans just a couple years earlier. With its petite yet space-efficient dimensions, 40 mpg fuel economy and reliable nature, the Civic was a big hit for Honda. Compared to the heavy, sluggish American small cars of the time -- automotive luminaries such as the Vega, Pinto and Gremlin -- the much smaller Civic had a light, sporty feel, a lot more room for passengers and fuel economy ratings about 50 percent higher.

More than three decades later, fuel prices have increased again and savvy consumers are again flocking to Honda dealers in search of Civics. But the 2009 Honda Civic is a far cry from that vehicular roller skate of the disco era. The latest Civic is larger and much more luxurious than its puny ancestor. In fact, it's no longer Honda's smallest car; that would be the Fit. And there are now a wide range of Civics, from the give-sports-cars-the-bird-on-a-twisty-road Civic Si to the give-oil-companies-the-bird Civic Hybrid and natural-gas-powered Civic GX.

The current Civic generation bowed for 2006, and we're quite fond of it. Some styling elements are rather odd, such as the minivan-like windshield, snub nose and the dual-tiered instrument panel that combines digital and analog gauges. But the high build quality, sporty driving dynamics, rock-solid reputation for reliability and impressive fuel efficiency more than make up for a few aesthetic quirks. Some may even think of such quirkiness as a plus.

No matter which Civic you choose, this Honda's traditional strengths in comfort, overall quality and safety are all still firmly intact. Though we suggest doing a bit of comparison shopping -- the sporty Mazda 3, affordable Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Rabbit/Jetta are also very good choices -- the 2009 Honda Civic remains an ideal pick for a small sedan or coupe.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Honda Civic is a small car available as a sedan or coupe. For both, there are five main trim levels: DX, LX, EX, EX-L and Si. On the Civic sedan, Honda also offers the DX Value Package, the LX-S, the Hybrid and the GX.

The DX is meant for those on a very tight budget and offers little more than 15-inch steel wheels, power windows, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver seat. At least with this year's new DX Value Package, you get air-conditioning and a four-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary audio jack. The popular midgrade LX has the above features plus 16-inch wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, a folding rear seat and cruise control. The LX-S adds alloy wheels, a chrome exhaust outlet, a rear spoiler and front sport seats.

Going with a Civic EX gets you 16-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, six-speaker audio (with steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a USB input jack) and a 60/40-split rear seatback with a rear armrest. The EX-L comes with leather upholstery and heated front seats. The sporting Civic Si has most of the EX's features plus a high-output engine, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a premium audio system, sport seats and special interior trim. High-performance summer tires are an option for the Si, and a navigation system with Bluetooth phone connectivity is offered for the Si and EX/EX-L models. Hybrid models are equipped similarly to the EX and have automatic climate control; they can also be equipped with the optional navigation system and leather/heated seats. The GX has a feature list similar to the LX's.

Powertrains and Performance

Civic DX, LX and EX models are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 140 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. That power is sent through the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic. With an automatic transmission, the Civic sedan goes from zero to 60 mph in a class-typical 9.6 seconds.

The GX also has a 1.8-liter engine, but it's fueled by clean-burning compressed natural gas and makes 113 hp. It only has a cruising range of 200 miles, but with Honda's Phill device, you can refuel from the comfort of your own garage. The GX is also America's cleanest mass-production car in terms of tailpipe emissions.

The 2009 Civic Hybrid uses a gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain to maximize fuel economy. Its 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine makes 110 hp and is paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). For the Civic Si, Honda installs a 197-hp 2.0-liter engine and an exclusive six-speed manual transmission with a performance-enhancing limited-slip front differential. The Civic Si goes from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds.

Nearly all Civic models boast above-average fuel efficiency. Civics fitted with the standard 1.8-liter engine and the automatic transmission earn an EPA estimate of 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. The GX posts a similar 24/36/28 mpg, although its smaller "gas" tank results in a shorter range. The Hybrid tops the Civic lineup with fuel mileage of 40 mpg city/45 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined. Civic Si models have a 21/29/24 mpg estimate.

Safety

All Civics come with front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Antilock brakes are also standard; EX and Si models have four-wheel discs, while the rest have rear drums. Stability control comes on EX-L, Hybrid and Si trims but is unavailable on the others.

In government crash testing, the 2009 Honda Civic earned a perfect five stars for its protection of occupants in frontal impacts. Side-impact tests resulted in a four-star rating for front passenger protection and five stars for protection of rear passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Civic its top rating of "Good" for the car's performance in frontal-offset and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Civic's dash features an unusual, polarizing layout. An analog tachometer is in the traditional location, but the digital speedometer and gas gauge are at the base of the windshield. Though some drivers find the two-tier display distracting, others say it makes quick visual checks of speed easier. Otherwise, its controls are well laid out and easy to operate, while materials are of high quality. The Honda Civic continues to be one of the best small cars in terms of room, interior storage and refinement. Regular Civic sedans have 12 cubic feet of trunk space, but it drops to about 10 for the Hybrid and 6 for the GX due to the space taken up by the hardware of their respective powertrains.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Honda Civic's suspension and steering work together seamlessly, giving the car a well-balanced, confident feel on city streets, back roads and highways alike. Even the mainstream models can be described as being somewhat sporty to drive. The Civic Hybrid and natural-gas GX are unfortunately quite slow, but neither model is meant for supreme acceleration anyway. That task is taken up by the Civic Si. Possessing nimble handling and a delightfully fizzy engine, the Si is one of the few cars available in any price range that makes you want to drive it just for the sake of driving.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Gee, ours does 43 mpg!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Hi, I don't understand all the Civic hybrid bashing. Our '09 battery has never gone bad, and in FACT our second reserve car is an '05 Civic Hybrid at 148,000 on its original hybrid battery and averages 40 mpg! We don't garage either car here in upstate N.Y. Why are all of you having so many problems? Neighbors comment how good these cars look in our carport!




Honda headaches - when will

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sedan w/Lthr, Nav (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

2009 Civic Hybrid. IMA light comes on (aka the Light Of Death). MPG instantly drops 10 mpg. Dealer says it's throwing codes he's never seen before. Has to charge $140 to do further diagnostics. Calls and says the battery module fan is toast.....$700+ to fix. So, for $900, I can get my car back to where it's supposed to be. $900 completely negated ANY fuel savings for owning a hybrid. Out the window. Never again, will I buy a Honda. They don't back up their brand for beans. This is not a fluke, either. I own an '08 Civic Hybrid also. It's battery crapped out, luckily with 2k miles left on the warranty. Otherwise, I would have been out over $3k for that.



5 of 6 people found this review helpful

2009 civic hybrid gas mileage

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sedan w/Lthr (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

The only reason i purchased the car was for the MPG. Advertised at 40-45 by Honda Not true! I have had the car for 3 months now and the best i can avg is 33-34 MPG. I drove the car on a 800 mile round trip and avg 32.9 MPG This is nothing less than robbery of the consumer. I Hope a class action lawsuit follows as did with hyundai and Kia.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Shouldaboughtatoyota

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I purchased this car Certified used with just under 35k miles. I thought I was getting a deal. Boy was I wrong. When people buy a hybrid they're buying it for anything more than value. Now while I have yet to encounter many of the problems I have been reading on the wed, I am in fear for the future of this car. This car is advertised at 40/45 MPG. I have not even had the car a month and I am getting 33.4 and it keeps falling. I am about to have a dealer look at it but even she eluded that the issue will not get better. Worst purchase I ever made and I will be paying for it for 5 years!!




Poor mpg

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

At 31,000 miles, my average mpg went down to 24. and i've gotten used to the check IMA and check engine lights on. Acceleration is poor when the IMA battery is discharged - have to downshift to gain some power. Besides, it's a good car.




Love my "new" car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sedan w/Lthr, Nav (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Now that I've had the car for a week or so I've been able to play with the car and I'm loving it! The gage in the car that shows the mpg has made me become more aware of my driving habits. So not only am I saving gas money from switching from my gt mustang to the hybrid, but I can learn how to save even more gas everyday.



Talk About The 2009 Civic

2009 Honda Civic Discussions See all Started By

Lonewolf77
Lonewolf77
02-09-2009
Issue 1: I have a 2009 Civic LX-S Automatic with an annoying starting problem. If the car has been sitting in "cold weather" (55 degrees Fahrenheit or less) for several hours, the car will n...


lvgti
lvgti
09-16-2010
My '07 Civic is a genuine POS! In 2 years & 15,000 miles I've had 2 transmissions (automatics), replaced the steering gear, cv boot & joints, battery, sun visors & 3 recalls. Now there's a...


rv65
rv65
09-18-2007
I know what you are thinking. This is a thread about the 09 version. Apparently according to Hondas release schedule the Civic will get a MMC for 09. No info has been released but some usual changes w...



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