Used 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid Consumer Reviews

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$1,136 - $2,538

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Best Car I've Ever Owned!

energist, 07/08/2012
48 of 48 people found this review helpful

I bought the car new in 2003 and it's been great. I see many complaints about gas mileage, but mine averages 49 MPG with snow tires on. This has been the most trouble free and economical car I've ever owned, and it's fun to drive.

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Status Report- 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid After 200K

auburngbb, 05/19/2011
32 of 33 people found this review helpful

Total 2003 HCH Cost- HW Items purchased from 79k to 200k miles as follows: 2 sets of tires 1 speed sensor (drove thru deep puddle) 1 set of spark plugs 1 set of ft brake pads 1 fuel filter Fluid change maintenance from 79K to 200k miles as follows: * Several 0-20W/0-30W oil/filter changes (8k mile intervals) * Two CVT fluid changes noting I assumed to change oil every 100K miles until I noticed the transmission was slipping and read my OEM operators manual stating to change trans. oil every 30K. After changing the oil the first time THE TRANSMISSION QUIT SLIPPING and I make sure to change this fluid at recommended intervals. * One Antifreeze change Car runs good(mildly abused)

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Not worth the premium

kamikiaze, 06/02/2011
13 of 14 people found this review helpful

I bought my 2003 Honda Hybrid new. All told I think it was $35k. Paying a premium on the car because it was a hybrid, the tax deduction and the gas savings would make up for the extra cost; right? Well, for the past year it has been sitting in our driveway with a busted transmission. $4500 to replace it. This is the latest in a long string of recalls/replacements on this car. Luckily, our other fixes have been covered by Honda; but this fix is not. We look at the blue book value of this car, and seriously question if it is worth fixing especially when we read other reviews of cars that have gone through multiple transmissions and other fixes. For the price, I expected better.

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Beware: Battery goes right after warranty

formerhondafan, 02/07/2011
18 of 20 people found this review helpful

Just a warning to those looking at this car. I bought in 2002 (2003 model) and have been the only owner for just over 8 years. Five months past the warranty, the battery failed and now I have to pay $3000 to have it replaced. The car has less that 80,000 miles, but because I've owned it over eight years, the warranty has expired. This is simply too much of an expense to be reasonable or fair. It certainly doesn't justify the gas savings. I am very disappointed in Honda and will not buy another one, because of this experience.

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The battery is a disaster!

loring, 08/24/2013
38 of 44 people found this review helpful

The IMA Battery on the 2003 Civic Hybrid is/was a flawed product. My first battery failed at 42,000 miles ( at 7 years) and was replaced under warranty. The second battery has failed with less than 27,000 miles ( at 11 years) and the dealer says it will cost me $3,684 to replace it with a rebuilt battery with a 3 year, 36K warranty. So far, Honda and I have spent more on batteries than I have on fuel for this car. With a 3 year warranty on a $3,684 battery, I'm planning on $1,000 per year battery cost going forward.

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A Convert

Lockemup, 10/27/2010
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

I recently purchased a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, though I had to get rid of my ever so fun to drive G35 the car is remarkable with respect to fuel efficiency. The layout of the car is simple, just like all Hondas. The power is on the low side, but lets face, we buy these cars for one reason and that's fuel economy. I wouldn't care if I had to get out and push the car up a hill (which it almost seems like I have to do living in Upstate NY), as long as I'm getting my 50 MPG let every other car pass me on the road. I'm purchasing a new set of Cooper GFE (LRR) tires and I'm hoping to eek out a few more MPG.

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Great car for the money

mattshu, 07/17/2011
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

I've owned my 2003 Civic Hybrid for 2 years now and so far its been a great car with only a few minor problems. The Good: Handles great Luxurious interior (compared to other non-luxury cars) Extremely quiet 45mpg The bad: Transmission fluid needs changing every 2 years IMA battery will start to degrade after 7 years Seats are very stiff, its like sitting on a bench Overall the car performs well as a daily driver, and if you aren't looking to set Nurburgring lap records you'll be satisfied with its performance. Even though it is less reliable than a standard civic the blue book value is lower, making it a better value when you factor in the better gas mileage.

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Best Reliable car I've had!

Chris, 09/09/2016
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
10 of 12 people found this review helpful

Battery sucks...had battery issues before I reached 100K miles and Check engine light went on because of it. However, I wasn't going to pay 3K for replacment batteries and just ran the car without the extra HP the batteries would have given me. I still get 50 mph, and 200K miles later its still going strong. I have 310k miles on it now and runs great! Haven't really replaced anything on it except tires, oil, and struts. Everything on it is pretty much original!

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Adequate Car for the initial cost

hardfire454, 03/31/2011
8 of 10 people found this review helpful

I have never been one to be impressed by Hondas, but this hybrid was in my price range so I bought it. Overall, it was cheap in every way, you get what you pay for. This car on various occasions wouldn't start, so I'd wait a half hour, and it would start. This is by far the most uncomfortable car that I have ever owned, the battery was just replaced for free by the dealer. The car's transmissin also has needed expensive repairs many times. If you need good mileage, and don't have any money, this is the car for you.

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2003 Civic Hybrid

Mark C., 04/28/2002
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

The Hybrid is here to stay! After waiting about two weeks to get the color I wanted, I finally brought home my new Honda Civic Hybrid.I have only driven it for a few days, but every time I drive it, I love it more and more.It is everything that I expected.This makes Honda #5 for me and it is the only brand vehicle that I will ever own. Thanks Honda!

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More car than I expected

adscurry, 06/03/2002
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

This car is not what I expected. It is more powerful than I expected and far more fun to drive. Even with 3 adults and the air on I have more than enough power for highway driving. Dash blue lights, with some digital read outs, are beautiful and climate control works great. I am 6' 2" but find it has plently of head and leg room. I enjoy the driving experience and how slowly the gas gauge drops. I have never owned a small car but after adjusting to sitting low to the ground, I am completely confortable. Lots of safety features, a smooth ride, and loaded with options without adding any to the sticker.

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CVT transmission - Good luck

Unhappy customer, 07/27/2009
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Transmission died on a busy highway at 34K almost killed myself trying to get off the road. Honda had it for 12 days saying it needed a new trans and then gave it back saying nothing was wrong. Had it in again at 36K 50K 61K 81K and finally at 110k brought it in for a oil change and they finally checked my mileage saw I was over 100k and admitted something was wrong with the slipping transmission. Honda Care could care less and the case manager told me they weren't willing to pay a dime for the $4600 trans the dealership said they would take 10% off for my trouble. This car should have been recalled day one. Please don't buy this car. It is a danger to drive. I have some advice sell it quickly.

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Great, Reliable Hybrid

Radar, 08/06/2009
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I bought my Civic Hybrid new, and after six years have put in almost 89,000 miles. The mileage is great: I average 42-44 mpg with a mix of city and highway driving, and on long freeway trips I often get my mileage up to 51 mpg or better. I have only had two issues with the car so far: 1. The chrome covering on the door handles started peeling off and have cut my fingers on it a couple times. 2. In the last 6 months the car has started shuddering when I take off from a stop- -a common problem in Honda sedans from this year I hear? Still, the mileage is great and it has been otherwise very reliable. I'm keeping this for one more year, and seriously considering a new one to replace it again.

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Best Car Owned

crdavis, 12/22/2012
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Bought new in 2003 and never had to replace a thing other that a couple headlights, main starting battery. Has 250K miles on it and finally the IMA has an issue, but still drives great without it! Someone rear ended me the other day, totaled his car, but only scratched my rear bumber.

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Exactly what I needed!

Carole Burger, 05/18/2018
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

This car served me well for over 15 years, from the day I drove it off the lot brand new in 2003, to the day I traded it in on a new Honda Fit. Never had a breakdown, and as a single working woman for most of that time, reliability was its most important virtue. This vehicle held up well and the interior showed little wear considering how long it was driven. I kept up on the maintenance, following the suggestions of a local mechanic. When the hybrid batteries reached the end of their life in 2014, my mechanic suggested that a Honda dealer would be the best place to get them replaced. It cost $1900 instead of the anticipated $10,000 which would have been a deal-breaker. Honda stands behind their vehicles and their value holds up.

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Comfort
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2003 Civic Hybrid Many Problems

Scott, 07/27/2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I have 180000 miles. Changed all fluids religiously. Had to replace clutch, transmission in Feb 08' and now IMA battery dying. $7000 worth of repairs. Very bad engineering solution for folks who care about the environment. Stay away from this vehicle...

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Hybrid - A Great Car

emcclend, 06/15/2002
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Car sales are slow, the buyer can make incredible deals. Edmunds TMV is the sticker price. I purchased this car for about $1700 less than sticker. I got price quotes from 4 dealers in the DFW area (there are @30 dealers in this area). After visiting each of the four dealerships, I sent an email out with the best offers to all 4. Within hours of the email, I got competitive responses from 3 of the dealers. The 4th dealer did not even try to compete and would only go as "low" as the sticker price. It has plenty of power and rides great on the interstate. I drive 50 miles one way to work and the car rides smoothly, and has great visibility.

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This car worth the extra cost

Cool Canuck, 11/01/2002
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I drive the Hybrid in the city and on long trips. Gas mileage is fantastic, although I lose the Autostop when the outside temp is below 32F. Recent trip through Cdn and US Rockies was impressive for handling and fuel consumption. The electric boost is great for passing, but on long mountain climbs the battery does run down so you are left with the gas motor alone. Haven't had any really cold weather so will have to see how it does in minus 30

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Hybrid

List Family, 05/21/2003
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The performance and fuel economy on this car make it a commuter's dream come true. It has all the important features the gasoline-only models have, but allows 500 to 600 miles between fill ups. So, you can drive to your heart's content, and feel good knowing that you're not causing a major negative impact on the environment. And, it has the same auto body as the traditional honda -- nice. The digital design of the cockpit is so much fun to watch that you might need to remind yourself to watch the road. This is both a reliable, environmentally concious car and a fun drive.

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Heavenly Hybrid

Kim, 04/05/2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I bought this car, primarily for the "Green Factor," but I have been amazed how reliable it has been. Even now, I still get about 50 MPG on the highway, and I will never commute in anything else. Here in Virginia, hybrids bought before 2006 are allowed on the HOV lanes, which is an extra bonus. I will be driving this car until it will no longer run, which seems likely to be many years from now. Aside from a rattle in the dash that comes and goes, this car is quiet, smooth, and makes me feel a little like a race car driver with its quick shift 5-speed manual transmission. I love this car!

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A good car

luis, 03/28/2002
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

good car

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Worst Car I've Ever Owned

jmharrell, 04/21/2010
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Ditched the car as soon as I found someone to take it. Transmission went at 30,000 miles, and started to go again at 60,000. Honda was only willing to help until 75,000 and then I would be responsible for each $4,000 transmission replacement. Only got 37 mpg because it didn't have the power to maintain higher freeway speeds in rural areas above 75 mph whereas my now regular civic gets 40-50 at those speeds. Avoid at all costs!

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Love this car!

Sam, 07/02/2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

My husband and I bought this car back in 2002. It has been terrific and has had no problems! We are so glad we had foresight to buy a hybrid. It's really fun to drive because you can see how your driving effects your MPG (although it can be a bit stressful at times, too). We will probably never buy a non-hybrid/non-alternative energy car again.

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A great car

Huisonfirst, 06/29/2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I can't complain about this car at all. I even wanted to pay for my sales person's rotary fines for him. It is such a great car, especially if you know how to maximize the MPG. My average is about 50. I am ordering a sticker that says "60 MPH = 50 MPG". I am also ordering a sticker that says "Relax: U R in the Carpool Lane" for those who try to go 80 in the Carpool lane. To get better MPG, avoid using your brakes, i.e., don't rush up to that red light and brake! We can all save 10% or more by driving reasonably.

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Go Hybrid Go!

Shaune, 04/25/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

This car is great on gas and costs so little upfront. This is the direction that all cars should be headed!

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Love it

stinkypants, 01/10/2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

No complaints. I drive this thing into the ground and it's reliable day after day. Exactly what I'd expect from Honda but with 40 mpg average.

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Transmission/Clutch Recall Info

ACRUMP, 07/17/2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

There was a recall on the transmission (Judder Slippage - the car rumbles when accelerating, esp noticeable going uphill). According to protocol, they have to do this "burnishing procedure" 3 times, at which point they will replace the entire clutch on your transmission (for free, under the recall). You also need to be under 100K mi to be eligible. My car is at 98K....they're just about to replace my clutch, so I'm very excited about that. Other than this one issue, my car has been running perfectly. I've been keeping track of MPG for over 10K, and I'm averaging 46.5 MPG. I'm absolutely thrilled (and confused that some people claim to get only 35 MPG).

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COOL Car!!

Martin4s, 06/12/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I really like the Car so far. I even did the Touch of Class option for the interior and exterior because I am impressed. 2000 dollar Fed. tax write off. It has a good take off punch (gets out of any intersection dilemas). Great Mileage. Is it reliable? Time will tell.. My first impressions are that it has Honda integrity. I am a previous Honda Owner as well.

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Outstanding car

John Harley, 07/06/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I have only had this vehicle for two weeks but I love it! It is so smooth driving it and you will not believe how quiet it is. I don't know about gas milage yet because it still has a half a tank of fuel. it is showing 270 miles. The auto transmission is great. You never feel any shifting like in a regular auto. great car

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What a great car!

MrWright, 07/04/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Maybe I am still in the honeymoon phase, but I love this car! I can't say enough good things about my civic hybrid. The styling is very attractive, it is loaded with many standard features that would have been options in other cars, ie. all power windows, locks, cruise, power steering and brakes, a cd player, even floor mats! The MPG is phenominal. I average 47 MPG on my daily 90 mile commute to San Francisco (over the Altimont Pass!) Had my first oil change and found out that it costs more for hybrids--even at the dealership--because of "special oil" and a little extra labor time. It was only a few bucks more, which I save on gas anyway.

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Hybrid Civic Kicks Amps

--dave, 10/22/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not a muscular car especially, but a true performer in all areas. My favorite is the handling, which made my choice easy over the opponent Prius. The electric variable-assist steering is exceptionally tight and exact, and the rest of the car follows it superbly with crisp handling, stiff chassis and just enough feel of the road; very comfortable seats and interior. Instrument panel is accessible but not distracting while driving, and gives lots of feedback if you wish to maximize fuel economy or minimize emissions. Bravo to Honda for not underestimating our ability to understand and apppreciate the technical details behind the dashboard gages!

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Clean Machine

McScarry, 11/25/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

This Hybrid is a great city car and performs well on the highway. It is small enough to park in the tightest street spots, but big enough for my 6'3", 250lb boyfriend, or 5 silly girls on a Saturday night. Trunk is big enough for a set of golf clubs +. It handles very well. Terrific turning radius. Very comfortable. Plenty of umph to get on the expressway or cruise to Ohio. I am getting 39-41 mpg. Love the safety features and that the cd player and cruise control are standard, although the speakers need an upgrade. Did expect a little better gas mileage, and would have loved a sun roof. All in all, I love my clean machine.

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New Hybrid Owner

Amanda Trumble, 08/04/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I just bought my Hybrid this weekend but so far I think it's fantastic compared to the Kia Sportage that I did have. I bought it for $19,200 but I had to add a little on since I was upside down on my Kia (a $10,000 depreciation in a little over a year!) I was scared it wouldn't have much power but it has more get-up-and-go than my Kia did, plus it's so quiet and smooth. I drive 35 miles one way to work and averaged 45.6mpg (17mpg with my Kia).

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simply amazing

Pacobird, 08/19/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

What a great car, you don't sacrafice anything only gain. I get 49.5 miles to the gallon highway and 42.3 city.

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Hybrid

Cooney, 08/06/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Civic Hybrid was an excellent purchase. I was a little disappointed with the mileage on the first tank (about 38mpg). I then let the real time mpg indicator teach me how to drive the car and to change my driving habits. The first 20000 miles I averaged 49.9 mpg. I get mileage ranging from 45-54 mpg on average per tank. It has certainly reduced my gas bill.

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Decent car, but not worth extra $

Erik, 04/12/2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not a bad little car. My major problem with the Civic Hybrid is that I seldom come close to the 48/47 mpg I'm supposed to be getting. It's usually around 43mpg on the dash and 40 mpg actual at the pump (the dash display is always off by 2-4 mpg). Still not bad, but this is the selling point so it should be considered a big problem being that the car cost a good $4000 more than other civics. Other than that, the brakes are sub-par, and leads to the occasional minor loss of steering control over bumps in the road. This can be a little scary when it first happens. I've had no real problems other than the car stalling once. Other than these things, it drives like any other Civic.

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Honda-happy

B. Krause, 05/27/2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Overall, this has been the best car experience I've had in over 50 years of driving. Handling, comfort, operating costs, mileage, and trunk capacity, all play in this product's favor.

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Problems with Hybrid

scomom, 03/17/2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Having gone from a Jeep Wrangler to this car, I was not impressed w/the drive. Just very plain. It did get great mileage, but there are issues w/this car that are hard to find. The CVT transmission is bad and Honda avoided a recall by doing an extended warranty. It will not apply, however, if you have a salvage title like me. But apart from the $3100 transmission at 87k miles, the commutation sensor went out in about 4 months...$1300! My advice is to avoid the hybrids. What you save in gas you spend on costly repairs.

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4 Transmissions to date!!!!

Steve, 04/05/2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

We bought our 03 Hybrid Civic new; we currently have put 105,XXX miles on it. The transmission "judder" started at 22,XXX miles, had that trans replaced (w/a rebuilt one) at 25,XXX miles, then that was replaced at 35,XXX (w/a new one) & received a extended warranty for 75,XXX miles for that one. Now we have just got the car back with a remanufactured Trans at 105,XXX miles. We are not able to get any help from American Honda The current "Case Carrier" is a snide, rude, arrogant. The dealer is going to do his best to help. If anyone has a similar story or good contacts to help please let us know, to ALL who read Honda "reputation for reliability" is GONE!!

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The Truth

Chris, 08/23/2017
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

At 72k IMA battery goes out and they repair for free, it's the law. At 130k miles CVT transmission shreds to nothing. After spending $5000.00 on a new transmission the computers and IMA LIGHTS start lighting up and now you're in a death trap with an acceleration of 0-60 in 60 seconds. HONDA COULDN'T CARE LESS. You know the 3% of customers that get screwed by corporations that are too big to notice or care? That's us!

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Baby has been WONDERFUL!

LadyD, 09/30/2009
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

I bought her brand new on the last day of February. She has been great to me ever since. We did have an issue with her being an overachiever when they had to do the computer recall (accepted 115% programming when she was to only accept 100% and blew the computer). I have taken her to the dealer religiously for all of her scheduled maintenance and had until recently a set of Arizonian tires on her which helped me get better gas mileage yet caused the tires to wear quicker (what do you want in AZ?) I now have a set of Michelin tires which has caused her to have a bit of decreased gas efficiency. I have been averaging anywhere from 28 to 52 mpg. Never giving her up!

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Honda

jim smith, 08/20/2002
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

transmission blew up after the first week i had it. Absolutely the worst car I have ever owned. Truely a lemon.

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great car/poor mileage

fueler, 11/05/2003
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

This a great car! Very comfortable, very responsive. My only complaint is the mileage. 36MPG with CVT with 4,500 miles on the odometer.Dealer says it will improve after 5,000miles. I could have bought a Civic LX for $5,000 less and got the same mileage!

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51+ mpg

JFoster, 01/04/2004
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great little car that makes me feel like I'm making a statement to the US car manufacturers. Why don't we all drive cars that enable us to reduce our dependency on imported oil? Why car Japanese companies make them and American companies can't? Maybe they like the oil companies...?

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Transmission

James E. Veitch, 11/16/2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Make sure to check transmission every 25,000 miles. Mine went out at 140,000 Mi. Honda doesn't stock them one week to a month to get a replacement. They do not rebuild CVT transmissions, $3,000.00 to replace and $375.00 shipping. Front struts also go out easily.

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Hybrid Hype

Lou Schaefer, 05/20/2003
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

The draw to this vehicle is the environmentally friendly engine. Looks great on paper but it has not held up to its hype. Several trips back to the dealership have met with frustration and a lack of knowledge and understanding of the Hybrid by the Honda technicians and salespersons. The Hybrid engine does not shut down if the outside temperature is below 43 degrees so unless you live in the south, don't expect any outstanding gas mileage. Even when it's warm out, I'm still only seeing 40 mpg. Honda says the engine is working perfectly--if that's so, estimated mpg is not realistic.

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happy

BILLKNIGHT, 05/20/2003
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

would like more gas miles

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Hybrid - great car

G. Gagnon, 06/01/2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

This is a great car - 45-52 mpg - original owner and I am very pleased. The downfall is the noise level, especially in the back seat. Seats could be a bit more plush also.

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I love this Car

melmar07, 05/31/2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I really love this car! I t is not good on Gas, it is Excellent! Better than non Hybrid Models. Those who saying about Hybrid Models, take it from me who owns one, THOSE ARE NOT TRUE!!! They just can't afford it or they just owned a hybrid lemon

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Great little car

Traveliter, 04/27/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

We missed purchasing the car during the initial shipment in our area, but after contacting over 40 dealers in our state, we lucked out and found a dealer who still had one in their showroom. We drove 400 miles to buy this car, and we couldn't be more pleased. It didn't even take a whole tank of gas to drive it home! The ride is smooth, the seats are comfortable, the vehicle is attractive both inside and out, and I take delightful glee in seeing the "average mpg" display gauge, which at this time is showing 46.7mpg (we drive on hills). We're just tickled!

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