Update to my 11/19/09 review. I'm still driving it and have done nothing but regular stuff (oil/filter, brakes, tires). I now have roughly 205k miles on it. The IMA warning light came on about 1.5 years ago (around 190k miles). Honda said the hybrid battery was testing weak and needed replaced ($2,500 and 3-year/30k warranty). I decided not to replace it and to just see what it'd do. Battery doesn't keep charged up as well as it used to, but I'm still getting over 40mpg driving in town. I found a place that will put in a used battery with a 1-year guarantee for $1,275. Besides the battery, everything else seems to be in great shape.
The hybrids fuel economy is great until you do the math on the cost to own. You're going to pay an extra 2k for the hybrid. Over five years, you'll save about $2925 in fuel. Sounds great until you have spit out $3900 for a new hybrid battery. Honda lost their case because they knew the battery had a shorter lifespan than advertised. So they were forced to extend the warranty to 9 years. Again, sounds great until find out they did an "update" at your last service visit on the battery that extends its life another year. Ironically, just enough for the warranty to be invalid. All together, you can expect to pay about 3k more than your gas guzzling neighbor. Cust. Serv. is a joke.
So the pros for this vehicle are: great gas mileage and comfort. After reading the reviews, perhaps I purchased a lemon but I will never recommend this car to anyone. 15 minutes after driving this car off the lot, all my lights came on. Fortunately the dealership replaced the hybrid battery. I have had to change the sensors and now it is burning oil. There is NO pick up in this vehicle. If you live in the mountains, do not buy this car. Every one will be passing you! After about a year of having this car, I am in the market for a new vehicle.
I purchased my 1-owner (carfacts) used car in July of 2009 with 175,000 miles already on it. I have loved everything about it. Depending on the terrain and wind, the mileage has ranged from 36-54mph, with the worst coming from driving into terrible winds and the best from driving with a breeze (have yet to drive with a strong wind). Car gets about 49mpg in town when driving with care. I have put 5,000 miles on it since purchasing and it's averaged 47mpg city/highway. Have had NO problems whatsoever to speak of, even with the high mileage. Have only replaced the oil/filter (once a year or every 10,000 miles). I would tell any and everybody that they would love a Honda Civic Hybrid!!
Bought mine in 2009 for $7500 and 140,000 miles on the odometer. Now it has almost 200,000 miles and not a sneeze! The 1.3L engine is a little slow even with electric assist, but not as bad as most people think. I have no trouble merging on highway. Going up a long stretch of highway need to move to the slow lane, esp. after all the battery capacity is drained. Without A/C, the average gas mileage is pretty good, hovering between 44 to 50 MPG. In the summer, however, when it is hot outside, A/C can sap gas mileage, esp. on short local trips. On longer trips, the A/C does not drain as much energy because once the interior cools down, the A/C is not engaged as frequently.