Safest Hybrid on the Road
By Jon Allen on
Vehicle2006 Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
ReviewI 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.
Best FeaturesMy 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.
Worst FeaturesI 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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