2012 Honda Civic Hybrid Review

11 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid Review отключены
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)

Redesigned 2012 Civic Hybrid is the most efficient iteration yet

Despite this year’s redesign, the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid (Base MSRP: $24,200) still lags behind the 2012 Toyota Prius (Base MSRP: $24,000 to $29,805) in tests.

Both hybrids boast rock-solid reliability, but the 50-mpg Prius hatchback delivers better gas mileage, stronger brakes, a nicer cabin and more cargo space than the 44-mpg Civic Hybrid sedan for about the same price.

In fact, one major source is so dissatisfied with the redesign that editors no longer recommend the Honda Civic Hybrid. The Prius is the top hybrid pick there — and just about everywhere else.

Styled like a regular Civic — including the new cheap-feeling cabin

Outside, the hybrid looks just like the regular four-door Honda Civic sedan. Autoblog.com finds it rather bland, but critics largely have no problem with the play-it-safe styling.

The hybrid’s new nose sports a grille with horizontal bars, chrome bling and blue trim to show that the planet is being saved, says Alex Dykes at TheTruthAboutCars.com. Other than that — and a hybrid badge on the back — there are no visual clues to the Civic’s powertrain.

Inside, though, several sources complain that the cabin in the redesigned 2012 Civic (including the hybrid) feels cheap. Edmunds.com blames the extensive use of low-budget hard plastics, and another source cites a cheap headliner, plus gappy, misaligned panels.

Roomy enough for four, but the trunk’s small

Four average-sized people will feel comfortable in the Civic Hybrid, testers say — although a fifth person would feel squeezed. The trunk’s small, though (10.7 cubic feet), thanks to the hybrid battery stuck behind the rear seats — and the seats don’t fold. By contrast, the Toyota Prius hatchback packs 21.6 cubic feet of luggage space behind its rear seats, which fold to open up a nearly 40-cubic-foot cargo bay.

The redesigned Civic (and hybrid) keeps the two-tier dashboard from before. The speedometer, fuel gauge and mpg readout sit up high, so you don’t have to look far off the road to check them. Lower down, the tachometer and warning lights nestle behind the steering wheel.

Some testers get irritated with the setup, but others don’t mind.

The Civic Hybrid comes with cloth seats, automatic climate control, voice control for Bluetooth devices, cruise control, automatic headlights, a CD stereo with steering wheel-mounted controls, auxiliary jack, USB interface, speed-sensitive volume control and more. A color display for secondary information tells you whether you’re running mostly on gas or electricity, how efficiently you’re driving and more. Heated leather seats, navigation and other options come in packages.

Power’s OK, but the handling and brakes draw complaints

One major source no longer recommends the Honda Civic Hybrid, irritated with the 2012 model’s sloppy handling, choppy ride and disconcertingly long braking distances.

Edmunds Inside Line’s Mike Magrath notices the same problem with the Civic Hybrid’s regenerative brakes. They take 137 feet to brake from 60 mph — barely beating a heavy-duty Dodge Ram Power Wagon pickup truck, Magrath points out. Blame rear drums.

Blame low-rolling-resistance Bridgestone Ecopia EP20 tires. Blame whom or whatever you want, the effect is a braking system that instills no driver confidence. The Prius takes 13 feet less — almost a full car length — to brake to a stop in the same test.

But the Civic Hybrid’s ride quality impresses editors at Inside Line. It’s an enviably good mix of damping and spring rates that results in a ride that isn’t floaty or harsh, Magrath says. It’s good enough that every editor who had it came back with pretty much the same impression: ‘Dude, the ride.’ It’s loud, though.

Several sources complain about the racket, including Magrath: From wind noise to tire noise to the crude stutter of the engine firing back to life, there’s little peace found inside the Civic.

As for handling, it earns the Civic Hybrid some demerits in an Autoblog.com test, with the tires screaming around swooping turns. TheTruthAboutCars.com’s Alex Dykes agrees: When the going gets twisty, the low rolling resistance tires howl and give up early and extend braking distances significantly. Still, road holding isn’t what hybrids are about.

Fuel economy is the name of this game.


The 2012 Civic Hybrid marries a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine to an electric motor and continuously variable transmission (CVT). The setup’s good for 110 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. It gets from zero to 60 mph in 10.1 seconds in Edmunds.com’s test — about the same as a Prius.

Fuel economy just behind Prius

At an EPA-estimated 44 mpg — everywhere — the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid gets the best gas mileage of any hybrid except for the 50-mpg Toyota Prius and 2012 Toyota Prius c (Base MSRP: $18,950 to $23,230). It’s up 3 mpg from last year’s Civic Hybrid.

On real-life roads in our other sources’ tests, mileage varies from about 39 mpg to 43 mpg overall.

EPA Fuel Economy Estimates

Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)

Solid crash scores and reliability

The 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid earns nearly perfect crash ratings. It comes equipped with the usual standard safety features: antilock brakes, traction and stability control and front, front-side and curtain airbags.

Reliability should be very good, a leading testing organization predicts. The 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid carries three-year/36,000-mile basic and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranties, plus eight years/100,000 miles for the hybrid component.

NHTSA Safety Ratings

Front Impact: 5 stars

Side Impact: 5 stars

Rollover Resistance: 4 stars

Overall: 5 stars

IIHS Safety Ratings

Front Offset Impact: Good

Side Impact: Good

Rear Impact: Good

Roof Strength: Good

Named 2012 Top Safety Pick

Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)

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