Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Contrast Prius and Civic Hybrids

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Posted by News on June 17, 2007, 4:27 pm

We are looking to acquire a 4 door hybrid in the fall, and are now entering
the research phase, prior to the dealership visit phase.

We are long time (30+ years) Honda owners, but hybrids are sufficiently
different to dispense with blind marque loyalty.

Can anyone contrast the pros and cons of Prius versus Civic Hybrid?


Posted by Michelle Steiner on June 17, 2007, 4:50 pm

Here is Edmunds comparison:  They compared the 05 Prius to the 06 Civic
Hybrid, but both cars have had little change for the 07 models.

<http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Comparos/articleId 8445>

Motor Trend's comparison of the 06 models (along with two other hybrids):

Support the troops:  Bring them home ASAP.

Posted by News on June 17, 2007, 5:01 pm

Michelle Steiner wrote:

Thanks.  Good backgrounders.

Any list denizens' 'real world' experiences?

My understanding is that ICE versus Motor use biasing software changes on
these cars has been somewhat frequent and regional as well.  Comments?

Posted by Michelle Steiner on June 17, 2007, 5:06 pm

They use completely different paradigms.  With the Prius, you can drive
on ICE, motor, or both.  With the Civic Hybrid, you're always driving on

Support the troops:  Bring them home ASAP.

Posted by mrv@kluge.net on June 17, 2007, 5:05 pm

Depending on where you live, there are many 4 door hybrid choices for
you.  Also, are you looking for a new vehicle, or will a used vehicle
be OK for you?  (If you want a 4-door with a manual transmission, you
can only get that in a used Honda Civic Hybrid.)  What size vehicle
are you looking for?

I think the only hybrid that isn't a 4 door is the 2-seater Honda
Insight (coupe), but that's only available as used now (no longer
offered new).

The Civic Hybrid is currently alone in the compact car size category.
(The older Classic (sedan, model NHW11) Prius was also a compact, now
only available as a used model.)  Be aware that the HCH underwent a
design change recently (often the newer one is referred to as a HCH II
in online groups), so not all of the information you may read only may
be current.  (For example, there are some times when the car is moving
that the gasoline engine is not required to be on/you're in electric,
in the newer HCH.)  The HCH I compared pretty well in price and
options and fuel economy and emissions to the Classic Prius, so it
pretty much was whatever one you personally liked better on a test
drive or for brand reasons.

In the midsize car category, there's a lot of choices:
The Honda Accord Hybrid was a performance hybrid (with all the high-
end gadgets as well), and not an effiency hybrid, so its sales were
lackluster and also will soon no longer be offered new (but there are
still some on the lots).

Then you've got the new Nissan Altima Hybrid.  I haven't been
following it much...  but sales of the hybrid model is limited to 8
states at the moment.

The current NHW20 model Toyota Prius, which is a hatchback.  Since it
is a different size class than the Civic hybrid, I don't think that it
is fair to compare it to the Civic.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid.

The Lexus GS450h.  (Again, a performance hybrid...)

The Saturn Aura Hybrid (new model for Saturn, soon out as a 2008
model)  Again, I don't know much about it, only that it is using the
GM "hybrid" system and is fairly lackluster in efficiency...)

And then the SUV category is getting pretty full:
Ford Escape
Mercury Mariner
Mazda Tribute (soon out as a 2008 mpdel)
Lexus RX400h (performance, again...)
Saturn Vue Green Line (barely better fuel economy than the Lexus
Toyota Highlander Hybrid

I don't think that the "hybrid" pickup trucks are 4-door models, nor
do I really consider them much of a hybrid (all GM products), so I
won't mention them...

(Note that if you're looking for a hybrid tax credit on your US
Federal income tax returns, that there is a sunset provision on the
available credits.  Toyota/Lexus already passed their trigger point,
and no credit will be available for deliveries of new Toyota/Lexus
hybrids on/after Oct. 1, 2007.  I'd also suggest earlier rather than
later for purchases of other makes of hybrids, to get the full credit
as well.  http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id 7557,00.html )

I'd suggest that you just go out and test drive the available hybrids,
and see what fits you and your needs better.  And more research.  Good


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