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3/4 Front Glamour 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid

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Expert's Rating

4.5Excellent

MPG 44 City / 44 Highway
Pros
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Excellent handling
  • Nice interior for entry level car
  • Excellent reliability history
Cons
  • Limited trunk space
  • Non-folding back seat
The ninth generation Civic continues the tradition of well thought-out, well equipped and well manufactured vehicles from Honda. It's a no-nonsense recipe that has made the Civic one of the most sought after compacts in North America, with a popularity spanning all groups and social demographics.

Introduction

The addition of a hybrid to the Civic stable brings the cachet of eco-friendliness and social responsibility, and thus far the Civic Hybrid has proven to be a popular choice with existing Civic owners and newcomers alike. The blend of hybrid technology and Honda’s bulletproof reliability will also guarantee that the Civic Hybrid holds its value, making it a good investment that will hold its own against depreciation.

Unlike its competitors, Honda’s hybrid system fuses the gasoline-powered and electrical power systems together to work in unison. Therefore the system is far simpler and easier to package within the vehicle itself, allowing more room within the interior for passengers and luggage space. The Civic Hybrid is slightly roomier for both driver and front and rear passengers than the current Prius, and it provides plenty of protection too thanks to its 5-star NHTSA frontal crash safety rating.

Honda’s legendary V-TEC powerplant (the Civic Hybrid utilizes the 1.5-liter, 8-valve, SOHC version) provides plenty of power and an effective little 23-hp electric motor helps stretch out the gas mileage. Weight saving has been employed throughout the Civic Hybrid and it weighs-in considerably lighter than its rivals (up to 800lbs slimmer than Ford’s Fusion Hybrid). Less weight combined with a hybrid system have really helped the Civic Hybrid to top the fuel-efficiency tables – probably any hybrid’s main selling point – and its EPA rating of 44mpg in both the city and on the highway is equal to or better than the Prius, Camry and Fusion hybrid models.

The Civic Hybrid is also cheaper than its rivals and comes with an impressive level of trim and equipment as standard. Lightweight alloy wheels, heated exterior mirrors, folding side mirrors, electronic brake distribution and variable assisted steering are all included with all Civic Hybrid models.

There are only four levels of trim to choose from, and these are remarkably similar, so you never feel you’re having to settle for the ‘entry level’ model if you’re trying to keep to a budget. Trim options for leather and Sat Nav effectively complete the range, with all the other accessories (theft deterrent system, floor mats, etc.) coming as standard.

Which Style To Buy?

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
Starting price
$13,691

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid Base

Recommended for: Well-appointed and featuring many standard accessories for a base model price.

Technically the ‘base’ model, the regular Hybrid comes with an impressive array of trim that elevates it above the ‘entry level’ moniker. The 8-valve, 1.5-liter, SOHC i-VTEC engine is the same throughout the Civic Hybrid range, as is the impressive 44mpg fuel rating around town or on the highway. On the inside the Bluetooth ‘HandsFreeLink’ and USB audio interface let you hook up your devices for a more personal driving experience. If you don’t intend to travel long distances or to unknown areas it’s tempting to save your money by getting this standard trim version over the Sat Nav models, and instead simply hook up your smartphone to act as your route guide.

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