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Honda Civic Hybrid 2013 review

Drive is to the front wheels through a CVT continuously variable auto with its characteristic slur.

It's almost time to take back the hybrid. But before doing so we thought we'd throw in a tank of the good stuff to see whether it made a difference.

Although 98 RON Premium fuel is more expensive, it's better for your car and delivers more kilometres per litre. Would it have the same effect in a hybrid car we wondered?

Value

Priced from $35,990 the new Multi-Information Display (i-MID) is pretty cool, but unlike the Insight it misses out on satnav which is not available as an option either (different buyers we're told). Bluetooth is standard along with a USB Audio Interface for music players.

Technology 

The 1.5-litre four cylinder petrol engine is the primary source of power, assisted when necessary by a 17kW electric motor. Together, they produce 82kW of power at 5500 revs and 172Nm of torque between 1000 and 3500 revs.

Unlike an electric car or plug-in hybrid you can't recharge this car with from a wall socket. The lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery is recharged as you're going along.

It uses a claimed 4.4 litres of fuel per 100km, slightly more than the Toyota Prius at 3.9 litres/100km.

Design

It's a biggish small car that doesn't compromise on space. The seats are comfortable and the instruments all large and easy to read/use. The styling however is conservative, apart from the multi-layered dash with its large digital speedo set above the other dials.

Safety

The Civic gets a full five stars for crash safety, with a long list of standard safety gear including six airbags, next-generation Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Brake Assist and a new Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering.

Driving

It's surprisingly torquey thanks to the quick response electric motor. The electric motor is designed to provide extra oomph during acceleration, but once you're up and running it cuts out as the system goes into charge mode.

Drive is to the front wheels through a CVT continuously variable auto with its characteristic slur. After a couple of thousand kilometres the Civic Hybrid is starting to show some real promise.

Fuel consumption dropped to a low 5.3 litres/100km and that has something of a halo effect on the rest of the drive experience. After all, the main reason for buying a hybrid is the lower fuel consumption and the lower impact this has on the environment isn't it?

Verdict

The Honda Civic Hybrid offers enough to satisfy undemanding drivers, but those buyers attracted by this car will be more interested in the technology than performance.

Pricing guides

$13,884
Based on 125 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,800
Highest Price
$16,995

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
DTi-S 1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $8,800 – 13,200 2013 Honda Civic 2013 DTi-S Pricing and Specs
VTi-L 1.8L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $7,900 – 12,210 2013 Honda Civic 2013 VTi-L Pricing and Specs
VTi-LN 1.8L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $9,000 – 13,530 2013 Honda Civic 2013 VTi-LN Pricing and Specs
VTi-S 1.8L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $7,300 – 11,330 2013 Honda Civic 2013 VTi-S Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$5,800

Lowest price, based on 124 car listings in the last 6 months

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