2008 Honda Civic Hybrid Review by Rob Rothwell / Auto123.com
Not all is equal in accommodation and economy Have you seen gas prices lately! No doubt you have, the shock of which may have you abandoning your gas-guzzler in favour of outstanding fuel economy. If that's the case, read on but let me first say that not all hyper-economy cars provide equality when it comes to cabin size and thriftiness.
I found this vehicle to be downright pleasurable to drive about town.
The 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid receives a better Canada EnerGuide fuel economy rating than the 2008 gas-powered smart fortwo, and the Civic can seat three additional passengers and carry their gear. For the record, the Civic Hybrid seats five and is rated at 4.7 and 4.3-litres of fuel per 100K of city and highway driving respectively while the thirstier two-seat fortwo receives a rating of 5.9 and 4.8-litres respectively.
Despite the Civic's ability to beat the fortwo's fuel consumption rating, it still falls behind the Toyota Prius for ultimate economy. EnerGuide Canada rates the Prius at 4.0 and 4.2-litres respectively- but now we're splitting hairs, or is that atoms?
Hybrid Honda style Honda refers to its hybrid powertrain technology as their Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system. The technology combines a 1.3-litre i-VTEC 4-cylinder gas-powered engine with the boost of an electric motor sucking juice out of a rechargeable battery pack. But don't worry, there's no electrical cord requiring plug-in.
Honda's self-sufficient hybrid setup is recharged by regenerative braking and by the gas engine. This keeps the battery pack brimming with energy to be converted into propulsion whenever the vehicle is in motion. Although Honda literature claims the Civic Hybrid is capable of electric-only propulsion, I was unable to achieve it.
Throughout my driving, the hybrid system worked flawlessly however the only time the vehicle was operating exclusively on electricity was when it was stopped, say at a traffic light for example. Once the Civic was motionless the engine cutout until my foot was removed from the brake pedal, at which point the engine instantly fired-up again- a function that felt quite pronounced.
Honda refers to its hybrid powertrain technology as their Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system.