Honda Civic Hybrids Claymont DE
West Chester, PA
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid Review
I vividly remember my first time behind the wheel of a first-generation Toyota Prius. I think it was at the 2000 Detroit Auto Show, and I drove a demo car on a short loop out of downtown and around Detroit’s island park, Belle Isle. The car was alive with hums, whirrs, and quiet beeps. I motored distractedly while watching the power flow on the car’s IP, marveling the first time I drove away from a stop on pure electric power. As I drove, I could feel the car thinking about what it ought to be doing and adjusting on the roll to get the most from every drop of fuel. The experience was so foreign that I might have well have been driving the Lunar Rover.
Driving the the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid was nothing like that original Prius. The Honda is refined and in most every way, completely normal. No funny noises. No odd, jerky acceleration. Just a normal car that gets an impressive 40 city mpg, 45 highway mpg (compared to 26/34 mpg for the non-hybrid Civic).
Plus at only a $3,100 premium over a similarly equipped Civic EX-L, the Hybrid-L is a decent value at $24,850 for a loaded version with leather.
Wearing a new nose and more features, the most efficient Civic offers more features than in 2008 including important safety features such as electronic stability control and optional Bluetooth connectivity. Inside, it’s mostly carryover from 2008, but that’s not a bad thing, especially for those up front.
Even with the introduction of the all-new 2010 Honda Insight (40/43 mpg), the Civic remains important because it’s a larger and more premium small car. The basics of the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid are this; a 1.3-liter four-cylinder that works with an Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) and a battery pack. The IMA and batteries are what make this Civic a hybrid.
The engine by itself now produces 110 horsepower (up from 93 in 2008), assisted by a 20-hp electric motor. The electric motor and gas engine work together in different ways, including allowing the Civic Hybrid to run on electric power alone, but not from a standing start. The Civic Hybrid gets 40/45 mpg, compared to the 2010 Toyota Prius’s higher city mileage of 51/48 mpg and the smaller Honda Insight Hybrid at.
While mostly carryover from 2008, the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid Sedan gets a new front-end looks and slightly different tail lamps. The look mimics the fuel-cell hydrogen-sipping Honda FCX Clarity sedan, which isn’t a bad thing if you’re a manufacturer trying to make a green statement. Other than the Hybrid’s light-weight 15-inch aluminum wheels, there’s no way to distinguish the electrically-enhanced Civic from its lot mates except for the Hybrid badges.
Interior enhancements to the 2009 Civic Hybrid Sedan include more technology. USB Audio Interface is standard and Bluetooth HandsFreeLink is added to Navigation-equipped models. The Civic Hybrid gains the option of leather-trimmed seating surfaces with heated front seat...