Honda Civic 2006 ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Honda Civic 2006

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Honda Civic 2006

Honda will give the Toyota Prius a run for it's money this year with a slick new look to it's Civic hybrid. The EPA estimates of 50/50 mpg is more like a high 40's real world still outclasses most gas only motors.

What you notice first about this car is it's slick windshield. At 21.9 degrees, the nose runs right up to the top of the car. This leads to some wasted space between the windshield and the dashboard, although Honda filled it in with a two-tier instrument panel for the driver. The rest of the interior is about what you would expect in a Honda Civic. There is room for 5, although this is a compact, so you might have to squeeze a little in the back. The trunk space is limited at only 10.4 cu ft (as opposed to the hatchback utility of the Prius at 16.1).

There are some nice innovations from the engineers for the 1.3 liter engine, including a "full-hybrid" engine with a combined (gas/electric) horsepower of 110/2500 rpms. Like the Toyota Prius, it has a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with overdrive. The 2-stage IVTEC engine employs Honda’s variable valve system. You'll get more output from the high-density windings and high-performance magnets while maintaining the same size. The overall powertrain is also smaller. A/C is fully electric, saving on gas (although the A/C won't cool quickly).

Safety features include compatibility minded body structures and energy absorbing hood for collisions with larger vehicles and pedestrians respectively. Comes standard with ABS, alarm, side air bags, and side impact door beams.

Occasionaly drivers have noticed the start and stop of the gas engine, but it's not intrusive. The new full-hybrid engine allows electric only at low speeds. With a fuel tank of 13.2 gallons, you can get pretty far at a real-world estimate in the high 40's for mpg.

Overall, a step up by Honda in the field of hybrids. It's sleek look and low emissions (awarded PZEV - Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) should make the 2006 very popular this year.

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