Honda Civic Hybrid
The Honda Civic Hybrid is the visual prophecy of the HEV world. Its unassuming presence doesn't make a point of its impressive mileage or green tendencies.
In fact, you've probably driven alongside a hybrid Civic without even knowing it.
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It's a Civic
The key to the Honda system is a technology known as Integrated Motor Assist (IMA). It features a very thin electric motor that sits adjacent to the 1.3 liter, 4 cylinder internal combustion engine. When needed, the quiet, brushless, electric motor assists the gasoline engine by delivering a high torque boost during acceleration or under increased load. While cruising, the high efficiency engine delivers all the power for the vehicle and when possible, charges the Ni-MH batteries along with regenerative braking
. While stopped, the engine turns off, to mitigate fuel loss while the engine would ordinarily idle, discussed in our efficiency obstacles
article. The Civic Hybrid features a series
configuration, so the electric motor never powers the vehicle on its own.
Like the Toyota Prius, the Civic also features an unconventional transmission. While available with a 5-speed manual transmission, the engineers are most impressed with continuously variable transmission (CVT). The transmission uses two cones and steel bands to emulate all possible ratios. That allows for a smooth ride through all ratios, but more importantly, it allows the gasoline engine to operate more frequently in its most efficient range. While rare on mass produced cars, the Honda Civic HX and Honda Insight also make use of CVT technology.
It's a Hybrid, too!
Further increasing the hybrid Civic's fuel efficiency is a technology labeled as Intelligent Dual-Point Sequential Ignition (i-DSI) which uses two spark plugs per cylinder to more thoroughly combust gasoline within the chamber. This makes the emissions cleaner, and helps the Civic Hybrid boast 650 miles on a single tank of gas based on EPA testing.
External Honda Civic Hybrid 2004 Reviews
Edmunds Review of the 2004 Civic Hybrid:
Fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly engines, roomy interior, reputation for durability and quality, impressive crash test scores.
Road And Travel Review:
So how does it drive? Well, pretty much like any other Civic on the road. It's well mannered yet spirited, ergonomically friendly and roomier than you might expect. And despite the small engine, it cruises effortlessly at normal highway speeds and even above with very little noise.
New-Cars.com's Review of the Civic Hybrid:
It took a leader to step up in the automotive world and pave the way with earth-friendly vehicles. By all accounts, Honda has shown itself to be quite [a] leader.
2004 Honda Civic Hybrid Review Summary
- Class: Compact
- MSRP: $19,650
- Drive Wheels: Front Wheel Drive
- Fuel Efficiency: 48 city / 47 highway
- Acceleration: 0-60 in 11.3 seconds
- Seats: Five
- Greenhouse Emissions: 4.1 Tons Annually (very low)