2012-2014 Honda Civic Hybrid Review

this is the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid now it’s a really blustery wind read a I have laryngitis and it’s been raining for a whole week so we’re just going to try and squeeze this video in quick without too much of a drive impression so follow us

as we take a look at the hybrid now under the hood of the Civic Hybrid we have a 1.5 liter atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine made it to a Honda CVT this really isn’t the same as a Prius CVT as as you might know if you really are into the technical details the Prius CVT really is is an electronic CVT esto de likes to call it it involves the planetary gearset and two motor generators and really

it doesn’t move unless the motor generators are involved this honda setup actually is a little bit more traditional this is a regular old CVT just like everybody else uses in the CVT market it’s mated to a four cylinder engine just about like everyone else does and that’s 110 horsepower total that’s combined with the about 20 horsepower that the motor provides but what’s interesting about this

setup is its relative simplicity in design so instead of being able to drive electric only without the engine involved the Honda Civic Hybrid really can’t do that because there’s no way to disconnect the engine from the drivetrain like there isn’t a Prius so while you can drive down the road and have only electricity propelling you and no gasoline propelling you the engine is still actually spinning

is that’s actually quite something quite different from the Toyota hybrids as well as the Nissan hybrid the infiniti hybrid I should say in that the motor is actually still spinning so to help reduce loss it actually closes the valves on the engine so the engine just sort of putts around doing nothing and pumping no air but one of the other problems that they’ve also addressed in this hybrid was

that the last generation Civic when the car was stopped at a stoplight and the engine turned off so did your air conditioning this is also a problem in Buicks eAssist light mild hybrid lacrosse that they’re calling the ESS now and Honda’s actually fixed that by having a quite interesting to power air conditioning compressor sort of down there in the engine I’d like to show you a picture but it’s really difficult to see and we couldn’t get a camera down there basically what it is it is a regular air belt-driven air conditioning compressor that has a second air conditioning oppressor stuck to the back of it that’s electrically powered so if you need cooling on a regular basis it’s actually just using that larger belt-driven compressor until you stop and when you stop and the engine turns off the electric one takes over and if the air conditioning load is extreme while you’re driving down if you’re in Phoenix and it’s 110 degrees outside for instance then both of those air conditioning compressors will actually run at the same time to cool down the cabin that much better in our tests here at 85 degree weather we really didn’t have a problem with the engine auto off and that’s quite different than the Buick where you really could feel some warm air coming out of those air vents after really more than just a few seconds of being

stopped at a stoplight this Civic Hybrid didn’t have that problem and that’s nice improvement rear seat legroom in the Civic Hybrid is exactly the same as it would be in any regular civic sedan and that’s fairly good actually this front seat is adjusted for me at 6 feet tall and a six foot tall driver in the back has decent room now of course the Civic is a little bit narrower than a full-size or midsize sedan so keep that in mind that the middle seat here the rear is fairly compact and Headroom is somewhat limited in the middle seat as well so you really wouldn’t be able to fit as many people in it as you would a camry hybrid or an accord of course and just like every other hybrid sedan on the market there is some

impact in the trunk space for the hybrid drivetrain equipment and that’s because the battery is between the trunk and the rear seats so it occupies this section of the trunk right back here which means the rear seats don’t fold and you lose a little bit of trunk room but fortunately in this new Honda Civic they’ve used lithium ion batteries which are more energy dense than the nickel metal hydride batteries used in other hybrids and so you actually have enough trunk room for a roller bags positioned long ways in the trunk and you could actually probably fit about four of them in this trunk if you really squeeze them in which is fairly good and I have to say that that’s actually just about as good as the Toyota Camry Hybrid or the Ford Fusion Hybrid even though the Civic is considerably smaller as you can see in the Honda Civic Hybrid Honda’s actually put the gauges where you expect them to be in a car not in the center like you do in a Prius and that is sort of a novelty in the Prius in some way too distinguish the Prius from other toyota products i personally dislike the style i also dislike the prius as electro fluorescent speedometer engages in the car and Honda’s gauges are actually fairly nice we’ll take a closer look at those in a second but just to give you an overview of the cabin here it is fairly hard plastic both on the dash and the doors that’s been a complaint in some other reviews of the Civic Hybrid as well as the regular Civic we have to keep in mind that the base

Civic is a fairly inexpensive car and I have to say that it’s textured fairly nicely and I really can’t say that it’s any better or any worse than any of the competition I think that they were hoping for something truly class-leading in class expanding in the interior with soft touch plastics everywhere but if I’m perfectly honest if you step inside a Toyota Yaris or even a Prius C or even a full-size Prius you’ll find hard plastics now this tri-level dash isn’t unique to the Civic Hybrid although these particular instruments are so here in the center we have the regular tachometers with the little integrated motor assist logo and if we were parked and the car was actually willing to auto stop it actually requires that you drive a while and drive see a little auto stop icon over here up here we have our speedometer we have our instant economy as well as our fuel gauge now we’re here we have something that’s quite nice it’s a high resolution LCD that’s controlled by the controls over here on the steering wheel so as you can see we can scroll through our fuel economy here we have this is sort of an eco scoring tells you how fast you’re accelerating and braking and lets you know whether you’re doing that in an ecological fashion here’s our typical hybrid power gauge now this is actually a fairly nice resolution display and this little bar over here from the car to the battery would be lighting up green if you’re recharging and blue if you’re actually providing motive power to the vehicle next step is looks blank but that’s actually sort of screen off with your temperature and odometer and clock and then we have an analogue clock we skip back up to

the audio and this will actually display album information if you have your iPod connected for instance or you know complete radio information as well and the interesting thing is that’s considerably nicer looking than the screen we get here in the dash if we turn the audio on and accept this little screen here you can see that Honda’s screen Honda’s screen here is their typical navigation unit used in a wide variety of Honda products Honda’s navigation system gives us a wide variety of infotainment options here from FM AM XM to of course iPod and Bluetooth and auxilary input as well as of course this in-dash CD changer here over here on the steering wheel we get a voice command button as you can see here and the Savoy’s command system actually is fairly fully featured although it is slightly convoluted but you can use it to enter voice to enter destinations by voice

change your map zoom find points of interest etc so that actually makes it quite a bit more user friendly than a number of other systems on the market now one of the complaints about the previous generation Honda Civic Hybrid was its seeming inability to meet or exceed the EPA 2008 fuel economy numbers that it was given our Civic Hybrid here as you can see over the past proximately to 850 miles that we’ve had it has ranged between 42 and 43 miles per gallon that is quite good and before you leap on this and say that’s not quite it’s 44 miles per gallon rated by the EPA I have to say that the vast majority of our trips over this last week have not been normal so please don’t compare this to the Prius C video for instance where we exceeded the EPA’s this week has actually mostly been characterized by trips up and down the hill that I live on down to sea level and I live at about 800 feet and so I have to go up the hill to 2200 feet and then down the other side and then repeat that process rather than my normal commute which includes a decent portion of moderate highway driving this week really hasn’t had any of that but it has had that hill

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