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May 18, 2007
SGN.org
Volume 35
Issue 20
 
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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

 

 



 
 
Zero to Sixty
2007 Honda Civic Hybrid
by J.T. Hills - SGN Contributing Writer

TOP
- 49 mpg city and 51 mpg highway
- Stylish exterior design
- Deceivingly spacious interior

BOTTOM
- Significantly more expensive than most compact sedans
- Tendency for car to roll backwards at stops
- Voice activated controls not easily used

First introduced in 1972, the Honda Civic has grown in size and sophistication over the years. The newest incarnation, introduced in 2006, comes in both a coupe and sedan with five different trim levels to choose from, and prices starting at $14,500 for the base DX sedan to nearly $25,000 for the Hybrid. After a week with the 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid, I've compiled a brass tacks list of highly technical scientific data based upon observations, experimentation, tabulations, inspections and so forth. Here we go:

Yah know& I feel as though I'm really doing something to save the environment when driving a hybrid; it's like I'm part of a special club. Someone please give Leo my number.
Who knew back in 1972 that the Honda Civic would be the "it" car from Beverly Hills to the Hampton's. To think you could live in a large gated estate with a staff of non-union under paid illegal immigrants and fly on private jets crossing the globe from fabulous party to fabulous party could all be made socially acceptable by purchasing a Honda Civic Hybrid& well that's just freaking amazing. On top of it, Jill and Joe homo in Seattle, Washington can equally become part of that club too, for a $10,000 entrance free. God bless America!

Of course I'm being slightly facetious, but other than a navigation system, there is very little difference in trim between the Civic DX model (which is rated at 40 mpg hwy) and the Hybrid model. With some quick calculations, the average person drives 15k per year, and with gas at $3.50 a gallon, you would have to spend $10,000 more to save around $283 a year in gas. This doesn't include the interest you would be paying on that $10,000 over an average of five years of financing. The average person would have to drive their brand new hybrid about 35 years to make up for the difference they pay at the pump versus the MSRP difference. But I've also spent $200 on a pair of jeans when you can pick them up at Target for $25; so, who am I to judge.

The Civic Hybrid is pretty to look at, and -- in the end - what's more important than being pretty. The Toyota Prius is functional& not pretty. Out on the road, the hybrid has the same MacPherson suspension the one would find on the conventional Civic; providing it with excellent handling and road ability. The hybrid engine has 110 hp at 6000 rpm's with 123 lb ft of torque at 1000-2500 rpm's. This means, the hybrid is more than capable of getting up to those freeway speeds with an ample ability to pass aggressively. One little annoying quirk though. There tends to be a lag from when the batteries are powered to when the engine kicks in, and the car tends to roll backwards. It makes parallel parking on the hill in tight spaces a little interesting; stop lights on a steep incline are even more fun.

The interior fit and finish of the Civic is beyond reproach. For what is basically an economy car there is high grade use of materials through out. The Civic is also deceptively roomier on the interior than what it may look from the outside. There is ample legroom up front for those over six feet tall with plenty of head space. The layout of the controls and storage space is also very well done. The navigation system is intuitive to use with easy to read graphics. After a week though, I still had not managed to get use to the voice commands option, and thus gave up after some frustration. It didn't seem to read my "accent" very well. I suppose one has to be more of a baritone.

OK, for a before tax price of $24,350 what do you get?
The base Honda Civic Hybrid with Navi actually comes with a long list of standard features, and a long list of costly options. A quick look at the favorites includes: Performance
- 110 hp 1.3-liter SOHC 8-Valve i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with integrated motor assist
- Idle stop feature
- Front MacPherson strut suspension, rear multi-link suspension

Safety
- Driver and front passenger front airbags, side curtain air bags
- ABS braking system with emergency brake assist
- Front and rear crumple zones
- Daytime running lights

Comfort and Convenience
- DVD Navigation with voice recognition
- 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with 6-speakers
- XM satellite radio
- Climate control

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