2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
5:28

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid

Automobiles
-When 40 mpg is something you get with a standard gas engine, the Civic Hybrid has to do a bit better. Is 44 enough? Let's drive the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid and check the tech. The new Civic Hybrid is revised right along the lines of all the new 2012s. Spotted quickly by blue chrome accents on the outside and a couple of new screen modes inside but mostly by its bigger engine yet higher MPG. -Now, inside the Civic there are barely any cues that tell you this is a hybrid versus the gas engine car which we just looked at a few days ago. You've got this ECON button over here and this car of course, it changes a very different powertrain. It makes the hybrid powertrain extremely stingy as opposed to making modest changes in the gas engine car. Right there, in the dead center is your IMA logo. This is Honda's Integrated Motor Assist. That's their technology that competes with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. Up here on the IMA, that's a 5-inch LCD that is new on the 2012 Civic. There you find some more cues that you're in a hybrid. Aside from the usual fuel economy and distance to empty, you've also got a green gauge here and one that shows power flow on the vehicle. The stuff you wouldn't have on a gas engine car and there's your battery level also. And, I think unique to the Hybrid, if I'm not mistaken is the ability to set a wallpaper for that IMA display. I didn't see that in the gas engine car. Kind of a weird differentiator if that's the case. And, what really make sense in this car because it's a hybrid are those two segmented bars alongside the digital speedometer. Those are the ones that coach you from blue to turquoise to green how efficiently you're driving. Handy on the gas engine car, it really makes sense on this one. We know this head unit all too well. It's an optional navigation head unit. If you get that trim level, it's an okay nav interface. It's not my favorite. The whole thing though is kind of busy and outdated but make sure you check out our 2012 Standard Civic video for a full detail and look at this new cabin. One choice transmission on this guy as with most hybrids-- it's a CVT, a Continuously Variable Transmission. It doesn't have real gears to that. It's just one belt-and-pulley system that varies all the time to keep this guy on the sweet spot. Now, let's go and see what's plugging into it. Quite a few changes here under the hood on this new 2012 Civic Hybrid. They bumped up the gas engine from 1.3 liters to 1.5 liters. It still has the electric motor attached to it, of course. The totals on this are 110 horsepower all in and a 127 foot-pounds of torque, perfectly good numbers. You're gonna get to 60 in 10.1 seconds. Again, not the point on this car. The MPG is-- so here's where they are, 44 city and 44 highway. Guess what, 44 average and that's up a few MPG from the outgoing model. -Honda's IMA Hybrid System had couples the electric motor to the gas engine so they always turn together but the electric motor can power the car alone a small amount of the time. It's something you'll barely detect and like many of the newer hybrids, the Civic turns driving into some little video game where you earn leaves as you drive greenly and they in turn add up to some vehicle lifetime score. But, I don't think you can win anything. -Now, I recall the previous Civic Hybrid being kind of a coffee grinder of a thing, just kind of crude around the edges. This car does not suffer from that. It's got Electric Power Steering which is really nice and lenient. They've done a very good job on that and everybody who drives this car comments on the ride quality. It's got a smooth both in terms of this, how it sprung. As well in terms of this, how it motivates itself. There's no lumpy engagement any more than you normally give with a hybrid which kicks on electric motor in and out from time to time. Well, let's check the start-stop technology. That can be bulky in cars like this. I'm coming to stop sign now. Let's see how it goes off and more importantly how seamlessly it comes back on. There's my stop. It goes right away. Yeah, really quick. That's one of the better restarts in the start-stop world right now. The power comes on nice that they've dialed in the torque for everyday driving so that it's there when you need it and handling on the car like this is as you might imagine. It's fine. It's you know. It's good transportation quality handling. Really, it's the ride quality I think people are gonna respond to in this vehicle and the overall smoothness of how the power comes on and, of course, the MPG. I get a feeling it's a little bit less mechanical noise intrusion as well. I don't hear the things worrying as much as I do in some lower cost hybrids where you hear things that sound like an elevator mechanism going up and down when you come to lower speeds. I'm not picking that up here. It's a better sound installation in some. Alright, the 2012 Civic Hybrid, this all new model is gonna run you at $24800 base. Now, a couple of big options and one small one on top of that, the navigation package adds $1500. That's navigation, live traffic via FM not XM Radio but it does had XM radio in that package and voice command for the nav and also you can go leather for 1200 bucks. Your only a la carte tech is XM Radio by itself for about $350.

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