When you think of Honda, you most likely think of fuel economy. But when you think of the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid, you should think of serious, big-time, gi-normous fuel economy.
You also get a pretty good sedan in a practical yet reasonably attractive package.
The Civic Hybrid is rated at 44 mpg city and highway, allowing you to go a very long way on a tank of gasoline.
It also offers surprisingly good interior room for both front and rear passengers.
Trunk space is also more than adequate.
The seating is comfortable and visibility is good.
In fact, the Civic of today feels almost like a mid-size sedan, rather than a compact.
That comes as a result of the move made by Honda a few years ago to upsize its vehicle lineup.
Honda had just introduced its popular Fit subcompact, which would become its main small car.
That role was previously held by the Civic, which got a little larger, making it almost like a mid-size sedan.
The Accord, one size up, got yet a little larger, making it almost like Honda’s large sedan.
Yet despite these changes, Honda was able to maintain great fuel economy in each.
The Civic Hybrid takes that fuel economy to a new level.
But this fuel sipper is no wimp when it comes to getting out on the highway.
Acceleration is steady and sure.
The power plant is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s linked to a continuously variable transmission and a lithium-ion battery powered electric motor that boosts overall power to 133 horsepower.
As for styling, the Civic won’t win any awards for design innovation.
There’s a new grille, headlights and taillights.
But at the same time, its traditional sedan lines aren’t cringeworthy.
The same is pretty much true on the inside.
It’s very functional, if not spectacular.
The instrument panel is neatly arranged and easily viewed by the driver. The fit and finish and quality of materials are good.
But the main reason to be interested in this car is for its great mileage.
You can drive and drive and drive, and wave at all those folks lined up digging for their wallets to grab almost four bucks for one gallon of fuel.
You can switch the car into “Econ” mode and gain even better fuel economy.
The Civic Hybrid can be had for right around $25,000, nicely equipped.
If you want to drive green, and yet still be in a practical, comfortable vehicle, the Civic Hybrid is an outstanding choice.