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2007 Honda Civic Hybrid Road Test

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Mathieu St-Pierre
The path to righteousness
The path to righteousness

Most of us have come to grips with the fact that the 50s, 60s and even the 70s are behind us. Gone are the days of innocence where fuel cost $0.25 a gallon and pollution was a matter for the birds. I sometimes hear my father and his brother think back to the days of the Big Block engines, 426 Hemis and flat-out cruising without a care in the world. Although I did not experience those "magical" years, I do recall when filling my tank cost under $30.

The sharp new styling of the Civic is aerodynamic to boot.

Reality has set in and since we cannot do away with our favourite mode of transportation (I for one could not...). Car manufacturers have embarked on a path to try and reduce our dependence on oil and, more importantly, putting a cap on toxic emissions. Depending on which school of thought you come into contact with, one side will propose diesel (biodiesel, etc.) technology as a viable alternative and others will vouch for Hybrids.

Hybrid's the way
Honda's position is clear: Hybrids are the path to righteousness. Back in 2003, Honda presented the World with the compact alternative to Toyota's increasingly popular Prius. The Civic's approach was that it was a normal looking car without aesthetic compromises. The biggest issue with the car was its price: it retailed for over $7,000 more than the regular Civic LX Sport.

Today, the gap has dropped to just below $4,000. The question was and still is: Is it worth it? The answer is that it is and it is not. The new Civic Hybrid, carried over from 2006 when the car was completely overhauled, is packed with technology and creature comforts.

What is it all about?
The 2007 Civic Hybrid starts out with a regular Civic shell and interior. The exterior design is basically untouched save for the addition of a trunk-lid integrated spoiler, unique light-weight alloy wheels and specific colours. Form a distance, the Hybrid looks no different than a basic counterpart. Only up close will the single rear "Hybrid" badge and aforementioned items give it away. This is perhaps a big advantage the Civic has over the Prius, and then maybe not...

The general interior layout, dash and all, is unchanged. The colours again differ; my tester's cabin sported the blue cloth and beige plastic combo. Gauges also differ subtly. The lower cluster now adds a charge/assist meter and the upper portion includes a real-time fuel consumption indicator that also doubles as the engine temperature gauge.

The two-tone Hybrid interior is roomy and well appointed.
Mathieu St-Pierre
Mathieu St-Pierre
Automotive expert