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2011 Honda Civic Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid was new.


Performance: 7.3

The most impressive aspect of the 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid is its fuel economy ratings. Other than that, reviewers aren’t ecstatic about the way the Civic Hybrid drives. They say it’s sluggish, not fun on the roads and its handling and braking are acceptable, but nothing to rave about.

  • "Though it delivers the same eager feel that distinguishes other Civics, and the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system works well, it's not the right ride if you're in haste." -- Car and Driver
  • "I'm a Civic Si type of guy, but the Hybrid provided a better driving experience than other hybrids I've driven, and similar mileage." -- The Auto Channel

Acceleration and Power

Most members of the automotive press say the 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid is slow, which isn’t surprising considering it’s a hybrid. However, the Civic Hybrid makes up for its sluggish performance with its high fuel economy ratings. The EPA says the Civic Hybrid nets 40/43 mpg city/highway.

The Civic Hybrid comes with one engine: a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder gas engine that is paired with an electric motor. It produces 110 horsepower. The Civic Hybrid also has a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which rotates through an infinite number of gear ratios to gain better fuel economy ratings.

  • "[Civic] Hybrids are also slow off the line and demand liberal throttle to build speed quickly. They are able to keep pace with fast-moving traffic. As with other CVTs, this one lets the engine rev ahead of vehicle speed." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Marginal power. Sufficient in town, but struggles challenged." -- USA TODAY

Handling and Braking

Most reviews complain about the 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid’s handling and braking. They say the regenerative brakes make the car jerky. Some reviewers, however, say the Civic Hybrid outperforms other hybrids when it comes to handling. 

  • "Hybrids have low-rolling-resistance tires that enhance fuel economy, but allow copious noseplow in tight turns. It has fine straightline stability even in crosswinds. Braking control is OK, with pedal feel that's on par with most other gas/electric hybrids." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Unfortunately, the grabby brakes and the unpolished transitions between coasting and getting into regenerative braking detract from the sedan's around-town smoothness." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Like gasoline Civics, the hybrid test car had a sturdy, tight feel, as if it were modeled after a sport sedan. It didn't have the slip-slidey feel you can get when trying to push a Prius briskly through corners. Thus, the Civic was more fun to drive in the normal-to-brisk end of the scale." -- USA Today

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