I owned a '95 civic for about six years before purchasing my '04 Hybrid. My '95 ended up needing so much work done that it was cheaper in the long run to purchase a newer car rather than fix the old one. With the soaring gas prices, I was looking at a Hybrid but didn't want to buy the same car my parents owned.
I love Hondas. They are reliable, will drive forever, and have such a high standard of quality. In this regard, the '04 Civic Hybrid did not disappoint. It looks great both inside and out, and it runs so quietly.
The downsides are twofold. First, it doesn't get nearly the gas mileage as the Prius. The Honda is a Hybrid ASSIST which means that when you accelerate and brake, you use more of the battery than petrol fuel. (The Prius, on the other hand, uses battery alone when driving under 35mph.) It's a neat concept, but I'm barely getting better mileage than when I drove my '95 Civic. Secondly, it does not accelerate quickly. This, for me, is incredibly annoying as most of the miles I put on it are freeway miles. So to get on the freeway, I have to slowly accelerate which saves you gas money I suppose in the long run but really irks you and all the other drivers on the road when you can't reach the speed limit quickly.
It is a compact car by all means and thus has little leg room for tall people in the back, but it is so much more comfortable than the Prius for long road trips. There is ample storage up front and the trunk is decently sized, though could stand to be slightly bigger. The car itself sits up higher than older Civic models which makes climbing in and out much easier.
It is a really decent car for a Hybrid though needs to work on it's efficiency more.
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