Prius or Civic Hybrid?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by wordmunger, May 9, 2007.

  1. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I'm in the market for a new car and I want it to be ultra high-mileage. It needs to be a four-door, for four adult passengers. In the U.S., that basically limits my options to a Prius or a Civic Hybrid. The Prius officially has better city mileage (though there are those who dispute the 60 MPG city rating), but the Civic is pretty much equal on highway driving. Most of my driving is sort of inbetween -- in the suburbs, on rural roads, with a stoplight every mile or two, so I'm thinking this basically counts as highway -- that suggests the mileage issue is a wash.

    Anyone have experience with either of these cars? Want to weigh in on which is a better value / better driving experience? Which one gets better real-world mileage? Just have an opinion about which car looks better? Let me know!
  2. thedude110 macrumors 68020


    Jun 13, 2005
    My wife drives a Prius and gets about 46-48 mpg between city and highway. She loves it, and it is fun to drive (and cheap to fill up).

    It's ugly as sin though, and suprisingly annoying to park.
  3. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina

    Yeah, that's one of the reasons I'm seriously considering the Civic -- I think it's a much nicer-looking car.
  4. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    i like the fact that most hybrids out there now look like ordinary cars, and i really love the look of new civic. i'd get the civic.
  5. vashim66 macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2003
    Go test drive both of them in the same day. You will know which one you like better.

    I had a Prius, ended up selling it since I thought it was extremely boring to drive. Also, the front seats can be very uncomfortable for longer trips (if you have long legs).
  6. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    *Strokes chin*... That's not much of a choice really is it. It's a bit like being stuck in a burning building with no escape... and you can either jump (and plummet to your death) or stand firm (and burn to death).

    I say... Prius. And that's only because I detest Toyota's only marginally less than Honda's.

    I do wonder if BMW will export their 'Efficient Dynamics' 3 Series to the U.S later this year, which will see a combined MPG rating of 60mpg (vastly superior real world figures to the Prius) whilst the CO2 drops to a near-hybrid level of 123g/km.

    Efficient Dynamics
  7. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    Northeast, CT
    Unsure if you considered the Nissan Altima hybrid as an alternative, unless it is out of your budget, or isn't in your high mileage category. Just another option. Should be a good one too, they are using the powerplant from the Toyota Prius I believe.
  8. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 2, 2003
    Also consider the TDI models from Volkswagen. They aren't as loud as old diesels, and get great mileage. Only problem is you have to use diesel fuel, which is not at every gas station in the U.S.

  9. Andrew D. macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I favor the new Honda Civic over the Toyota Prius any day.. the Prius commercial is kinda scary in my opinion, haha.
  10. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    Some of the modern diesels are pretty good and clean, and might be a better option if you are planning on doing seriously high mileage.
  11. Lyle macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2003
    Madison, Alabama
    Thanks for starting this thread, wordmunger. I don't own either car, but I'll be making this decision in another year or so and the Civic Hybrid and the Prius are pretty high up on my list.

    Why is it hard to park? (I've never been in one, and haven't really seen one up close yet.)
  12. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Er, no. That sure sounds like city driving to me. :p

    That said, I've sat in a Prius' driver's seat at the dealership, I think it feels nice. I was pleasantly surprised. But, like others have mentioned, visiblity (like behind) is horrid.

    ... is that California won't allow 'em. ;) Otherwise I so would have gotten a TDI and gone biodiesel. Sigh.
  13. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I don't think I'll be getting a Volkswagen. The reason I'm in the market for a new car is that my Passat is dying. It just had a $1000 repair, and now it needs a $2500 catalytic converter. From a reliability perspective, Toyota and Honda are miles ahead of everyone else.

    re: Diesel -- I'd seriously consider a Civic diesel if I could get it in the US! I have no idea why Americans find hybrids so much more appealing than diesel cars.

    re: Test drive -- yes, that's important, but I think peoples' long-term impressions of a car are equally important. You don't learn how reliable a car is (or how easy it is to park) from a test drive.
  14. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Because a lot of folks don't realize that diesel technology has improved and it's rather quite clean-burning, efficient, and cold starts aren't as problematic as they might have once been. :p
  15. iKwick7 macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2004
    The Wood of Spots, NJ

    I can't speak on the Civic, as I have never driven one, but I do own an '05 Prius. I LOVE IT. As for the 60 mpg - depends on where you are in the country, road conditions, weather, how you drive, etc. I have gotten 65 mpg on occassion and I used to AVERAGE around 54. I now average about 45 (we''ll see what happens in the summer, as it is going up). Why? I moved. I went from 80 - 100 miles a day (40+ mile trips non stop) that were in traffic, large flat spans of road, and open highway. I now drive about 3 miles per day, and trust me- that hurts the car- poor little guy has no time to warm up. Soon I will start biking to work.

    I actually prefer the look of the Prius. It's different and, in my opinion, very well designed. I also think it's extremely fun to drive (granted, it's not fast, nor do I want it to be. But there is something very exciting about coming to a stop a at light and not hearing a sound, or when someone tells you that they think your car just stalled. :)

    The Prius also has a TON of storage. I love that I can fit a couple snowboards and skies, my bike, some furniture and a large tv (not all at the same time, mind you) in the car. Gotta love hatchbacks!

    How is it hard to park? I live in the city and this thing parks like a glove.

    Agreed. My father's next car is going to be a VW diesel- I am quite looking forward to that day, in the next year or so. Diesels are also extremely easy (relatively speaking) to convert to ethanol and fry oil burning "hybrids"- something I think is very, very cool.
  16. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    I've driven both cars (just a regular Civic though, not a hybrid version) so here's my take on both:


    • It drives like a computer, will certainly satisfy the inner (or outer geek) in you
    • Mileage is excellent
    • Provides the instruments inside to help you maximise the mileage
    • Easier to park than you would think (IMO), its got more rear visibility than it looks, and the camera helps a lot although it makes it appear like things are much further away than they really are
    • Very comfortable to drive
    • Having it run silent at a stop or slow speeds is so cool
    • Definitely not a sporty car, not the best one for winding around curvy roads

    Civic (regular)

    • Looks better (IMO)
    • Feels "tighter" for lack of a better word than the Prius
    • Much more sporty feeling, but not exceedingly so
    • Feels "faster" (again, IMO)
    • Smaller therefore easier to park etc.
    • More responsive overall, turning, accelerating, stopping
    • More fun to drive (yet again, IMO)
    • Feels more like a regular car than the Prius which can be a good thing or a bad depending on what you're wanting

    Hope this helps even though I can't offer input on the Civic hybrid unfortunately.
  17. mfacey macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2004

    What I always wonder is what is going to happen in a few years when the Prius' batteries need to be replaced. Unless they are some kind of amazing super batteries that don't lose capacity, eventually you're going to have to fork out a considerable amount of money to get new ones. I would really want to know from the dealer what the dealer is with that.

    The Prius actually got buried in most reviews here in Europe. It doesn't live up to its MPG promises, its dreadfully slow and the build quality is terrible. Not to mention, its ugly as sin (but that's a personal preference).

    What about a lexus GS Hybrid? ;)
  18. Chrismcfall Suspended

    Aug 10, 2006
    The Prius looks nice, but is due for a redesign. But not until the '09 Model. So bear that in mind if you want to sell on later.
  19. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Thanks! Very useful!

    Although from the reviews I've read it sounds like the Civic Hybrid is more like the Prius in terms of the driving experience. Oh well-- I'm not buying the car to have fun, just to drag the family around from point a to point b.
  20. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.

    I'd say the Prius is better for that from my experience. The Civic is certainly smaller and shorter and doesn't have as much room in the back seat or the trunk.
  21. sycho macrumors 6502a


    Oct 7, 2006
    when the 2008 TDI's are released they will be 50state, and Canada legal. So far only the Jetta is on the list, but hopefully the rabbit will get the TDI as well. :)
  22. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    I wouldn't buy a Prius here either but you have to remember that we are lucky enough to have the choice of diesel cars. In america diesels are mostly banned so a hybrid is a much better deal over there.

    Oh and i'd get the Civic.
  23. it5five macrumors 65816


    May 31, 2006
    New York
    I was just about to come post this. You beat me to the punch.
  24. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    3 civic hybrids and 1 prius in the family

    the prius is definitel more spacious, but does have a bit of awkwardness about it. however, you get used to it. the prius has a fancier interior with the screen, etc.

    the civic is a basically a normal sedan, with much better mileage (and lower emissions). it used to have the manual option, but i think they made it automatic only in the last year or two... sadly

    not sure if you care about ipod connectivity options, but the new civics are supposed to have a pretty sweet set up for that, not sure about the prius. the older ones do have a sort of hack connection available that even lets you watch the ipod video on the screen. hah.

    i think if i were buying one, i'd get the civic, as i think they're a few thousand cheaper and overall more "normal"... isn't there also a toyota camry hybrid? too big/expensive? haven't read much about it.
  25. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    According to this site it's about $2,000 - $3,000. Since my Passat costs almost that much in repairs *every year* I'm not too worried about a one-time cost 7 or 8 years from now.

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