Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: fuel economy with no sacrifice of style
Cons: underpowered on long highway uphills (but you charge the battery on downhills!)
Advice: It's a Civic! And a Hybrid. What more could you want?In the city, the hybrid handles as well or better than other gasoline powered cars we've driven. It takes a day or two to get used to the novelty of the complete engine shutdown at stops, but only because it's so pleasantly surprising. You keep thinking you've stalled, but, no, it picks up and goes instantly when you're ready. The ability to generate power when braking is fantastic. You end up watching the dials and playing a 'beat your last best mileage game'. We're getting 45 mpg in the city and up to 54 mpg on long highway trips (5 speed manual transmission). We went on a 420 mile trip using only 2/3 of a tank of gas!The engine is seriously underpowered on long highway hills and mountain passes when the electric assist is exhausted. It's not a highway dragster; don't get it if you want to pass at high speed. Get it if you're willing to accelerate moderately and cruise at 65-75 mph. Other than lacking highway power, it drives great and handles great in all situations. Feels great to drive. The layout of the dials (and you do watch the dials!) are far superior to the Toyota Prius. The Prius tries to be novel and is probably the slightly more 'green' car, but the Civic is simply a great car that happens to be hybrid. If you don't care about the new technology, the Toyota Echo, and Civic LX or DX are better buys. But this is the car that makes you feel like you've done the right thing and helps convince your friends and neighbors that this technology is here to stay.
Pros: Fuel efficiency with minimal fuss
Cons: Cost of CD Changer option
Advice: Go for it!Based on two days of driving my 2003 Civic Hybrid, I can say it is one of the most satisfying automotive experiences I have had. As long as your goal is not to dominate the street racing circuit, the pickup is very adequate, interior room is good, and doesn't feel cramped. Steering is tight and precise, and every time you put on the brakes or decelerate, all that otherwise wasted energy goes flowing back into the battery to be reused. That is the real payoff. The ride is eerily quiet due to tthe smaller engine and automatic shutdown at red lights. I have the CVT automatic transmission and it is a smooth pull from stop to road speed with no perceptible 'shifting' or engine speed variation. It has what it needs and not much that it doesn't. The sound system is good. Everything seems to be where it belongs. I am pleased with my investment. The feeling that I really like is that I am contributing very little to the pollution of our atmosphere and the consumption of our resources.
Pros: Being able to drive it in the High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes in Virginia
Cons: Position/Location of the gear shifter
Advice: Incredibly comfortable ride with amazing amount of headroom. Excellent purchase optionThe car drove extremely easily and was incredibly comfortable for a smaller car.
Pros: Color (Blue moon pearl) and spacious interior.
Cons: On the expensive side for a compact
Advice: If you buy a Prius check out some of the online forums, like on Yahoo groups, to get advice on maximizing your fuel efficiency. You can also find information on tax deductions or credits for purchasing a hybrid vehicle.I've had my Prius now for almost 4 months and I love it. At first, I was obsessively watching the display screen to try to maximize my gas mileage but now I just sit back and enjoy the ride. I have been averaging between 40-45 mpg. We got pretty good mileage driving from Southern California to the Bay Area (around 45 mpg) too, and we were going 80 mph most of the time! The interior is surprisingly spacious, partly due to the upright design. I have sat in the back seat and there is plenty of leg room. We were able to fit a 27-inch screen TV in the back seat too. This car attracts a lot of attention and many people have asked me about my car in the parking lot. I love talking about it and explaining the hybrid concept.
Pros: Quiet ride and high-tech engineering
Cons: Dash mounted gear shift blocks some audio controls, needs higher right armrest.
Advice: BUY ONE. You won't be sorry. 'Wow' your friends with this little jewel.Just bought a Prius two weeks ago as a second car and have not driven my SUV since. Coolest car I have ever owned. 'WOW' factor rates a 10. Totally quiet in electric mode and very quiet even with gas engine. Digital displays above dash, and dash mounted computer display showing engine performace, which doubles as touch screen controls for audio system, add to 'WOW' factor. Expectations were low but a test drive convinced me. Surprisingly peppy for a green car...and 45 mpg in the city makes it even more attractive.
Pros: Gas Mileage and Low emmissions. It's cute too.
Cons: Lacking the comfort and power I'm used to.
Advice: As long as you aren't looking for luxury and power this is a great car.Gas Mileage Excellent. Moving from a luxury car to this car has been an adjustment but so far the it has been a good choice. A 4 cylindar doesn't have the power I'm used to but once your reach your speed the car holds the road and moves well. Comfort of seats could be better but it's ok. No complaints yet the car is a pleasure.
Pros: Smoothness of the Hybrid System
Cons: Upright Seating Position/Utilitarian interior
Advice: Dont buy this car if you intend on taking long trips.The car drives as advertised; just like a regular economy vehicle, the Prius is not going to win any awards for its ability on the track but as a commute car is performs well. The car is a little bit fidgety when the winds top 30 mph and at highway speeds. This car is better suited for in town driving. The seating arrangement is functional if not spartan, dont take too long of a trip. Also, I was involved in a minor (5 MPH)) accident and the damage to the front of the car was substantial ($2,000). The thin and light material used in the body was esentially inpossible to repair perfectly even though the speed involved was so low.