The name is a tad confusing but the new Honda Civic e:HEV is a conventional petrol-
electric hybrid that competes against cars such as the Toyota Corolla hybrid.
Launched here in September, 2022 it’s not the first Civic hybrid. The previous model
was sold here from 2004 until 2016 when poor sales saw it dropped.
Civic e:HEV is the third mainstream Honda model to be offered with an electrified
powertrain in the Australian market, following on from HR-V and Accord. A fourth, the
all-new ZR-V, will arrive here later this year.
In fact, Honda was one of the pioneers of hybrid vehicles in Australia when it launched
its Insight three-door hatchback way back in 2001. Competition from the cheaper five-
door Toyota Prius saw the Insight drop out in 2004. At the other end of the scale a
hybrid version of the NSX supercar was also sold here.
Honda Australia is running a pretty tight ship at the moment and there are only three
Civic variants, each distinctly different from the other. As well as the e-HEV LX that
we’re reviewing here, there’s a 1.5-litre petrol VTi-LX that our Queensland crew have
just tested and the high-performance Type-R.
Prices, they’re all driveaway, start at $47,200 for the VTi-LX, the e:HEV LX sells for
$55,000 and the Type-R for $72,600.
By way of comparison the top-spec Corolla ZR hybrid has a recommended retail price
The popularity of SUVs with their taller and squarer profiles has seen conventional
sedan and hatchback styles become lower and sleeker to provide a point of difference
between the two body types.
So it is with the current, 11th generation Civic which could almost be described as a
We love the look of the latest Civic. It’s neat and attractive without anything that could
turn off the more conservative buyers that it has historically attracted.
It has quite a high front with a shallow upper grille and a much deeper lower grille. The
front grille ties in with the lights and gives a wide look. The lower grille is substantial
and the black finish of the front of the car works nicely in our eyes.
The large Honda badge in the centre of the grille has a blue surround, indicating the
car’s electric component as does the blue ‘EV’ on the number plate.
The roofline slopes neatly to the rear in a semi-fastback style and there’s a manually
operated hatchback that opens high to give excellent access to the luggage area.
A powered panoramic sunroof is standard in the e:HEV LX.
The dashboard area is wide to give the Civic e:HEV LX a spacious feel. There’s an
eye-catching thin panel with honeycomb fill that spans the entire width of the
dashboard on either side of the steering wheel. It contains a number of toggles to
adjust the direction of the air conditioning which, we’re pleased to say, uses three large
circular knobs below the touchscreen to control temperature and power. Again, they
are within easy reach of the driver.
The front seats are wide enough to cater for a good variety of rumps. The three rear
seats are set up to provide good comfort for the two window seat positions. The centre-
rear seat is better than average for this class but I wouldn’t like to travel there. With two
rear occupants there’s a fold-down armrest including a couple of drink holders.
Boot size is a reasonable 410 litres but note that there is no spare wheel, only a
puncture repair kit.
New Civic hybrid combines a power-dense lithium-ion battery with two compact,
powerful electric motors and a 105kW/186Nm 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine. It’s
a direct-injection system that’s optimised for faster and more efficient combustion and
The result is a combined maximum output of 135kW of power and 315Nm of torque,
the highest outputs ever offered on a Civic with the exception of the high-performance
The eCVT continuously variable transmission operates by juggling the petrol and
Fuel consumption is listed at 4.2L/100km with CO2 emissions of 96g/km.
Not sure how they all manage to fit them all into a relatively small car, but there are 11
airbags including knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, along with new side
airbags for the rear seats and a new front centre airbag to help prevent the driver and
front passenger making contact during a side impact.
Other standard safety features include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian
detection, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear
cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera with a choice
Civic e-HEV LX uses a 9.0-inch touchscreen, relatively small in comparison with others,
but importantly within easy reach of the driver and with fast response and sharp
definition. It has two shortcut buttons and an audio control knob to the right of the
There’s embedded satellite navigation plus Apple CarPlay (wireless) and Android Auto
There are two USB-A ports and a 12V socket in the front console above a wireless
smartphone charging pad. Two more USB-A ports are located in the rear.
In front of the driver is a customisable 10.2-inch high-definition full colour digital
information display that’s relatively easy to read and adjust to the driver’s preferences.
Audio comes courtesy of a 12-speaker Bose D41 premium sound system.
The e:HEV LX is the first Honda to get the company’s Honda Connect system that
allows owners to access vehicle information through their smartphone. There are both
convenience and safety benefits.
With remote connectivity the climate control can be set up to heat or cool the car in
advance, turn the lights on or off and lock or unlock with a single tap.
On the safety front there is an emergency call button to contact roadside assistance
and, in more serious circumstances, automatic collision detection which alerts the
Honda call centre and, where necessary, contacts emergency services. Owners can
also set a speed threshold that sends an alert to the phone when it is exceeded.
A vehicle status feature monitors a range of information.
We found getting into, and especially out of, the car quite challenging but that’s our
fault for having creaking joints. Younger, more supple, drivers won’t have any such
Regular readers will know the safety concerns that we have about the growing trend
towards dashboard and touchscreen controls that require the driver to take their eyes
off the road to operate them. Those in the Civic hybrid are just about perfect, all within
reach and easy to use.
The front seats are comfortable and supportive and both are powered. The steering
wheel has height and reach adjustment.
As with all electric or hybrid cars, the fun begins right from the start with the battery
providing instant torque for sharp acceleration.
There are four drive modes – Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual that allows separate
control of the engine, transmission and instrument cluster. This advanced powertrain is
capable of shifting seamlessly between Electric drive, Hybrid drive and Engine drive to
ensure optimum performance in both urban and highway driving.
Steering wheel paddles can be used to adjust the battery regeneration level.
Handling is good for a car of this type, though the extra weight caused by having two
power sources and a heavy battery means it can be a tad slow in responding to the
Ride comfort is good on smooth surfaces but deteriorates a little on suburban roads
that have seen better days.
The official fuel consumption figure is 4.2L/100km. During our test period we averaged
4.7L over our usual mix of urban, motorway and rural conditions. On a 40km economy
drive on easy paced open roads we managed to get consumption down to 3.6L/100km.
Honda seems to be following the Mazda approach, with significant price rises to
indicate that they have stepped up to the lower end of the prestige category. This can
probably be justified because both brands are producing vehicles that are of similar
quality to the big-name Europeans. No doubt the buying public will have the final say.
As with all Honda models the Civic e:HEV LX, comes with a five-year unlimited
kilometre warranty, five-year premium roadside assistance and five years of Honda
Civic 1.5 VTi-LX: $47,200
Civic 2.0 e:HEV LX: $55,000
Civic 2.0 Type R: $72,600
Note: These are driveaway prices and include all government and dealer delivery
SPECIFICATIONS (Honda Civic e:HEV LX 2.0-litre petrol/electric hybrid five-door
Capacity: 1.993 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 135 kW at 5000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 315 Nm at 2000 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 4.2 L/100km
Emissions: 96 g/km
Front wheel drive CVT
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4560 mm
Wheelbase: 2733 mm
Width: 1802 mm
Height: 1415 mm
Turning Circle: 11.4 metres
Kerb Mass: 1497 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 40 litres
Front: Ventilated Disc
Rear: Solid Disc
Five years / unlimited distance