The Honda Civic e:HEV LX is a petrol/electric hybrid and is the latest model in the
long history of electric propulsion in vehicles. The Honda Insight was introduced in
2001 and the Honda NSX supercar was sold in 2017. We drove both of these
vehicles at the time of their release and came away impressed.

Now it was our time to spend an interesting week in the Civic e:HEV LX and see how
the Japanese company has advanced over the years.

It’s a fascinating machine in many ways including the Honda Connect system which
gives drivers extra convenience and peace of mind when stepping into their car. With
a few taps, you can turn the lights on and off, remotely lock the doors, geo-locate the
Civic and check your fuel level, all without stepping into the car.

The Civic e:HEV LX has a relatively conservative shape that doesn’t really illustrate
the bang-up-to-date technology that is under the its metallic skin.

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 to our eyes.

It will be interesting to see what others think as this is a rather expensive car and
potential buyers may be looking for a bit more excitement from the shape.

There are slight indentations in the doors. The roof slopes neatly to the rear in a
semi-fastback style and there’s a hatchback tail that opens high to give excellent
access to the luggage area.

The dashboard area is wide to give the Civic e:HEV LX a spacious feel. The centre
console has gear selection and a pair of drink holders to the right that give the driver
easy access to the controls.

The front seats are wide to cater for a good variety of human backside shapes. The
three rear seats are set up to provide good comfort for the two outer travellers. The
centre-rear seat is better than average for this class but I wouldn’t like to travel there.

This Civic has a BoseD41 premium sound system with 12 speakers. There is a pair
of 3.25-inch Bose Twiddler mid/high range speakers in the C-pillars and one below
the centre of the dashboard. There are four one-inch neodymium tweeters. There
are two 5.25-inch speakers in the rear doors, two 6.5-inch speakers in the front
doors, an eight-inch woofer in the right-rear quarter panel, and a 12-channel amp.

The e:HEV hybrid has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine working with two electric
motors. One motor powers the front wheels, the other is used to charge the battery.

There’s what could be described as a continuously variable transmission in the way it
operates in juggling petrol and electric engines/motors.

As we went to press the Honda Civic e:HEV hadn’t been officially tested for safety.
However, the standard Civic has a five-star rating and there’s every reason believe
the Hybrid will gain top marks.

The Lane Keep Assist System provides steering input to keep the Civic in the middle
of the lane and gives audible and visual alerts it detects moving out of the lane.

Like all electric or part-electric cars the Honda Civic e:HEV is delightful to drive
because of the instant torque that’s there the moment you touch the accelerator. All
electric motors have maximum grunt right from the start.

Handing is good for a car of this type, though the extra weight caused by having two
power sources and a heavy battery means it’s just a little slow in answering to the
steering wheel. Keep in mind that it’s a family hatchback, not a sporting machine, so
it’s fine in the way it handles.

Ride comfort is good on smooth surfaces but deteriorates a little on suburban roads
that have seen better days.

There is some bump-thump on concrete road where the rubber joins protrude a little
from the rest of surface.

The official fuel consumption figure is 4.2 litres per hundred100 kilometres. During
our test period it was using about 5.2 litres per hundred around town and just 3.8
litres on easy paced open road and motorway driving. These are typical for a car of
this size and show that the hybrid system is working well.

Looks: 8/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 9/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 9/10
Value: 7/10

The Honda Civic e:HEV LX is priced at $55,000 driveaway.


Capacity: 1.993 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 135 kW at 5000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 315Nm at 2000 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 4.2L/100km
Emissions: 96 g/km

Front wheel drive CVT

Length: 4560 mm
Wheelbase: 2733 mm
Width: 1802 mm
Height: 1415 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 1497 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 40 litres

Front: Ventilated Disc
Rear: Solid Disc

Five years / unlimited distance


About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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