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    siouxnami New Member

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    Since I just did this I'm sharing it just because others might also be interested.

    Part of doing due diligence before I spend $ on a new car I wanted to compare the Honda Civic Hybrid to the Toyota Prius. As it turns out it was a blood bath considering what was important to me. I compared a Prius (package 5) to a Honda Civic Hybrid with Navigation. This is about as apples-to-apples as you can get. Many features and specs were quite comparable, here is what I found not to be.

    First what I liked better about the Civic:
    Price: I could get the civic for about $25,000 vs. the Prius for about $25,700 and in addition there is still a $2100 tax credit available for the Civic so all told it runs about $2,600 less.
    Interior: This is subjective, but I really like the futuristic 2 level dash display. I also thought the interior surface materials were a little higher quality.
    Fit: This is very slight, but I am about 6' and I did think that I fit slightly better in the Civic than in the Prius, however the back seat and headroom did not impress me much, this comparison was close enough that I did not weigh it heavily.

    Now what I liked better about the Prius (preaching to the choir...):
    Safety: Bottom line is that I will never, ever, EVER, purchase a new vehicle that does not have some form of electronic stability control. I am disappointed that some base models of the Prius don't have it but I think most packages, including #5 add it.
    Convenience: The Prius offers a back-up camera, which is real nice. The Civic, despite having a screen right there, does not offer this. What, do you expect me to just turn my head...
    Styling: The Prius is distinctive and it's own car. Anytime you look at the civic you have to compare it to the non hybrid model. It kind of forces you to calculate your return as compared to the the base Civic. As a result I think that it is easier to view the Honda as a poor investment compared to non-hybrid.
    Technology: The Prius has Bluetooth, the Honda for some inexplicable reason does not. This is kind of a deal breaker for me as well. I don't think you can have a tech savvy car and skimp on that.
    Audio: I realize that you can do your own thing after market, but when you are buying near the high end of a line, you should get a premium stereo. The Prius does this, the Civic does not.
    Fuel Economy: Let's be honest, both are very good. But the reality is that a reasonable estimates of 48/45 beat 40/45 any day of the week. This helps to offset the price differential over the life of the vehicles for sure.
    Storage: The hatchback and fold down seats allow for far more space the than the civic (thanks jimbok).

    Bottom line I think the Prius more than justified it's price premium with distinction, safety, features, and fuel economy.
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    omgitsroy326 New Member

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    considering that a civic is a highway hybrid.. their numbers aren't impressive when compared to a prius


    great review
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    skguh Member

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    They are two completely different Hybrid technologies. You didn't even consider them, did you? Bluetooth is a nice-to-have-for-my-phone technology. Synergy Drive versus Integrated Motor Assist.

    What Makes Hybrids Go--old article--still relevant

    You compared radios and seats?
    The backup camera's a pain in the ass. Fun to watch, no damned good in real time unless you're used to running over toys.
    Tax credits are gone for Hybrids to my knowledge.
    They're both small cars.
    My wife's Civic Coupe gets 37+ MPG straight ICE. Not even close to 50. Heck, that and a Dodge pickup truck equal MY fuel economy--and I'm not even TRYING.

    Prius is the defacto standard by which all other Hybrid attempts are trying to achieve. Not all Hybrids are created equally, and the Prius is the only one that's been on the market over 10 years--and that's generations when considering technologies.

    But go ahead and get leather....
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    omgitsroy326 New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(skguh @ Nov 29 2007, 03:14 PM) [snapback]545797[/snapback]</div>
    i think you need to give the guy a break.. he wasn't comparing hybrid systems. He was just comparing HYBRID. I also believe that the backup camera works well
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    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    Another point in favor of the Prius: the hatchback. It's come in handy several times as I've hauled stuff that would not have fit in a Civic.
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    moxiequz Weirdo Social Outcast

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    The poster was comparing things that were (I assume) important to him/her. That's what anyone should do when evaluating a car. Particularly seat comfort/height as that can have a huge impact on whether or not the car is the right fit for you and/or your family.

    ??? I'm lost on this statement. How is the backup camera a "pain in the ass"? And what do you mean by it's "no damned good in real time". I have a backup camera on my Prius. It works fine in "real time". Indeed I consider it a necessity on the Prius due to the poor visibility out the back of the car.
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    siouxnami New Member

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    Sorry for the double post, I was having some communication issues with the site.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(skguh @ Nov 29 2007, 02:14 PM) [snapback]545797[/snapback]</div>
    Yes like most people though, I compare car values and not the particular ins and outs of competing technology. The goal for both is to get from point A to point B.
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    nerfer A young senior member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(siouxnami @ Nov 29 2007, 03:57 PM) [snapback]545845[/snapback]</div>
    I think you had a fine post. The technology used doesn't matter to the driver, just the end result. Mileage, reliability, emissions, responsiveness, etc. It might be easier for the engineers to meet certain results based on the technology they choose, but to the driver it doesn't matter squat. Eventually, there might be a third-party plug-in feature available for the Prius and not the HCH, but that is not a meaningful concern for >90% of Prius owners, given the price point and warranty issues.

    I really don't see what the problem with looking out the back is. The Prius has fine visibility, better than our Accord, and definitely better than a standard SUV. With the lower window you can see things much closer to you than most cars. There is some blockage to the sides, but you can move your head or use the side mirrors if really needed. What bothers me is visibility to the sides when looking forwards with the thick front pillars, particularly when entering a turn.
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    Burner New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(JimboK @ Nov 29 2007, 03:45 PM) [snapback]545815[/snapback]</div>

    That's the one major problem I have with the Civic. If you buy the Civic EX (non-hybrid), the rear seats flip down to create more room to carry/haul. Due to the location of the batteries in the Civic Hybrid, not only do the seats not flip down, but the trunk is significantly smaller than the standard Civic.
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    PriuStorm Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Burner @ Nov 29 2007, 06:00 PM) [snapback]545878[/snapback]</div>
    This was one of the main reasons why we chose the Prius over the Civic Hybrid.
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    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North

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    GeekEV Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(siouxnami @ Nov 29 2007, 11:41 AM) [snapback]545784[/snapback]</div>
    Speaking as someone who owns both a 2006 Prius and a 2006 Civic Hybrid (had that one first), I have to say I agree with your assessment 100%. I too like the styling and fit & finish of the Civic interior, but that's the only thing I prefer. Both my wife and I prefer the Prius, though I've stuck her with the Civic. :)
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    ebsmythe New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(siouxnami @ Nov 29 2007, 02:41 PM) [snapback]545784[/snapback]</div>
    In our garage are both a silver 2006 Civic Hybrid and a 2007 Prius of the same color. Both are great cars but I also favour the Prius for the following reasons:

    1. Although the HCH seat is adjustable for a combination of height and front to back, when I crank it all the way down for my 6'-4" height I feel like I'm sitting on the road. The Prius fixed height seat is still higher but allows my head to scrape past the top of the door opening.

    2. The pure electric startup from zero is nice in driveways and parking lots. I have not been able to do it in the HCH.

    3. I too love the backup camera

    4. With bluetooth, my Blackberry connects automatically as soon as I get into my car and I have hands free operation except for tapping a button on the steering wheel to answer and end calls.

    5. The HID headlights make quite a difference at night, especially up north with a high deer population.

    6. My Prius has the Nav with voice control of most functions , including POIs, temp setting and much much more. Our HCH has a Garmin Nuvi 660 which is very good, but no voice commands.

    7. The Prius hatchback design with fold down 60/40 rear seats allows a much greater loading capacity.

    8. The acceleration from a stop or for passing is better in the Prius because the electric motor is 67 HP vs somewhat less in the HCH

    9.The time graphics of fuel consumption and of the interplay between the hybrid components is much better illustrated in the Prius. The HCH graphics are very simple.

    10. The Prius has slightly better economy for city driving but they are neck and neck for highway driving.
    I suppose that is because the ICE is doing most of the work most of the time in both vehicles when they are on the highway.

    Time will tell how both cars fare in the maintenance department. So far, just oil changes and no problems with either car.
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    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure that's incorrect. They're gone for all Toyota/Lexus hybrids but not for Hondas. See http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=157557,00.html. Unfortunately, for some reason most 08 models aren't listed but they should still qualify. The IRS probably needs to update their list.

    One other thing is in all the performance tests I've seen, even though the HCH has identical horsepower ratings compared to the Prius, it gets worse acceleration times for some reason. It even made the list of Consumer Reports' list of slowest vehicles at http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/...st-worst-acceleration_ov.htm?loginMethod=auto.

    edit: I found that http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=157632,00.html does mention 08 HCHs
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    brick Active Member

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    I used to think that the extra "frilly" technology was pointless, but having lived with it for a year (almost) I've changed my mind. The backup camera is priceless when backing out of a parking space flanked by two pickups or full-size SUVs. Before the camera it was a matter of moving out slowly and hoping that anyone coming along would notice and take pity. Now I don't have to play that game because I can see that someone's coming. I also use it to back down my wonky curved and convex driveway that can't be seen out the back window of pretty much any vehicle.

    Same goes for SKS. You think it's stupid until the first time you walk up to the locked car with your hands full and realize that...you don't have to dig for your keys! Just get a finger or two free and touch the pad. **BEEP BEEP** Done.

    Oh, yeah, then there's that hybrid synergy thingy and the screen telling me I'm getting double the gas mileage of my last car. ;) You have to admit that despite a few faults, Toyota put together a very competitive car by a lot of different standards. The OP's post proves that you don't have to be in it strictly for mileage to appreciate this.
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    skguh Member

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    Well, again, due diligence must mean something different than I'm accustomed to--and I'm all for 'frilly,' but when 'frilly' becomes the difference, then it would follow that everything else is a wash--which it isn't. If you're happy with your decision, good for you. It's my opinion that the two vehicles are vastly different.

    As for the camera? Nice to have, however, my understanding of human nature's probably somewhat different--and I gotta see ALL my surroundings--and I can't do that while I'm looking at the display.

    Good luck with your decision--you made the right one--even if you came about it left-handed! And yes, I'm a lefty for all you PC-ists.
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    clintd555 New Member

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    The lack of seat height adjusters in the Prius is a huge drawback for me. But the reduction of trunk space, can't fold rear seats down for a clear pass through and the fact that it's harder to cruise in EV mode in the Civic are all deal breakers to me. I prefer the Honda Fit over the Hybrid Civic (my opinion), but the new Civic looks better than them all.

    Umm anyone interested in selling their Prius?
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    siouxnami New Member

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    I added the comments about storage space to the OP. I put a deposit down and should have my #5 mid-December.
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    Mawcawfee Prius-less (for now)

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    Hi! I have been doing much the same (over-)analysis as you the past several weeks. :)

    I ruled out the HCH for a few simple reasons. One: the HCH offers neither traction control nor stability control, not even as options. Only the Civic Si sedan and coupe have them. I agree 100% in that stability control is a hard requirement for any new vehicle I purchase. Second: HCH-II reliability has been horrendous for many people, particularly early transmission failure (that Honda is slow to repair, often waiting weeks for parts) and very poor interior quality (rattles everywhere and pieces falling apart at very low miles). I test drove the HCH and I like it, but I cannot overlook hundreds of credible reports in Honda forums about these problems.

    At this point, I narrowed my choices to the Prius and HyCam. I have driven both, the Prius twice. The HyCam is a lot more car for another $1,700. But then the HyCam suffers from the same quality problems that every other Camry does lately, namely rattles galore (especially the dashboard and sunroof), suspension problems (loud thunks and knocks that I heard myself), and a SmartKey system with a mind of its own (I saw the trunk open itself in the pouring rain without a button press on the one I drove). While the Prius is not without fault, its list of gripes on various forums (this forum is the best of the bunch, of course ;)) is very short. The most serious problem has been MFD failure on early gen IIs due to a circuit board design defect (leading to solder joint failure). Plus, having owned hatchbacks before and being a big fan of them, it's very hard to dismiss a hatchback's usefulness when you need it, especially since folding down the Prius' rear seats yields SUV-like storage space. Storage space that the HyCam and HCH sorely lack.

    It sounds like you already decided on a Prius. Good luck!
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    holy_crap Junior Member

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    I too compared both the 2008 HCH and the Prius and I decided on the Prius. I found the ICE engine shutdown and startup on the HCH was much more noticeable than the Prius, this actually annoyed me during the HCH test drive which I did before the Prius. The big drawbacks for me on the HCH were reduced backseat legroom and the very small trunk. I was pretty impressed with the rear seat legroom on the Prius and the hatchback with its storage compartments were a big plus. When I drove the Prius, I felt that I had much more room inside the car, I am a big man and the HCH was a bit too tight for me. I also liked the feature of the Prius of running with the ICE off while gliding.

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