2003 Civic Hybrid Versus 2006 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by edstewbob, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. edstewbob

    edstewbob Junior Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    2006 Prius
    We owned an HCH 2003 for 3 years and replaced it with a 2006 Prius 3 weeks ago. Although we liked the HCH there were several things about it that were not as nice as the Prius.

    1. Seat Comfort
    The HCH was OK on short trips. My wife and I took one trip of about 650 miles and both of our backs were hurting by the time we got to our destination. We have never ridden in such uncomfortable seats before and didn't take it again on trips over 1-2 hours. We took the Prius on the same long trip and it was much more comfortable, although it was not quite as nice as our 2004 Sienna.
    2. Leg Room
    The HCH had very little leg room in the back seat. I had to move my seat forward if a normal sized adult was sitting behind me. The Prius has an unbeliveable amount of leg room in the back seat. I had several people sit in the back seat and have never had to move the seat up. They usually had 3-4 inches of room between their knees and the back of my seat.
    3. Back Seat Fold Down
    We thought we would get used to the HCH back seats not folding down. We did not. It was a major inconvenience for us to not be able to extend the trunk length by folding down the back seats. The Prius offers a huge amount of cargo area with the seats folded down.
    4. Gas Mileage
    We enjoyed trying to improve the HCH mileage. We were never able to get more than about 46 MPG no matter how conservatively we drove it. Additionally, the average mileage estimate was always 2-3 MPG over the actual mileage. The Prius got 52 MPG on the 1st tank and 53 on the 2nd in winter. Admittedly, we were already aware of how to drive for improved mileage but this was winter driving. The Prius average mileage on the display was actually was 1-2 MPG less than actual mileage we obtained.
    5. Gauges
    We liked the HCH gauges better. They were simple but informative. They indicated the degree of battery regeneration that was occuring which was always nice to see based upon the intensity of braking or deceleration. The HCH had beautiful blue colored gauges. We also liked having a tachometer and a temperature gauge. None of this is provided for the Prius and we miss these indicators.
    6. Acceleration
    The HCH had decent acceleration but the Prius is much better. We always drive conservatively so this is seldom an issue for us but it is sometimes helpful when getting on a crowded interstate highway.
    7. Gauge Location
    We thought we would not like the location of the Prius gauges but have come to like their position better because they are always visible, no matter how the steering wheel is positioned. The position of the HCH gauges is like any traditional car and some gauges are temporarily blocked based upon the position of the steering wheel.
    8. Air Conditioning
    The HCH had a traditional air conditioner and when the engine shutdown at a light on a hot day it was sometimes necessary to start the engine back up to reduce passenger compartment heat. The engine could be started at a red light by momentarily lifting off the brake pedal. The Prius's electric air conditioner solves this problem.
    9. Stow Space
    The HCH had very few places to store anything. It had a very tiny center console, and only two cup holders. The Prius has several more places to store items and a reasonably sized center console. This was a big deal for us because we like to take our GPS and XM radio with us and sometimes store them in the center console.
    10. Stop and Go Traffic
    The HCH was not very efficient for stop and go traffic. The engine would not shut off when stopped again unless the speed reached about 30 MPH. In heavy traffic betwen lights this was sometimes not possible so the engine continued to run in this kind of traffic. The Prius is much better in this heavy condition, allowing us to drive significant distances at slow speeds without the ICE coming on at all.

    Some of these items are a matter of driver preference, but for us we felt that the Prius was superior to the HCH for our needs.
  2. Jack 06

    Jack 06 New Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    Winters, CA: Prius capital of US. 30 miles W of S
    Welcome to PriusChat! Interesting post. We're often comparing the Prius to other cars, especially the HCH. Your comparison is more thorough than what we sometimes get all in one place, and seems to confirm what some others have said, EXCEPT...the seat comfort. I think many, if not most who have experience with both cars rated the HCH seats and longer-trip ride as better than the Prius.

    Congratulations of your Prius and hope you'll feel like participating with this group. There's always new info surfacing, so it doen't get stale.