Indirectly succeeding the Insight (the first hybrid gasoline/electric production car introduced in the North American market), Honda took a different path, Instead of creating a distinct product around their Integrated Motor Assist system, Honda chose to install the hybrid drive technology into the four-door version of the Civic. Introduced for 2003, the Honda Civic Hybrid combined a 1.3-liter VTEC engine four-cylinder engine coupled to a brushless permanent magnet electric motor.
The Integrated Motor Assist technology can be mated to a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. Collectively generating 93 horsepower, the 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid achieves an average fuel economy of 48 miles per gallon. Other unique components of the hybrid powered Civic is a 144-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, regenerative braking, low rolling resistance tires and electric power steering.
Aesthetically similar to the conventional Civic sedan, the first-generation Civic Hybrid could be distinguished by its front grille. All-new for 2006, the Civic Hybrid boasted a more power electric motor and a higher capacity battery. Overall horsepower of the 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid was increased to 110 horsepower.
Capable of traveling at distances greater than 40 miles on a single gallon of fuel, the Honda Civic Hybrid received a revised front end and standard electronic stability control for 2009. A third-generation model of the Civic Hybrid was introduced for 2012 with a lighter, smaller lithium-ion battery replaced the nickel-metal hydride power pack.
Automatic climate control, six-speaker stereo system and Bluetooth connectivity was standard equipment on the 2012 Civic Hybrid. Since 2013, the Honda Civic Hybrid has been produced in the United States.