Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Honda - Civic - hybrid


We like
Strong yet efficient driveline, driving position and ergonomics, build quality and finish throughout, sporty handling attitude
Room for improvement
Much dearer than petrol alternative and direct rivals, no spare wheel, ride quality borders on firm, some tyre thrum

The hybridised Civic is a terrific drive. But is the feel-good factor worth the extra coin?

12 Apr 2023



HONDA released the Civic e:HEV LX (hybrid) in the Australian market late last year, rivalling the petrol-powered Civic VTi LX on specification, but with an additional $7800 added to the price tag.


Retailing from $55,000 drive-away, the e:HEV LX introduces the Honda Connect mobile app to the eleventh-generation Civic range, alongside generous standard equipment levels, the latest Honda Sensing safety technologies, and, of course, an efficient petrol-electric powertrain.


Shared with the CR-V e:HEV, the hybrid Civic’s 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine and twin electric motor combination develops 135kW and 315Nm – 4kW and 75Nm more than the VTi LX – making it the most powerful Civic outside of the Type R range.


Honda says the powertrain can shift seamlessly between electric, hybrid and petrol propulsion, and is fitted with four selectable drive modes – Eco, Normal Sport and Individual – to tailor the vehicle response required.


Driving the front wheels via a fixed-gear transmission, the Civic e:HEV LX has been tuned to provide a smooth and quiet ride Honda says is paired with reassuring handling and straight-line stability.


The arrival of the new Honda Civic e:HEV LX also marks the introduction of Honda Connect, a mobile application that allows customers to access vehicle information and to interact with their vehicle via an on board telematics control unit.


Key features of the system include the ability to cool down or heat up the vehicle ahead of departure, to switch the lights on or off, and to remotely lock or unlock the doors.


It can also let the driver know if the vehicle has been involved in a collision while parked, if the vehicle has been speeding when used by another driver, remotely contact emergency services or roadside assistance, and monitor aspects of the vehicle including battery voltage.


Further, Honda Connect can provide information including distance to empty, the location of the vehicle, recent trip history, access to recall and service information, and geofencing alerts to let the owner know if their vehicle has travelled outside a pre-set region.


Complimentary access to Honda Connect is included for the first five years of vehicle ownership alongside a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and roadside assistance program.


The new Civic e:HEV LX also features Honda’s latest generation Sensing suite of driver assist and safety technologies including traffic sign recognition and an intelligent speed limiter to complement the model’s 11 airbags, front and rear parking sensors, and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) capabilities.


For the local market, Honda has equipped the Civic e:HEV LX with a generous level of standard equipment befitting its premium price.


Among the kit list is leather upholstery, a panoramic glass sunroof, heated steering wheel, heated front seats, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, four-way power adjustable passenger seat, active noise control, auto up/down windows, and white LED ambient cabin lighting.


Further equipment includes a customisable 10.2-inch high-definition full colour instrument panel, a pair of rear USB ports, cargo area power outlet.


The Japanese-made 2023 Honda Civic e:HEV is offered in a choice of three paint colours: Platinum White, Crystal Red, and Crystal Blue, all featuring bright door mouldings and a high gloss black door sash garnish.


Honda’s new Civic e:HEV will vie against the significantly cheaper Toyota Corolla ZR Hybrid (from $37,650 plus on-road costs) Down Under, as well as any number of similar-sized and hybridised SUV rivals.


Driving Impressions


A WEEK with the Honda Civic e:HEV LX proved that this is an effortlessly capable, ruthlessly efficient and immensely enjoyable car to spend time with. In fact, were it not for the ridiculous price tag – especially so in relation to its ‘nearest’ competitors – we could argue that this is almost the most perfect car in its class.


The hybrid driveline is a lot smoother, more linear and more fluid than that found in the Toyota Corolla Hybrid and offers easily accessible power and efficiency we think the Toyota would struggle to match. On test, and over a week of urban and peri-urban driving, the Civic e:HEV returned an average of 4.6 litres per 100km.


That’s an impressive number in anyone’s book, and for a small-to-mid-sized sedan is a selling point on its own.


Honda’s frugal fuel numbers don’t come at the cost of performance, either. Sure, the e:HEV is no Civic Type R, it’s not meant to be. But it does have a sportier attitude than you may assume, and offers up effortless torque for climbing grades, and a decent overtaking punch to boot.


It is also a far more refined unit than found in the Civic’s number-one competitor. There’s no vibration on start up or when switching from petrol to electric power. The e:HEV driveline is, in a word, seamless – and also far less raucous when pushed than others we’ve sampled at the price point.


The Civic’s steering is sporty, responsive, accurate, and wonderfully weighted, which heightens the sense of involvement from behind the tiller, and aids in creating a sense of enjoyment to the drive.


The brake pedal feel is likewise responsive and sweetly progressive, offering not only confident stopping performance but also a sense of control that benefits the e:HEV’s road-holding agility.


We found the driving position to be well matched to the experience at the wheel with ideal pedal placement and cosseting seats. The driver’s pew is equal parts comfortable and supportive, with the right amount of adjustment to set that perfect position for longer trips.


The instrumentation, switchgear layout and infotainment screen are all easy enough to grasp, the interaction between the car and driver straightforward to comprehend, even when on the go. The gauge cluster is particularly well thought-out and concise when the adaptive cruise control is engaged – dare we say, almost Tesla-like…


The cabin temperature is well maintained by a studious and quiet climate control system, and the heated seats and steering wheel were a welcome addition on frosty mornings. There’s plenty of room up front, and up back, the seats are again well contoured to provide a high level of support – a pity then the rakish roofline takes away a degree of headroom.


The only other real detraction in the Civic’s cabin is the level of tyre rumble that is omnipresent in the background. Given how quiet the cars mechanicals and aero acoustics are, the droning rubber is something of an unwanted distraction. It is not the worst we’ve experienced in the segment but is a sticking point all the same.


Conversely – and contrary to the experience in many of the Civic’s rivals – we found the driver assistance technology to be wonderfully attentive, cohesive, and cooperative. As a driver who usually favours his own wits over electronic gimmicks, I found the Civic’s electronic nannies to be a pleasure to use and didn’t once reach for the off switch during our time with the car.


The adaptive cruise control is likewise smart and sophisticated, making longer stints on the highway – and amongst unpredictable Easter traffic – notably more relaxed. Couple that with a broad windscreen whose supports so neatly frame the road ahead and you’d be right to wonder how so many other manufacturers get small cars so wrong. If all were this easy to see out of, perhaps fewer people would feel the need to buy an SUV…


Like the view ahead, the Civic is easy to see out of laterally and to the rear, the rakish roofline hardly limited the view to the rear. This point, and the welcome addition of generously sized wing mirrors, makes the Civic easy to manoeuvre and park, even without the use of the handy on-board camera system.


Of course, the Civic e:HEV’s lack of a spare wheel may be disappointing for some, while both the price tag and lack of an entry-grade option will surely deter a few. Which is an absolute shame in our eyes, because this is a car that is a joy to drive, impressively efficient and streets ahead of its nearest competitor in almost every conceivable way.


But at $55K – or $17,350 more than its closest rival – the Civic e:HEV is just too expensive for many to justify; and for that reason, just as tough to recommend.

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new Civic

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Civic pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here