Review: 2025 Honda Civic Hybrid achieves Prius-like fuel economy


Review: 2025 Honda Civic Hybrid achieves Prius-like fuel economy

  • The latest Honda Civic Hybrid is quicker, quieter, and more pleasant than non-hybrid Civics

  • The 2025 Honda Civic Hybrid will cost $29,845 when it goes on sale June 19

  • 2025 Civic Hybrids are expected to have EPA fuel economy ratings of 50 mpg city, 47 highway, and 49 combined

Buyers looking for excellent fuel economy no longer need to buy a Toyota Prius, and certainly don’t need to settle for a Corolla Hybrid.

While the latest Prius is rather attractive, the 2025 Honda Civic Hybrid hits the 50-mpg mark in a discreet package that doesn’t scream, “I have a hybrid.” When it arrives in dealers on June 19, costing $29,845 including the $1,095 destination charge, the Sport Hybrid and Sport Touring Hybrid will sit atop the Civic lineup. The hatchback hybrid won’t arrive until later this summer with pricing to be announced in the future.

Here’s what you need to know after Green Car Reports spent a morning driving a 2025 Honda Civic Hybrid prototype around Montreal.

2025 Honda Civic Hybrid

Civic Hybrid acts like an EV, sort of

The Civic Hybrid employs a 2.0-liter inline-4 on the Atkinson cycle, as part of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system, for a combined system output of 220 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. One of the electric motors is for propulsion and always connected to the wheels, and it’s connected to the gas engine via a clutch, while the other is connected to the engine primarily as a generator. The propulsion motor powers the drive wheels the vast majority of the time, while it clutches in the gasoline engine in some gentle highway cruising conditions for peak efficiency.

Power always goes to the front wheels, and unlike the Toyota Corolla hybrid all-wheel drive isn’t an option.

Around town, stoplight-to-stoplight, the Honda Civic’s gas engine barely kicks in, and when it does it’s quiet and calm. “At some level, crawling along, the system mimics a BEV,” a Honda spokesperson said. He wasn’t wrong, except for the part when the gas engine does fire up.

With the electric motors’ instant torque delivery the Civic leaps off the line like no Civic before, except for those wearing an Si or Type R badge. Merging onto a highway is no issue whatsoever, and the Hybrid accelerates with an urgency pedestrian Civics lacked in the past.

Honda’s given the Hybrid four levels of regenerative braking, which are controlled via steering-wheel-mounted paddle-shifters. The system defaults to Level 1, which feels like normal engine braking, and each level progresses from there. My prototype wouldn’t engage the different regen levels. Based on how Honda configures the CR-V Hybrid and Accord Hybrid, these models should be able to dial up nearly the level of regen you find in battery electric models.

Four drive modes change the Civic Hybrid’s personality with a toggle switch on the center console. The default Normal mode provides a good balance of power, but throttle tip-in can be touchy if you’re driving passengers prone to motion sickness. Toggling to Econ mode mutes the throttle a bit and smoothes things out. Sport mode cranks the throttle mapping to 8, because this is no Si or Type R, and really helps the Hybrid scoot off the line or through traffic. Individual mode can customize the throttle response, synthesized engine sound, and gauge cluster design. Econ and Normal will be remembered upon key cycle, but turning the car off in Sport mode will find the car defaulting back to Normal mode when it’s restarted.

Honda upgraded all the Civics for 2025 with revised spring and damper tuning, reinforced the front upper suspension mounts, and slid in more rigid front subframe mounts and lower suspension mounts. The changes took the already impressive ride and handling to a more refined place. Over a cobblestone road at a clip faster than an average driver should drive, the Civic was controlled and composed far beyond its price tag.

2025 Honda Civic Hybrid

2025 Honda Civic Hybrid

Civic Hybrid mpg: Fuel-sipping standout

Honda said the Civic Hybrid’s fuel economy ratings check in at 50 mpg city, 47 highway, and 49 combined. Those compare favorably to the base Civic, which now uses the Hybrid’s 2.0-liter engine without the electric motors, to get up to 32/41/36.

In my all-too-short stint of mixed driving, which also included a period of sitting in a parking lot while shooting photos (which lowered the average fuel economy), I saw an indicated average of 42.9 mpg over the course of 38 miles, according to a car that had less than 500 miles on the odometer.

2025 Honda Civic Hybrid

2025 Honda Civic Hybrid

Civic Hybrid looks low-key

It’ll take a real long look to realize the Civic Hybrid is hiding a hybrid powertrain, and that’s the point. The Civic Hybrid Sport and Sport Touring models top the lineup sitting above the base LX and Sport models. The hybrids aren’t visual standouts, aside from a small hybrid badge on the trunk lid, black side mirrors, body-color grille surround and front lip spoiler, and black window and intake trim. The finishing touch are Hybrid-specific 18-inch aluminum wheels.

2025 Honda Civic Hybrid

2025 Honda Civic Hybrid

Civic interface, interior space

Anyone who’s been in a Civic lately will feel at home. The Civic Hybrid impresses as a known quantity, and not much has changed, which is fine as the Civic is a nicer place to spend one’s time than the Corolla by a wide margin. From the honeycomb vents to the satisfying click of the round knobs and buttons for the climate controls, it’s an easy-to-use and visually appealing interior. Every Civic gets a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster and 7.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. My loaded Sport Touring model at $32,845 swapped in a larger 10.0-inch digital gauge cluster and 9.0-inch touchscreen with Google services built-in. 

The interior is comfortable, quiet, and most importantly, well packaged. At 5-foot-10 I can sit comfortably in the rear with the front seat adjusted for myself. Getting in and out of the Civic, regardless of whether it’s the front or back, is easier than the Toyota Prius and its steep A-pillars, which can whack your head.

2025 Honda Civic Hybrid

2025 Honda Civic Hybrid

Civic Hybrid just makes sense

The Civic Hybrid puts a $4,500 premium over the base LX and $2,500 more than a non-hybrid Sport model, but it brings forth extra power that translates to a quieter, punchier, and more pleasant driving experience—and it’s going to pay itself back in gasoline savings over just a few years. It also costs essentially the same amount as the Prius in a more practical package.

The Civic Hybrid does put an over $5,000 premium over the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, but its interior and powertrain feel an entire class above what is found in the Toyota.

With the return of the hybrid to the lineup the best Civic is now the most fuel efficient, quietest, and most practical. It’s a normal car that blends in, and for that reason alone it just makes sense.

Honda paid for travel costs and I got very little sleep to bring you this firsthand review

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