Hybrid cars always suffer. In the early days, those who fed on regular gasoline engines generally looked at them with a wide berth, viewing the battery and accompanying electronics with distrust.

Now, just as the latter is less of an issue, the jeers come from the clean, all-electric crowd where everything has to be spanked. After all, if you want to be clean and efficient, BEVs are the way to go.

Well, not quite, at least not quite. What is essentially a middle ground still exists, although it may be squeezed. In less developed markets, it may be the best interim solution for delivering fuel-efficient cars and reducing emissions. In more complex situations, the tech could serve as a neat bridging measure, offering the comforts of fossil fuels — and zero range anxiety — for those who want to experiment with electrification but still tremble along the way. Let them fall back on.

Based on this reasoning, many automakers, including Honda, are continuing to adopt this approach even as they’re slowly going green in utter fashion. Hybrids remain relevant for the Japanese automaker, as indicated by its aggressive push for the model as a top-of-the-line model in the region’s model range.

Locally, the City sedan and hatchback paved the way for the e:HEV as the automaker puts its stamp on the technology, and the latest to join the party is a hybrid version of the Civic, which was officially unveiled last November. debut. We’ve seen the Civic e:HEV’s speed capabilities in a straight line and on a track, but what’s it like to drive on the road? Prompt to head south and back to answer this question.

Much the same presentation

First, a spec review of the hybrid, which is offered in the sole RS variant. That suffix means the exterior styling treatment is similar to that of a turbocharged RS, with a few tweaks to give the car its own flair.

They’re not very distinct, the 18-inch twin-style five-spoke (or dual-tone 10-spoke) unit it wears provides the quickest way to identify the car from the side and quarters, while the single-tail trim provides The main visual cues from the rear are given.

Look closely and you’ll notice the smaller differentiating elements, these are the blue accents on the Honda logo and the e:HEV badge at the rear and additional chrome accents on the front grille, headlight inner bezels and window lines insert.

Heading inside is the same, the only difference being the 10.25-inch fully digital instrument display, dual-zone air conditioning, Qi wireless charger and Honda smart key card, which are available on the E, V and RS petrol versions.

Otherwise, the Civic e:HEV comes with the same kit as the petrol RS, such as black interior, rear AC vents, a 9.0-inch touchscreen Advanced Display audio infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay support, and remote engine start. Similarly, the layout of the engine room is obviously several grades higher than that of the 10th generation FC.

look at technology

The Civic e:HEV is equipped with the most powerful version of Honda’s Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) system, which combines the working principles of an electric motor and a gasoline engine. The latter is a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that acts primarily as a generator and powers a 72-cell battery (1.05 kWh capacity) integrated in the Intelligent Power Unit (IPU).

While similar in displacement to the unit in the Accord Hybrid, the engine is all-new, features direct injection, and has been tuned to achieve a thermal efficiency of 41 percent, which the company says is one of the highest in a production car. NEW The DI mill delivers 143 PS (141 hp) and 189 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm, slightly higher than the Thailand-spec version (141 PS and 182 Nm) thanks to our better fuel quality.

Electric motors do most of the propulsion, although the engine can provide direct drive at higher speeds with a lock-up clutch for greater efficiency. The electric motor delivers 184 PS (181 hp or 135 kW) and 315 Nm from 0-2,000 rpm, sending drive to the front wheels via an Electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT).

The addition of the hybrid package means it’s heavier than the Turbo – the Civic e:HEV weighs 1,445kg, which is about 100kg heavier than the heaviest petrol V, which weighs 1,349kg.

Despite the added weight, the Hybrid is a faster car. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 7.9 seconds and fuel consumption of 4.0 liters per 100 km, both better than the petrol RS’s 8.5 seconds and 6.3 l/100 km. Top speed is the same as the Turbo’s at 200 km/h.

The advantages of “electrification”

Evidence of that speed was shown in the real world last year, when the car was previewed in Sepang ahead of its official launch. On the track, the hybrid clearly outperformed the turbo during the day’s sprint test practice – and it wasn’t exactly a slump – a full acceleration run from the pit exit with a rolling start at 60km/h and drag racing from standstill to 100 km/h and finally over the length of a car.

That helpful nature continues on the road, though it’s less pronounced when viewed in isolation and at moderate speeds. It’s only when you step on it that the e:HEV responds more directly to the throttle, and it moves more quickly through the speed range than a turbo.

Of course, unless you’re the down-to-earth kind of person, that’s really not why you’d go for a hybrid, so what’s really appealing is the way it drives overall and how fuel-efficient it is over the course of its lifespan.

For starters, the Hybrid behaves no differently than a regular Civic in straight-line conditions—it drives in a similar way to a Turbo, again with a very Continental feel in its description. Likewise, occupant comfort—we ended up spending more than 18 hours in the car on a two-day drive, and the front seats in particular are excellent.

In terms of handling, the hybrid takes the lead. This was briefly brought up during the Sepang meeting, where it felt tighter in the corners (and higher speeds) and was reinforced during road driving, especially on the windier B-road sections such as Kluang to Desaru section) drive. Here, the hybrid feels better in terms of tracking and placement.

In that regard, the extra weight is imperceptible, cleverly disguised by distributing it 50:50 across the platform and by modifying spring and damping rates to ensure the Civic’s handling aspects and dynamics are preserved. A 10mm lower center of gravity may also help with this.

Retaining the general character of the turbo also means everything else that comes with it, for better or worse. While vibration and harshness are well regulated, noise (tire/wind) is still a manageable issue, especially at high speeds.

Of course, the real meat is gas mileage, which is why people want a car like this in the first place. Unsurprisingly, the returns are naturally better than a standalone turbocharged petrol unit. Under the most extreme operating conditions, fuel economy can be described as amazing.

On the way to Johor, Honda Malaysia opted for a fuel test challenge starting from Kuala Lumpur to Kluang (ending in Melaka due to what happened below). Throw together an eco-challenge with automotive news from five cars and you’ll get an idea of ​​where it’s headed – think A/C off, windows fully open, even folding mirrors and drafting trucks for help, all at 80-90 km/h Driving at the speed of the hour, that’s the recipe for unreal FC numbers.

The winning car ended up finishing with more than 31 kilometers per liter, followed by two other top-three finishers, all stats that no normal person should try to replicate. Our car was the only one with the air conditioner on (mind you it’s 20 degrees Celsius) and driving in a normal manner within the convoy speed limit.

So if you’re a relatively sane eco-warrior, it represents the figure you’re likely to achieve, in this case a low 26.8 kilometers per liter. As expected, we finished last out of five cars. More realistically, that figure drops to 18.6 kilometers per liter over the course of the drive, with a total range of more than 900 kilometers, including mixed city and intra-city sports, without fuel economy in general.

To mix or not to mix?

There’s no question the Civic e:HEV is a capable car. It gets off the ground and shifts faster than the Turbo, and despite carrying more weight, it travels and handles better at higher speeds on narrower, twistier roads. It’s also more economical from a fuel consumption point of view, and you get more bang for your buck compared to a regular turbo FE.

Unfortunately, this all comes at a price, in this case an extra RM16,000 compared to the petrol RS.exist RM166,500 (on the road, no insurance), hybrids aren’t cheap, and when you can get your hands on a turbocharged RS for RM150,700, it’s already kind of asking you to look at the previous generation equivalent. But, If your eyes are on the Civic and you can stretch it, you’d better check out the e:HEV, as it’s the civilian FE line of choice here.

Label: Honda Civic Hybrid FE

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