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Old 10-25-2004, 12:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default No demand for Civic hybrid?

Since I just bought my Insight, I went down to my local Honda dealer to get the VIN checked out, to make sure it was up to speed on maintenance. I was shocked to see the dealer lot was FULL of Civic hybrids. They musta had 7 or 8 of them just sitting around, prepped and available to buy, in a rainbow of colors.

This shocked me, since we all hear so much about the overwhelming demand for the new Prius, and now the Ford Escape Hybrid and the new Lexus hybrid.

Are people not interested in the Civic hybrid for some reason?
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Old 10-25-2004, 01:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First of all it is invisible (looks the same and doesn't have a name). Second, it isn't new. Third, it doesn't have a big booster club. Fourth, it was written up years ago by lead foot luddites. Fifth, it doesn't have the gee wizz techno toy options of the Prius. Sixth, it is smaller than the Prius. Seventh, it hasn't been promoted by cute stars on late night TV. eigth, it isn't a hatch back. Ninth, it isn't being promoted by Honda. Tenth, people are waiting for the hybrid Accord.

The escape is American, an SUV, new, and in short supply.

I think most folk don't just want a car that is green and gas efficient, they want to make a bold statement. In the case of the upcoming Lexus and Accord they will be making a "powerful" statement. The shortage of Prii is a local phenomenon. When I checked a couple of months ago, I could get one in Canada on a couple of weeks notice at list price.
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Old 10-25-2004, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's pretty much what I thought. People are buying the Prius because it's "different" and makes a statement, not necessarily for its technological and environmental assets alone. Which is fine. But it makes you wonder about all those people on waiting lists for the Prius. If I was one of them and didn't need a hatchback, I'd go down and buy a Civic hybrid tomorrow instead.

I suspect the Prius supply situation is different in Canada than in the U.S. From what I've heard, they are backordered for months pretty much everywhere in the U.S.

But I'd still be interested in hearing from more folks in the U.S. about their local dealer's supply of Civic Hybrids. Just wondering if what I see is the same nationwide or if my area is an oddball.
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Old 10-25-2004, 02:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's exactly what I did! I was on the waiting list at five different Toyota dealers waiting for a Prius. Had two of them offer to sell me one at $5K OVER MSRP. Hadn't really heard much about the Civic Hybrid, so I started checking into them. Let's see here: available now, 7-8 thousand dollars cheaper, proven track record, Honda reliability, and to top it off, not Jetsons-look-at-me styling!! We didn't want a car that screamed "look at me I'm different" we just wanted to do the right thing in making a car purchase for my wife's commute in Atlanta traffic. We picked up an '04 HCH for less than 21K including leather. She's been driving it now for almost excatly a month, and is averaging 47.3 mpg.

The dealer we purchased from had one other HCH on his lot. Nearby dealers all seemed to have one or two available. I have noticed a few commercials on TV lately for the HCH, so maybe Honda will get the word out that there is no reason to wait for a Prius! :twisted:

Just wish there was a forum specifically for HCH owners, guess it's okay if I roam around here on insightcentral!! [/b]
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Other than not being pod-like, I actually liked the Civic better than the Prius. Driving was more fun in the Civic.

There is more evil lurking in the Prius than you would think, however. It is my pet peeve that they put everything into the one screen in the Prius. It annoys the heck out of me. This seems to be the ultimate in stupidity, as you have to use the stupid menus to do anything and their display of fuel stats is lame.

The straw that broke my camel back was that in the stupid menu driven control panel the TOP LEVEL menu item was WHAT LANGUAGE you want!!!!!

As we all know, Honda's controls are separate. You can watch the assist and charge AND adjust the climate controls or the radio AT THE SAME TIME! What a concept! The driver can watch the fuel data coming in while the passenger selects songs! Wow! Multitasking. In the dumbest backwards step in the history of automobiles, in the Prius when the passenger starts fiddling with the menu mess you suddenly don't get any information as a driver because the passenger wants to watch the fan speed instead of mpg!

I suppose for all those people out there who test the Prius and then don't ever bother to test a Civic (or Insight) they'll never know about these issues. Maybe if Honda advertised the Civic, it would sell?

p.s. wrt driving:

I only like stick shifts, so maybe I am biased about the driving experience. I didn't try an automatic Civic.
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Old 10-25-2004, 04:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Lots of Civic Hybrids...

...on the road here; I easily see as many HCH as Priuses; usually one or two at the dealership. I think the Prius has an advantage in that it targets the guilt-ridden yuppie: SUVs are so great as they can haul a lot of stuff that sedans can't. Oh wait, here' the Prius, it's "midsize" not "compact" and has a liftback and folding seats, so you can haul stuff. Much more palpable to transition from an SUV.

My dealer had a couple of HCHs and I thought about test driving one, but as the seats don't fold down, ended up deciding it wasn't acceptible. I'd rather have a two-seater hatchback than a four-door four-seater with a small trunk opening.
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Old 10-25-2004, 08:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome Hiram6. We have a few HCH drivers roaming these corridors. I'm sure very many of the issues are shared. I look forward to hearing from a few HAH! drivers in the future.
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Old 10-25-2004, 10:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I see alot of HCHs in NJ. Actually, lately I've seen alot of hybrids in general, even a few insights.

My parents have a Prius II and I have one MAJOR beef with it... I love instantaneous mileage being available at all times. If I use the GPS I can't see it anymore. If I use the CD changer I can't see it anymore... The Climate control, same thing.

Honda's system of that all being on the dash is way better. Don't get me wrong, the LCD is super cool, but key things like mileage meters shouldn't be soley in there because it's annoying and VERY distracting (you have to take your eyes off the road).

-BT
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Old 10-27-2004, 01:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That's exactly my point about the poor design of the Prius display and control systems.

About the abundance of HCHs on dealer lots... You see lots of regular Civics on Honda lots, but that is because the sell so many they keep tons around to keep up with the quantity that flows through. Maybe there are a lot of HCHs on lots because they expect the same high throughput and demand.

Are there stats about it?
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Old 10-28-2004, 09:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Rather than just promoting your vehicle and/or technology of choice, negative comments are now appearing. That's not a good sign. Things are changing. That game is not for me. I'm going to stick to emissions & efficiency/cost requirements. If a vehicle meets that criteria, it is welcomed. If not, I simply won't pay it any attention. No need to say something unpleasant.

But with this reply, I am entitled to a rebuttal...


> as you have to use the stupid menus to do anything

That is quite incorrect. The steering-wheel is loaded with buttons, all specially designed for no-sight operation. Though, you can look if you need to. And for the upper-package, you can also use the voice-recognition feature. Using the screen is not required for most routine operations.


> their display of fuel stats is lame

Vague. Provide details rather opinions... like the accuracy is a true 0.1 MPG.


> you have to take your eyes off the road

How is that any different from Honda? With Insight & HCH, you look down. With Prius, you look over. Of course, with Prius there isn't a steering-wheel in the way.
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