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  1. #11

    honda civic vs. toyota prius

    The MSRP's for the 2006 HCH is $21,850 and for the 2005 Prius is $21,860 (It may go up a couple of hundred or two for the 2006), so there isn't a $3K difference. I compared both and chose a Prius for the size difference, it is simply just much more versatile in what you can haul, and because of the performance.

    I don't think there are really any obvious ways in which one is better than the other. It all depends on what you like and are looking for in a car.

    I was wondering, does the voice navigation on the HCH, does it do voice commands for other functions (like audio or a/c), like the Prius does or is it just for the navigation? In addition, there are some features, like Smart Entry Smart Start (it is really great), Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Control, Bluetooth, Tire Air Pressure Sensor, and HID headlights, which do make the Prius more expensive. There are also some things you might find standard on the HCH that aren't on the Prius. It just goes back to what is important to you.

    In terms of economy, I think the Prius has a higher ceiling in it's capability (i.e. the recent 110mpg marathon), but for most people, the mpg numbers will be similar. The common moniker that the HCH is better for highway and the Prius is better for city is a n erroneous oversimplification.

    I would suggest to anyone trying to decide between the two to test drive both of them to compare them. Or try to get both on an extended test drive to see what they are like.

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  3. #12

    honda civic vs. toyota prius

    I have a 2003 HCH and I'm leaning hard toward getting a Prius (and passing the HCH to my son). For me, the fold-down seats and carrying space are a big factor. But the other important issue (until tonight?) was the broiling Arizona heat. The HCH uses the gas engine to run A/C, and I lose about 8 mpg on a hot day. I read somewhere that the Prius runs the A/C with the electrical system. Then tonight a Toyota salesman told me that's not correct, though what he literally said was that the gas engine on the Prius has to be running when A/C is on, and that gas mileage suffers about 10 mpg loss. Now, I know salesmen are unreliable sources (they lie or make something up), but this one said he'd just been to a seminar where it was discussed. I'd like to get another opinion... anyone know? (And I heard the HCH 2006 has switched the A/C to the electrical system. Kudos to Honda for that.)

  4. #13

    honda civic vs. toyota prius

    The fold-down rear seats and carrying space mentioned in the previous post are definitly something to consider, however the way I see it, you can leave the seats up and seat 4, but only have luggage space for 2 people, OR you can fold the seats down, have seating for 2 and enough luggage space for 4 !!

    On the A/C question, the '06 Honda runs off either the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) or an electric motor. Here is a link to a good 9 minute Video that shows the new Honda VTEC engine, and also talks about the dual mode A/C compressor


    I was on the fence between Prius and Honda Civic for a long time as both have advantages and disdvantages. The final straw for our family (wife and son) was the very obstructed view thru the rear view mirror. The Prius has a slanted back window and then a nearly vertical "window". There is a divider between the two and it is smack dab in the middle of your line of site looking in the rear view mirror. Very annoying and personally I think a safty hazard. I also liked the side curtin airbags that are standard on the Honda. And one final thing was the controls on the Honda were more "normal" then the Prius. A power button and joystick shifter, while functional, are just a little odder then I liked!

  5. #14

    honda civic vs. toyota prius


    It probably doesn't matter whether you use a Prius or an HCH - running the A/C is going to significantly impact your gas mileage simply because your gasoline is being used to cool the car, not move it along. This is a simple fact of physics and the more efficient the car is at driving (high MPG), the more the effect of running the A/C will appear to have*. It doesn't matter much whether the A/C is electric or mechanical. This is just something that we'll have to get used to: As we increase our efficiency in one area, places we normally didn't notice before, will seem worse. Assuming no gasoline was consumed to move the car, all the gasoline you put into the car would only be used to cool it.

    What electric A/C will provide you with, however, is the ability of the car to shut off the gasoline engine when you stop without losing the A/C as one does in the HCH today. I don't know about the Prius but the Highlander Hybrid has the electric A/C.

    What will improve the A/C performance is a more efficient A/C system. Presumably, heat pump based systems as the Highlander Hybrid has will be more efficient than normal A/C although I haven't seen any hard evidence to prove this.

    * Algebra can show that if you see an 8 mpg drop from your normal mpg (assuming normally you got 40 mpg at 60 mph) you're A/C is burning about 0.375 gph (gallons per hour). From this we can see that this same air conditioner will only take about 0.5 mpg for 10 mpg vehicle. For vehicles that get 20, 30, 60, and 100 mpg vehicle, you'll see 2.2, 4.7, 16, and 38 mpg drops respectively caused when you run the A/C. If you go entirely on the mpg hit that the A/C gets, you might as well buy a Hummer. Otherwise, you'll have to recognize the cost of airconditioning.

  6. #15

    honda civic vs. toyota prius

    I test drove an '05 Prius before deciding on the Civic and after taking a test drive we stopped in front of the dealer while the salesman pointed out the display, etc. and the AC was running, but not the ICE, so it must have an electric motor driven compressor or dual mode, like the '06 Civic

  7. #16

    honda civic vs. toyota prius

    I live in Canada and am unsure if colder temperatures (igloos ya know) have an impact on fuel efficiency?

  8. #17

    honda civic vs. toyota prius

    No matter which one you choose, if you choose hybrid it's a good thing.

    I have chosen the Toyota path on Prius and Highlander. The on button and shift that Larry finds odd is exactly that. Odd.

    Change is difficult. I find the start function of the Highlander odd. I turn the key to the so called start position and nothing happens. No grinding of the starter and whir of the engine. Nothing. Now the start button of the Prius makes sense to me. I push the button to turn on the computer. The boot up time is significantly shorter that that of my PC but the function is the same.

    As for the shifter, well it really isn't. It's a mode select. Coming from the industrial environment, that makes sense to me too. Select a mode and you are ready to go. My understanding is that the Honda lever actually does shift a transmission, so it is infact a shift lever.

    Finally, the Toyota drive system is different. It is a farily radical departure from the automobile we are familiar with. It is not a transmission and therefore does not have all the mechanical parts of a transmission. It has an industrial style gearbox with sun and star gears that give either or both power systems access to drive the vehicle.

    Oh yea and the gas pedal really isn't. It might more accurately be described as the accelerator. So change may be viewed as either good or bad but it is most definitely different.

  9. #18

    honda civic vs. toyota prius

    Anybody actually bought a 2006 hch yet?

  10. #19

    honda civic vs. toyota prius

    I'm not sure they've been released yet. The dates from dealers keep getting later and later.

  11. #20

    honda civic vs. toyota prius

    Looks vs. Quirks

    Prius will give you the goodies of more interior room, cargo room, electronic bells and whistles (Bluetooth phone, rear camera, 6 disc in dash changer, smart key) more cup holders... while the civic offers a .6 second faster accel from 0-60, normal looks (the civic hybrid isn't nearly as cool looking as the civic coupe) and a cool blueish dash. Other than that, the cars are the same. Depending on where you live, the tax incentives make the cars similar in price... fully loaded (minus the leather) the Prius is about $2500 more. I think I'm going for a 2005 Prius (If I can get one) because it still has a cassette player and I have a ton of cassettes! That and the fact that I've ordered some extra parts to turn the Nav into a video game screen.

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