Hybrids tested and reviewed — Wired style
Thinking about buying a hybrid car?
Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
Ford Escape Hybrid
Honda Accord Hybrid
Honda Civic Hybrid
Lexus Rx 400h
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
They drove them down city streets, up freeway on-ramps, and along the tight twists of a mountain road. They judged the cars on acceleration, maneuverability, comfort, features, esthetics and fuel efficiency.Here’s what Wired had to say about the car I drive:
The two-year-old Civic Hybrid is a fairly stripped-down, no-frills car with extraordinarily high mileage and emissions so low they’re nearly impossible to measure. Here the automaker chose a small 1.3-liter engine to optimize mileage gains. Unlike Toyota’s technology, Honda’s hybrids cannot operate in electric-only mode, though at a stoplight the internal combustion engine automatically shuts off until you press the accelerator. On the downside, the Civic won’t leave any rubber behind when the light turns green – and isn’t that much fun to drive. But our biggest complaint is the lack of optional amenities such as a sunroof, leather seats, and a decent stereo.
I bought my Honda Civic Hybrid before the new Toyota Prius was available, which I might have opted for, but I’m totally pleased with it. I don’t need a sunroof, and I definitely do not want leather seats! While I’m sure there are better car stereos out there, I’m quite satisfied with the one that comes standard with a CD player. And I gotta say, auto-stop is really cool!
Hybrid owners/drivers lurking in Gristmill, how do Wired‘s assesstments stack up with your own driving experience?