Thinking about buying a hybrid car?

Paul A. Eisenstein, founder of, write’s up the results of Wired‘s road tests of the following vehicles:

Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
Ford Escape Hybrid
Honda Accord Hybrid
Honda Civic Hybrid
Honda Insight
Lexus Rx 400h
Toyota Prius
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:

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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?

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