The hybrid Civic is Honda's environmentally friendly answer to the 2007 Toyota Prius in the small size sedan market. Due to the extra space requirements that the battery cells require to power the electric motor, the sedan model is the only available hybrid form. Furthermore, the battery cells reduce the available trunk space from 12 cubic feet in the non-hybrid Civic Sedan to 10.4 on the Hybrid. The battery cells also prevent the rear seats from folding inwards, to give more storage space, like they do on the non-hybrid version.
The benefit from this decrease in storage space is a massive improvement in fuel economy with the hybrid getting an estimate of 49 mpg for city driving and 51 mpg on highways.
With the new remodel on the outside, Honda has introduced new features on the inside as well. Continuous variable transmission, 4th generation integrated motor assist and vehicle cylinder management (VCM) all work together to provide a responsive car while lowering fuel consumption. The electric motor contributes up to 20 hp in the car's engine, with the gas engine providing 110 hp at 6,000 rpm.
With the new fuel saving technologies the hybrid civic can now run entirely on the electrical engine for short periods of time. This new model is also the first hybrid from Honda to achieve a rating of AT-PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle). Britain's 4Car states that running entirely on the electrical motor isn't common and in their test of one hour of continuous driving weren't able to achieve full electric once. Furthermore, when the car is powered fully electric the batteries can only sustain this for up to 2 minutes. The Civic Hybrid uses regenerative braking, which is the technique of using the braking force of the car to recharge the batteries, this means you never have to plug in the hybrid to any outlet to recharge.
Except for the decreased storage space, and the extra battery indicators and some other cosmetic additions to identify the hybrid version, the hybrid sedan is almost identical to the non-hybrid 2007 Honda Civic sedan.