The 2025 Civic Hybrid Is a Welcome Return

honda civic hybrid
The 2025 Civic Hybrid Is a Welcome Return Fred Smith

For the past ten years, the Civic Hybrid has been missing in action. While the Insight reigned supreme as Honda's most efficient compact, the brand pushed the Civic to greater performance heights. That led to the best Type R yet, but the eleventh-gen Civic platform does not just excel on a race track. Enter the returning Civic Hybrid.

Honda knows how impressive this particular Civic generation is, both dynamically and as a city car. The past few years have been an all-out blitz of Civic and Acura Integra varieties. The platform comes in four different performance specs across two brands, headlined by the Integra Type S that won its price segment in R&T's 2024 Performance Car of the Year testing. Honda has notably not offered a hybrid variant since 2015, opting instead to focus on the Insight as the brand's leading compact hybrid. In 2025, that finally changes with a new hybrid model built on the new Civic platform.

It is a recipe for obvious success, and predictably, the resulting car excels.


Enthusiast buyers will be better off in the stellar Type R or, if they do not want to spend $15,000 more on a faster car, the budget-conscious Si. Those cars offer their own suites of dedicated performance components, crucially including a manual transmission and, in the Type R's case, a segment-defining limited-slip differential. The Hybrid is softer and more refined, a better fit for drivers less concerned about things like trail braking and rev-matching.

2025 honda civic hybrid
Fred Smith

The Civic is built around the same trick Atkinson-cycle, two-motor hybrid system seen in the Accord, a complicated solution that allows the internal combustion engine to either generate power for the battery or send it directly to the front wheels. Drivers looking for a conventional experience may miss the concept of traditional gear shifts, but an estimated 50 mpg city (plus 47 highway and 49 combined across the system) will more than make up for the loss.

The performance appeal is a little strange, but braking hard is more comfortable than you might expect from a complex hybrid. Also, 200 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque make for an impressive punch of more-than-adequate power on corner exit. While it falls well short of the mountain-climbing, canyon-carving Type R dynamically, buyers targeting the hybrid will be more than satisfied with a nimble chassis that delights in a quick drive. This is not one of the four performance Civics or Integras, but it is still certainly a fun car.

Thanks to its softer suspension, the Hybrid is also a fairly comfortable road car. On rough highways that have just survived a harsh Montreal Winter, the Civic glides in impressive comfort for what is still marketed as a compact, no-frills sedan or hatchback. The damping is not enough to overcome the city's remaining cobblestone roads, but even in that setting, the Civic is a better ride than its predecessors.

2025 honda civic hybrid interior
Fred Smith

That soft ride blends well with the interior, which maintains Honda's recent hallmark of simple but impressive cabins. The layout is driver-focused while remaining modern, keeping controls front and center and leaving an effective but utilitarian central touchscreen with a few physical controls. The places a driver touches most often are made of noticeably high-quality materials for the price point, and physical controls for the climate control system are a welcome sight in a time when more and more manufacturers seem to think that these are no longer a priority. This, simply, makes the Civic a more pleasant place to be.

Honda's current infotainment system does not overwhelm you with how much technology the brand could shove into the price point; instead, it gives you everything you need in a few pleasant and straightforward menus. Wireless integrations of Apple and Android's respective car operating systems are easy to access and as effective here as they are in any other car.

That technology integration continues with Honda's ADAS systems, an adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist function that does its job admirably. The availability of this technology is not new to the price point, but the standardization of these things still feels like major boon to the entire segment. Honda notes major improvements to this system, particularly when other cars cut in front of a driver in traffic, but my short first-drive loop didn't provide an opportunity to test that out, thankfully.

2025 honda civic hybrid sedan
Fred Smith

The Sport Hybrid sedan, the more basic Civic Hybrid model, starts at just $28,750, and the range-topping Sport Touring Hybrid is $31,750. Those numbers mean that the entry point for a hybrid Civic is higher than the $27,950 of the stylish and even more efficient new Toyota Prius. While the extra efficiency and the stylish looks of the Prius are a hit, the Civic holds its own with a refined interior and impressive driving dynamics for the segment. Both cars make obvious and excellent choices for anyone looking for an efficient new normal car to drive every day. A hatchback variant of the Civic will be available later in the year, but pricing has not been announced for that model.

When matched with the latest Accord and CR-V, Honda now has a wide lineup of excellent volume hybrids. In a market where EVs are losing momentum and buyers are starved for quality options at reasonable prices, it's refreshing to know there are competent alternatives to choose from.

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