2025 Honda Civic Hybrid Makes the Choice for You

2025 honda civic hybrid prototype
2025 Honda Civic Hybrid Makes the Choice for YouHonda

Honda last stuck a hybrid badge on a U.S.-bound Civic for 2015, with the powertrain option skipping the 10th generation entirely. The Civic-adjacent third-gen Insight carried the compact-hybrid torch briefly until it went away after 2022. So, it's been some time.

These days, though, Honda makes it hard to choose anything but the hybrid. With the CR-V and the Accord, the fancy lineup-topping trims are available only as gas-electrics. This isn't forced enviro-friendliness, though—the hybrid models are objectively and subjectively good. Now, for 2025, the Civic heads down the same path. After a spin in a prototype, we can say this one smells like a winner too.

A Pair of Motors and an Ace up Its Sleeve

Since the last gas-electric Civic, Honda has continued to improve its two-motor hybrid system. The version residing in the 2025 Civic combines an Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a pair of electric motors—one attached directly to the engine to act as a generator, and the other playing the part of a traction motor, with a clutch between the two. It's this second set of windings that does most of the motivation, either in EV mode or with the gas engine feeding it juice via the generator and a small battery pack. Only at highway cruising speeds does the engine send torque directly to the front axle. The main difference between this setup and those in the CR-V and the Accord is that the Civic's electric motors are situated in tandem for packaging reasons. They also have a slightly lower output.

2025 honda civic hybrid prototype

Total system stats are a healthy 200 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. The former matches the Civic Si's figure, and the latter beats that car's turbocharged 1.5-liter four by 40 lb-ft. By Honda's measuring stick, the Civic Hybrid is saddled with about 250 pounds of extra mass compared with an Si and around 300 more than a nonhybrid 2025 Civic Sport. There's no real-estate penalty to make room for the hardware; because the extra electronics are located under the back seat, both the hybrid sedan and the hybrid hatchback have the same cargo capacity as their nonhybrid counterparts.


The result is a quick-ish Civic that accelerates seamlessly because there are no seams. Given the Hybrid's relative output advantage and weight penalty, its sprint to 60 mph should comfortably dust the turbo 1.5-liter model it effectively replaces (7.2 seconds) and even best the heavier Accord Hybrid (6.5).

With no conventional transmission onboard, the Honda's direct-drive gearbox attempts to trick you into thinking it has the world's slickest automatic by modulating engine rpm to rise and then fall as if taking a pause during an upshift. Because the four-cylinder is acting only as a generator when you're not cruising at highway pace, these climbs and dips mean only that the engine briefly steps away from its most efficient speed. It's effective, and we didn't experience any clunky transitions or the droning that is all too common with continuously variable automatic transmissions.

2025 honda civic hybrid prototype

That's a Hybrid?

The Civic Hybrid sounds like a regular gas car and, most of the the time, delivers its power like an EV. Everything else feels conventional. You notice the extra weight at times—over humps on the highway and during hard suspension impacts—but it's not obnoxious, and the structure feels as solid as any other Civic's. The brake-pedal feedback is meager at low speeds, but you can never tell you're modulating a blended system. The steering doesn't have the fake notchiness of the CR-V Hybrid's, and there's good on-center feel—it's the same hardware that nonhybrid Civics use, so no surprises there.

The Civic Hybrid's Sport mode confers some artifice, but not so much that it feels out of place. Simulated gearchanges happen at higher engine rpm, and there's a bit of extra internal-combustion soundtrack fed in to accentuate the nonshifting shifts. While Normal mode cancels whatever level of liftoff regeneration you'd requested via the steering-wheel paddles as you roll back into the accelerator, Sport will hold your setting and allow something nearing one-pedal driving—call it three-quarter-pedal driving. Sport mode also ramps up the steering effort, but you can avoid this on the Sport Touring trim by mixing and matching settings in Individual mode.

2025 honda civic hybrid prototype

While we haven't subjected the Civic Hybrid to our 75-mph fuel-economy test, preliminary EPA figures are promising, at 50 mpg city and 47 highway. We find it interesting that the city estimate is one below the Accord Hybrid's. However, our long-term 2023 Accord Touring Hybrid hasn't been living up to its ratings, so perhaps Honda went more conservative with the Civic Hybrid's certification to better reflect the real world.

A More Civil Civic

Honda gave the greater Civic lineup a number of updates as part of a refresh for 2025. Additional structural reinforcements in the B- and C-pillars are aimed at improving the model's standing in IIHS side-impact testing (and, presumably, in real-life performance). The suspension was retuned to account for this added stiffness. New front-end styling fixes its overbite. And a manual transmission is now the province solely of the Si and Type R.

Updates to some driver-assistance features are welcome, as the logbook of our long-term 2023 Accord contains more than a few related gripes. Lane-keeping assist now does its job without simulating a table-tennis match. The adaptive cruise control handles lane changes in a much smoother and more humanlike way, and it seemed less prone to freaking out about cars minding their business in adjacent lanes.

A version of the hybrid's Atkinson-cycle engine replaces the 2.0-liter in nonhybrid LX and Sport trims. Power and torque are down slightly, but the torque band is wider to compensate, and the payoff is an extra mile or two per gallon in EPA city and highway cycles.

2025 honda civic hybrid prototype

The Civic Hybrid sedan will appear first and be followed later this summer by the hatchback version. Both will be offered in Sport and Sport Touring trims. For $29,845, $2500 more than a gas-only Sport, the Sport Hybrid sedan includes a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated front seats, on top of the hybrid powertrain itself. The Sport Touring Hybrid sedan will go for $32,845. It's almost like Honda has made the decision for you.

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