2024 Honda Civic e:HEV LX Review – the new hybrid benchmark?

Previously, if you wanted a hybrid Honda-badged sedan, you would buy the Honda Insight – the first ever electrified model for the Honda brand. Sales in Australia for the Insight ended in 2014 after a decade and a half run, with most of the sales period overshadowed by the dominant Toyota Prius.

After a decade of hiatus Honda is back again in the hybrid passenger car market, this time the flag is flown not by the Insight but the new Civic Hatch Hybrid. Can Honda count on the new car for success this time around?

For the record, the Toyota Prius is also no longer selling in Australia, with the big T turning its attention to the Corolla Hybrid. Unlike the old days though, the hybrid compact landscape has changed significantly over the years. It’s no longer Honda vs Toyota. Now there’re new players, like the Hyundai i30 Sedan Hybrid, Kia Niro Hybrid and Mazda MX-30.

Available exclusively in the top-spec LX guise and priced at $55,000 drive-away, the Civic e:HEV is the most expensive model in its class. In the Civic line-up it’s a $7,800 premium over an equivalent petrol model. It’s also priced dangerously close to fully electric models like the BYD Seal and Tesla Model 3, both respectively priced at $49,888 and $58,900 before on-road costs.

For its sticker price, the Civic e:HEV ought to be good to compete. And from the outset things look promising thanks to the eleventh generation Civic Hatch providing a good base for the hybrid model. It’s no secret that Honda wants to elevate the Civic into a more upmarket offering and it shows in its clean, understated yet sporty styling. The Civic e:HEV looks identical to a regular Civic VTi-LX save for a couple of e:HEV badging. That’s a good thing given the latest Civic is a pretty car with class and sophistication.

It’s nice to see Honda has kept its new hybrid passenger car model looking like a normal hatchback and not favoured something radical like the old Insight, which only drove controversial discussions not sales.

The cabin of the Civc e:HEV befits its high-spec status, with quality trimming, switchgear and garnishes lining up across the minimalistic interior. The overall retro-inspired design may be an acquired taste for some but there’s no denying the honey comb air-con vent looks unique and the overall ambience is quite premium.

Typical of a Honda, the driving position is spot on and visibility is great all around thanks to those thin A pillars and the vast rear windscreen. From the driver seat everything is within easy reach and the 9-inch centre touchscreen is just a comfortable stretch away.

Speaking of which, the touchscreen is small in today’s standard, though it offers good usability with a straightforward menu structure and large on-screen buttons. It features built-in satellite navigation and supports DAB+ radio as well as Apple CarPlay (wireless) and Android Auto (wired) connectivity.

Also on the subject of tech, the Civic e:HEV has a fully digital instrumentation cluster, as opposed to the partially digital unit of the Civic petrol. While it doesn’t offer much in terms of customisability, the display graphics are crisp and design of the virtual dials is classy.

A punchy 11-speaker plus a subwoofer Bose premium audio system can play some of the best renditions of your favourite tunes, while a wireless phone charger is also included. However, at this price point the lack of a head-up display is questionable.

The premium you pay for the e:HEV over the petrol will also net you a panoramic sunroof that lets in lots of light into the cabin. Elsewhere, the button operated drive selector is exclusive to the e:HEV variant within the Civic line-up and is said to be adopted from the NSX hybrid supercar. This design certainly results in less cluttered in the centre console as compared to a conventional lever type shifter but it does take a bit of getting used to.

Storage spaces are plenty, with the cabin sporting dual cup holders for the front and rear row of seats, a decent size centre storage, thick door pockets with bottle holders and a glove box. Further back, boot space measures 409 litres, expandable to 1187 litres with the rear seats folded. Both figures are down respectively on the non-hybrid model’s 449 litres and 1212 litres due to the battery pack stuffed under the boot floor.

The Civic continues to offer some of the best seats in the segment. The front pews are plush and cocooning. The rear seats are as comfortable as they can get for a small car. There’s also plenty of legroom in the back, though the centre floor hump is rather large.

While the petrol version is motivated by a 1.5-litre turbo engine, the hybrid model is powered by a 2.0-litre normally aspirated Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine paired with an electric motor. Total system output is rated at 135kW / 315Nm, with power channeled to the front wheels via a CVT automatic. It’s the most powerful Civic ever produced, excluding the Civic Type R.

Immediately evident the moment you drive off in the Civic e:HEV is just how smooth, linear and responsive the drivetrain is. The initial electric propulsion takes advantage of the instant torque available right from the get go, wasting no time in getting up to speed. As the speed climbs or when more power is needed the engine kicks in and it does so very seamlessly. Unlike Honda’s previous generation of atmospheric 2.0L engine which is coarse and grainy, the new mill is refined and muted. Even the CVT works discretely in the background without bringing attention to itself. This is certainly one of the best hybrid powertrains in the small car segment.

It’s got a bit of poke, too, with a respectable 0 to 100km/h sprint time of 7.8 seconds. So, if you fancy a spirited drive the Civic e:HEV is more than up to the task. Much has been said about the latest Civic’s dynamic prowess and the hybrid version, despite weighing more, handles as just well as the regular model. The chassis feels taut and there’s good body control. The battery positioning toward the rear of the car helps with better weight distribution as well. It’s eager to turn in and the grip from those Michelin Pilot Sport tyres are phenomenal. It’s actually quite a fun thing to chuck around the back roads.

The dampers are just as well tuned for comfort as they are for handling. It remains remarkably settled in on the crumbling roads of the inner city, with bumps and ruts rounded off nicely for a plush ride. Wind and road noise is well suppressed, which when coupled with the discreet hybrid drivetrain, makes the Civic e:HEV’s drive around town quite a pleasant and luxurious experience.

Of course, fuel economy is a big factor for any buyer considering the Civic e:HEV, given its price premium over the petrol model. It’s rated at 4.2L/100km on the combined average. Compared to the petrol’s 6.3L/100km that’s quite an improvement. We managed 4.9L/100km after over 400km of real world driving, which is still pretty efficient. Its preference for regular RON 91 fuel makes it even cheaper to run in the long term.

The Civic e:HEV is backed by a 5-year factory warranty with no cap on kilometres. Service requirements are 10,000km or 12 months interval, with each trip to the dealer capped at $199 for the first five visits.


Design & Comfort


Performance & Handling






Equipment & Features




Our Score: 4.1/5

+ Plus

  • Impressive hybrid performance
  • Excellent refinement
  • Smart looks
  • Examplar ride and handling balance


  • Premium price tag
  • No head-up display
  • Small-ish touchscreen


Honda’s vastly improved hybrid tech is a standout in terms of refinement, performance and efficiency. And the sporty Civic is the best shell to package and showcase this excellent hybrid drivetrain. The Civic e:HEV is now a real challenge to the dominant Toyota Corolla Hybrid and buyers traditionally drawn to the Corolla now have a very compelling alternative to take into consideration.

The sticking point remains the price tag that Honda wants for its Civic e:HEV. It’s encroaching premium and full EV territory and while the Civic e:HEV does feel somewhat premium the fact that a base Tesla Model 3 is not too much of a stretch away may unease those buyers with a bit of leeway in their budget.

2024 Honda Civic e:HEV LX pricing and specification

Price (Drive away):$55,000
Warranty:5 years/unlimited kilometre
Warranty Customer Assistance:5 years roadside
Service Intervals:12 months/10,000km
Country of Origin:Japan
Engine:2.0-litre aspirated direct-injected in-line four-cylinder petrol engine:

104kW @ 6,000rpm, 186Nm @ 4,500rpm

Electric motor, Lithium Ion battery:

135kW, 315Nm

Transmission:Continuously Variable Transmission
Drivetrain:Front-wheel drive
0-100km/h (s)7.8
Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km):Claimed: 4.2/Tested: 4.9
RON Rating:91
Fuel Capacity (L):40
Body:5-door hatch, 5-seats
  • ANCAP not rated
  • 8 airbags
  • AEB
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Lane-departure assist
  • Blind spot detection
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • LED headlights with auto high-beam
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Rear view camera
  • Two rear ISOFIX anchors and three top-tether points
  • Tyre puncture repair kit
Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B):4,560/1,802/1,415/2,735
Boot Space (min/max) (L):409/1,187
Ground Clearance:134
Kerb Weight (kg):1,497
  • 9-inch colour touchscreen
  • Satellite Navigation
  • AM/FM/DAB+
  • Bluetooth
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay/ Wired Android Auto
  • 2 USB
  • 12-speaker BOSE premium audio with subwoofer
  • Wireless smartphone charger

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