Honda Civic Hybrid FD3 Sedan quick review

A colleague of mine purchased an FD3 Honda Civic Hybrid.  The car was a reconditioned (used) in UK, and then imported into Sri Lanka.  The chap had a long and very happy ownership history with a Honda HRV for almost 8 years, and had got very attached to the rather revvy nature of the CVT gearbox.  Sadly the HRV an unique piece of Honda engineering was never continued, with the FRV dying a sad death, and the rather promising and direct spiritual successor based on the FD series Civic called the Crossroad discontinued abruptly in 2010 after just 2 years in the market.

Hence the vehicle that met his budget and was from the Honda shed were the Insight and the Honda Civic Hybrid.  The Insight was taken out for it rather quirky “rear end” (shared with the Prius), thanks to the designer going hell bent on aerodynamics and forgetting that cars also need look good all-around (the front of the Insight is really cool, the rear undoes the whole design).

The Civic Hybrid (and the Insight) is a lot simpler in its Hybrid implementation compared to the Prius, and the key difference is felt in fuel economies in city driving, where the Prius will always have the advantage due to its superior ways of charging and using the battery for operation.  Anyways not going to spend time on the Prius vs Honda implementation (another article for that!), but lets get to the Civic quick review 🙂

Exterior

What can i say, looks pure FD Civic, and one would think this is the 1.6L Civic (single exhaust, the larger engines have the dual exhaust pipes), bar the blue tint on the headlights except for the giveaway pure sci-fi type alloy wheels.   I am sure the alloys must be made of some super light material, but come on Honda what about the cool factor, it makes the vehicle look rather dull.  Hybrid does not mean dull (Hint CR-Z Mugen prototype!), the CR-Z for that matter has some cool wheels, and the normal Civic alloys themselves would have done good.

Interior and space

Again not that different from the standard FD civic (which makes it uber cool with that lovely futuristic dashboard, just which my Stream had that digital speed indicator), though i feel the rear legroom has been reduced possibly to accommodate the batteries.  I liked the seat material, and it seems the high quality (soft feel) Alcantra is standard across the range, nice.

However not all the vehicles are of the same standard.  The photos were taken from another office mates car, a car imported from Japan than the UK.  Here the Alcantra option is not available except on higher grades, and the material is more like you see in a standard Civic.

Performance and drive

Well i expected bog slow progress, and was i surprised.  Though a 1.3L supported by a very small electric motor, the car accelerates quite decently, and this is an achievement considering all the non hybrid versions are far more powerful.  In S mode the in gear changes are even more pronounced that for most it should be more than enough (I mean Toyota Corolla/Axio users, etc).  The ride is also very compliant, that even non Honda buyers (Toyota buyers) should be seriously looking at this car, since it is over 40% cheaper in Sri Lanka than the equivalent Prius!

The only quirk was the hybrid part, where you can hear a small motor sound as you brake (the owner indicated this was part of the hybrid setup) and the slight difference in feel to a normal car in breaking.  The handling was in the same likes of a Civic (and a Stream like i drive).

Fuel Economy

****Will update once i get hold of the figures for other conditions.

Unusually the car is very sensitive to driving style in peak (city) driving conditions.  Aggressive driving seems to take the toll, and the best approach seems to be to take off slow, cruise and then break hard.   This style ensures maximum use of the battery in cruise mode, and also maximum charge of the battery by harder breaking.  Adjusting to this style may not be to everyone’s taste.

City / Urban – Peak Hours 8.5 – 12kmpl
City / Urban – Non Peak Hours
Outstation / Highway – Narrow roads
Outstation / Highway –Wide roads  18 – 22kmpl

Battery Care

One of my friend’s who owns the Civic Hybrid had to leave the country for over 6 months. He had left the car in the garage, and once he started to use it he noticed a that the battery no longer is able to charge to levels it did before.  The normal charge capacity is 70%, but he now only gets 35%.  When he spoke to many Hybrid service centers they confirmed that just like any battery if its not used the battery being a Ni-MH type the battery forgets.

The easy and costly solution is to replace the battery, and he had been quoted Sri Lankan Rupees 350,000 (around US$3000) for an used battery with 6 months warranty. However another contact, supposedly who used to be the GM at Arabian Motors has said he can revive the battery, and also replace some of the dead cells and the cost of such would be around SRi Lankan Rs 150,000 (around US$1000).  My friend who is also a major research type person has found the revival option has been known to be successful based on the Internet forums, and is hoping to pursue that.

However the learning from this is a good one, don’t keep the car unused for long periods the benefit of the Hybrid battery reduces and also can be costly to revive/refresh the battery.

Conclusion

If not for the concern over the maintenance and lack of warranty (since these are used cars brought from UK and Japan), the hybrid cars truly make sense, since the severe city congestion situations make the hybrid consistently return good fuel economies.

The Civic and the Insight unlike the Prius attempt to keep some sense of driving feel, the Civic more than the Insight, which makes it a good alternative to to a petrol car.  However if you can afford the diesels remain the top of the choice as they return even better fuel economies with no loss in power or overheads in worries such as battery issues.  But for most specially in Sri Lanka where the duty on hybrids is lower than the equivalent petrol or diesel, Hybrids are very good alternatives, and hopefully we will see the agents or some aftermarket garages provided proper support to maintain and fix these vehicles.

But if you really need power 🙂 and green, then its either the hopefully to be released Mugen CR-Z or the electric powered sports cars!

3G+WiFi Samsung Galaxy Tab2 10.1 For sale

Posted by A.Mughal ‎06 Jun 07:00 pm, RatmalanaFavorite 

Galaxy Tab2 10.1 P5100 For Quick SALE brand new condition, android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean updated.
Carefully USED for few months.
Still under more then 7months ETISALAT warranty.

International version, Factory unlocked. Original made per Samsung
Bought from Etisalat

Wifi + 3G version ( Tablet with support for GSM voice Calls, SMS, and MMS )

NOTE : Its not Chinese / Vietnam or Anycall clone version.

With full set of same IMEI box and accessories + wireless keyboard pouch

White colour,

Internal Memory 16GB, 1 GB RAM, SD Card upto 32 GB.

HSPA Speed: 21 Mbps, Wifi hotspot
Dual camera ( front facing + back camera 3.5MP for excellent video calls )

Dual-core 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9.

LONG lasting Battery: Li-po 7000 mAh battery,

Send me your highest offer via SMS,
(Please… serious buyers only ,No time wasters )
= ( slightly nego.
= expected ) =

NOTE = Please read above mentioned details carefully if still it fits to your need then only call or SMS. Thanks

Exchange possible Only with original Samsung Galaxy NOTE 2 n7100 / Nokia lumia 920 windows 8 smart phones / Sony Xperia Z

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13 thoughts on “Honda Civic Hybrid FD3 Sedan quick review”

  1. Dear Riyaz,
    I have got same problem in my Honda FD3 “hybrid battery”. Did you find a suitable solution. Please send me your contact number cause I wish to call & get details. The current rates which are quoted is un imaginable. Please help me out. My contact No: 0773 933871
    Regards,
    Ruwan

  2. samanyen fd 3 eke bty eka full charge unama kocchara welawak btry eke charge eka tynwada.kandaka yaddi saha thanithalawaka yddi. kocchara welawak assit karanna puluwanda

  3. Hi, I am facing the same problem of a dead IMA battery, as everyone keeps telling me I need to replace it. But Currently Stafford says 800,000 and another contact says 500,000. There is this one chap who is quoting 250,000 just not sure about him. Anyone could help me out with a tried and tested solution?
    Charith

    1. Go to “Hybrid Hub” by Edirisinghe brothers. Prices are reasonable and they do a good inspection of the problem prior to quoting issues. Just got my Toyota Aqua (2013) battery cell rebuilt from them with 1 year warranty.

    2. Dear Charith,
      I have got the same problem in my FD3. Did you find a suitable solution. Please send me your contact number cause I wish to call & get details. The current rates which are quoted is un imaginable. Please help me out. My contact No: 0773 933871
      Regards,
      Ruwan

  4. we could check your hybrid battery pack with our state of the art newly developed hybrid battery pack analyser could check your hybrid battery pack by doing run test. if your dash indicates IMA warning, wecould do a solution for you.please contact 0722750279 Jayantha perera

    1. Is it VSA or VF? I have three friends who have the FD3 hybrid but none of them have a button with VF. Two are from the Japanese market, one is from the UK market.

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