Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Honda Hybrid reviews

I just finished a back-to-back weekends test of the new 9G Honda Civic Hybrid and the face-lifted MMC Insight. I will be taking the Jazz Hybrid for review very soon. Once done, I will have completed my cycle of reviews for all the hybrid models sold by Honda Malaysia; CR-Z, Civic, Insight, and Jazz.

Of the four models, as expected the CR-Z was the most fun to drive. Sold as a 'hot hatch' by Honda Malaysia, it is actually quite a competent car despite the theoretical limitations of its rear torsion beam suspension. The only thing really lacking is its engine which runs out of breath much too early. I really, honestly, enjoyed driving the CR-Z when I had it for review.

But as an overall package, I have to say the new Civic Hybrid is the most balanced overall. The new generation IMA engine, which is now 300cc larger for the Civic Hybrid, plus the new Lithium Ion battery endows the HCH with a great driveability. Low end torque is good enough to push me mildly against the seat when going WOT. And it was so confident at higher speeds that it is often going at 110-120kph while I thought it was going at 80-90kph only. The brakes for once are also very good. Its only drawback was the overall looks especially the rear half, plus a very small boot-space for the standard of a Honda. I also developed an understanding on the perspective of negative comments made by the media and some owners regarding the interior quality, the overall performance, and the ride quality of the HCH. All these I hope to cover in the review proper.

Hope to get some articles published over the Hari Raya long weekend.

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