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Despite being the first and closest rival to the Toyota Prius, Honda's Civic Hybrid has never been a serious competitor to the car who's name is synonymous with gasoline-electric transportation.

True, it's never been close enough in the fuel economy race to ever make a threat, but Honda would tell you it was never intended to be a direct rival either. The Prius is a hybrid. The Civic Hybrid is a Civic first and a hybrid second, with everything that that entails.

Fast Facts:

1. With a new lithium-ion battery pack and larger 1.5L 4-cyl the Civic Hybrid now gets a 44-mpg average.

2. Honda’s hybrid system is less complex than most on the market and can’t power the car using just electricity. It does, however, get a start-stop system as well as regenerative brakes.

3. With many fancy gadgets in the cockpit in the past, the new 2012 model gets Honda’s i-MID display screen which can be used to control everything from audio to Bluetooth and includes several screens to monitor driving efficiency.

4. Outside the Civic Hybrid can be recognized by unique wheels, a rear spoiler, blue detailing on the grille and LED brake lights.

5. Pricing starts at $24,050

Read entire review at AutoGuide.
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