When it comes to making the ideal hybrid, most think of the car that is synonymous with the word. That word is Prius, the hybrid that started it all. The first mass-produced car that has revolutionized everything we have known about transportation.
In the early days, there was only one real competitor to Toyota, and that was Honda. Initially, the Insight was the only option Honda had until the Civic hybrid came out. Honda had taken the hint that Insight, while a great car, was not what people wanted. It was then that the company decided to try and compete with Prius and compete they did.
Honda Civic Hybrid Vs Toyota Prius
The Honda hybrid was far different from Toyota. It had a single electric motor, a smaller gasoline engine, and a fuel economy that was comparable but not as good to Prius. The clunky CVT transmission and 144v battery pack made the car rather lackluster.
Prius owners were absolutely in love with their cars. The Toyota Hybrid System was on point; it drove smoother and sweeter than the Civic. Overall it seemed that the Prius was just a better car, and for the most part, it was. There was only one exception.
Civic Hybrid Manual Beats Toyota Prius
The option that Honda should have pushed more was the option for a manual transmission. This one feature made the Civic a far more fun car to drive. The electric motor seemed to bring the little hybrid car to life. The fuel economy also seemed to be much better as well with the 5-speed gearbox.
The Prius, while a great car, never had or would have a manual transmission. It was depressing, especially if you wanted to get a different feel for the vehicle. Prius was quite dull in this aspect, even though it fit the mold of a wide variety of users.
Toyota Prius would be an ultimate hybrid if it had a manual transmission. Honda, in an effortless way, built a better hybrid in this one aspect. A car that is both fun to drive and fuel-efficient is a total winner in my book. Maybe Toyota will pull together a hybrid sports car? Who knows, but I would be money there would be people wanting it.
Thank you for reading. I look forward to seeing you in the next story, The Biggest Reason Why Tesla Will Never Stop Toyota Prius Production
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.