A Tale of Two Hybrids

By Grace Chen

WHAT makes the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid a favourite examination in contrast?

For one, both come with the promise of a cleaner drive, though one would carry a weightier AT-PZEV (Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) status while the other is comfortable enough with a ULEV (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) rating.

Then, there is the fuel consumption rate, a head locking factor which sees a very close fight between the two hybrids with the Prius at 38km per litre and the Civic Hybrid, which is not too far behind at 31km per litre. Fuel consumption for both cars here are rated using the 10-15 test cycle in Japan.

To be fair, it was the Prius which made its debut first in 1997, five years before Honda would introduce the Civic Hybrid, which would incidentally become the second commercially produced petrol-electric car in the market.

In terms of performance, the Prius 16-valve 1.8-litre 2ZR-FXE engine has a superior power output of 98hp.

In comparison, the Civic Hybrid's 8-valve 1.3 SOHC logs in at 94hp but with the help of the electric motor output, it is given an additional boost of 20hp, giving it a total horsepower of 114hp.