It actually outshines the Civic RS Turbo in a few aspects
Launched in November 2022, this is the new Honda Civic RS e:HEV hybrid variant which sits right on top of the Civic lineup with an asking price of RM166,500.
Unlike the other Civic variants, it is powered by a new 2.0-litre 4-cylinder DOHC Atkinson Cycle engine as well as an electric motor which collectively produce a maximum output of 184 PS and 315 Nm of torque. This is actually the engine which is also powering the upcoming 2023 Honda Accord hybrid.
Paired to the engine and electric motor is an electric CVT gearbox which send all the power exclusively to the front wheels. In terms of performance, the Civic e:HEV RS Hybrid is capable of clocking a top speed of 180 km/h and accelerate from naught to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds.
If we are to compare the performance figures with the Civic RS VTEC Turbo, the RS is capable of hitting a top speed of 200 km/h and accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in either 5.8- or 6.1 seconds depending on variant.
On the exterior, there are a few features that distinguish the Civic Hybrid from the other variants, such as the blue Honda logos in front and at the rear to show that it is a hybrid. Fortunately, the stylish black spoiler comes as standard as the Civic Hybrid is clad in RS styling.
And then we have the 18-inch chrome-and-black dual tone wheels, the "e:HEV" emblem, and the black and half chrome bits like the door handles and window trim versus the RS' blacked-out wheels, wing mirrors and door handles.
Last but not least, the Civic Hybrid here comes with single exhaust tip unlike the Civic VTEC Turbo's twin pipes.
Moving into the cabin, the Civic Hybrid gets the same combi-leather seat upholstery as the Civic RS. Features that are unique to the Hybrid include a 10.2-inch TFT meter versus the other variants' 7-inch TFT speedometer, and a Qi wireless charger. Besides these features, everything is identical to the Civic RS.
Other highlights include a 9-inch Advanced Display Audio with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Power Flow Display which shows the interaction between the engine, the motor and everything in between.
Where safety is concerned, the Civic Hybrid gets the full list of Honda Sensing driver assistance features which include Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), a new Lead Car Departure Notification (LCDN), Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Low Speed Follow (LSF), Lane Keep Assist (LKAS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), and Auto High Beam (AHB).
Last but not least, the Civic Hybrid comes with a remote Key Card which is not available with any other variant. That being said, the Civic Hybrid comes with 5-year/unlimited mileage warranty, 5-year/100,000km free labour service, and an 8-year warranty for the lithium ion battery.
The biggest advantage of the Civic Hybrid here is that it is obviously more fuel efficient than the 1.5L Turbo variants. During our stint with the car for two days, we were getting fuel consumption readings that stood between 22 km/l and 28 km/l when we were driving it normally through a combination of highways and trunk roads.
When we really pushed the car to see how economical it could get in Econ mode with the revs kept below 3,000 rpm at all times and speed kept under 110 km/h, we managed to get an average of 29 km/l which was quite impressive.
To put things into perspective, the Perodua Axia comes with a claimed fuel consumption rating of 27.4 km/l.
On top of the impressive fuel consumption, the presence of the electric motor also means that there is additional torque. Pushing out 184 PS and 315 Nm, the Civic Hybrid makes 2 PS and 80 Nm more than the Turbo variant, which was evident through the effortless acceleration to speeds that shall not be mentioned here.
And then we have the looks of the Civic RS e:HEV. If you observe closely, you will notice that it comes with a lot of chromed bits like the window trim, the door handles, and the rims, which are all blacked out on the Civic RS Turbo.
As a result, the Civic Hybrid here looks much more elegant. So, if the Turbo variant looks too sporty for your liking, the Hybrid variant here may tickle you in the right places. There are still blacked out bits though, like the rear spoiler and the side mirrors to give it that necessary touch of sportiness as it is still, a Honda Civic.
In our opinion, this is definitely an advantage as it gives the Civic a more matured appearance, making it more desirable among buyers who are looking for something not too "garang".
Inside, the Civic Hybrid gets a more advanced digital instrument panel than the RS Turbo. For instance, the ADAS system in the latter will show you that there is a vehicle near you, but the Civic Hybrid's system here can show you whether that vehicle is a car, a truck, or even a motorcycle.
And then we have the Power Flow Display which shows the interaction between the engine, the motor and everything in between so that you can monitor and have a better understanding on how the hybrid system works. You also get a Honda Smart Key Card as standard which is a stylish substitute to the traditional key fob.
The Civic Hybrid also comes standard with a wireless charger for your mobile devices which is a big plus point in this day and age.
Another thing worth mentioning here is that the electric motor is quite quiet, unlike what we get in the City RS Hybrid or the HR-V RS Hybrid in which the electric motor's noise can be quite intrusive when we're accelerating. Despite being a hybrid, the performance, ride, handling, and grip are all exactly the same as the Civic RS Turbo.
Last but not least, the Civic Hybrid here comes with a significantly shorter waiting period than its siblings which may require you to wait for up to a year, no thanks to the chip-shortage and extremely high demand.
Since the demand for the Hybrid variant is lower, you will definitely get your car quicker if you book it now.
As high-tech, fuel efficient, and powerful as it is, the Civic RS e:HEV here which is priced at RM166,500 is RM16,500 more expensive than the Civic RS Turbo which asks for RM150,700 on the road without insurance.
Besides that, the road tax price of the Civic Hybrid is also higher than the Civic RS Turbo as the former is powered by a 2.0-litre engine compared to the non-hybrid variants' 1.5-litre engine.
In all, as impressive as it is, all that additional technology does come at an additional cost. While many of us are going "who is going to buy this car!?", the number of units on the road especially in the Klang Valley, is surely on the rise.
We ARE looking at a Japanese car which is just as good as a European car in terms of design, performance, build quality, and technology after all.
Engine: 2.0-litre DOHC 16v Atkinson Cycle
Max power: 184 PS at 5,000 rpm
Max torque: 315 Nm from 0 to 2,000 rpm
Fuel consumption: 4.0-litres per 100 km
Top speed: 180 km/h
0 to 100 km/h: 7.9 seconds
Price: RM166,500 OTR without insurance