The 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, a mainstream vehicle sold in North America equipped with a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, has earned EPA city/highway fuel economy ratings of 46/51 mpg with a 5-speed manual transmission. It will have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $19,550, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced Mar. 22.

Civic Hybrid models will begin reaching dealerships the week of March 25. The Civic Hybrid will also be available with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), with a MSRP of $20,550. The Hybrid CVT has earned EPA City/Highway ratings of 48/47 mpg. Both models will have a range of more than 600 miles. The Civic Hybrid will be available at all Honda dealerships nationwide and sales are expected to average about 2,000 vehicles a month, according to the company.

"The Civic is one of the cornerstones of the Honda brand and adding a hybrid to the Civic lineup is an example of the faith and confidence we have in the future of hybrid technology," said Tom Elliott, American Honda executive vice president. "Hybrid technology is ready for prime time."

According to the company, the 2003 Civic Hybrid uses Honda’s innovative Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology, employing a 1.3-liter i-DSI, 4-cylinder gasoline engine coupled with a high output electric motor to provide performance and fuel efficiency. The system’s compact nickel metal hydride battery module is automatically recharged during braking and deceleration. As a result, the Civic Hybrid never needs to be plugged in.

The hybrid system provides up to 93 horsepower and 116 lb-ft of torque with the electric motor "assist." Fuel economy is improved by up to 30 percent compared to other Civic sedans. All this is achieved by the hybrid powertrain while still meeting the stringent Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards.

The Civic Hybrid comes equipped with a long list of standard features including power windows, door locks and mirrors; cruise control; Immobilizer anti-theft device; dual stage, dual-threshold driver and front passenger air bags; and a tilt steering wheel. Standard features unique to the 2003 Civic Hybrid include:

  • Second generation Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system
  • 1.3-liter i-DSI 4-cylinder engine with two spark plugs per cylinder
  • Four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution
  • Standard side air bags
  • Alloy wheels
  • AM/FM/CD player
  • Automatic climate control air conditioning
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Unique front and rear aerodynamic styling
  • Digital and analog instrument gauge cluster with IMA system display, daytime and nighttime mode, and vehicle system performance meters
  • Upgraded interior with open head front restraints

    The Civic Hybrid will be Honda’s second hybrid model, following the introduction in 1999 of the two-passenger Insight, the first hybrid sold in America and currently the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the United States, according to Honda. For more information, visit