Preview Drive: 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid

The Honda Civic will be the first to get a hybrid powertrain.

Honda Civic Hybrid

The 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid

Mainstream sedans are ready for their gas-electric acid test. When it hits dealerships this spring, the Honda Civic will be the first to get a hybrid powertrain.

The battery package in the Civic is 42 percent smaller than that of its hybrid sibling, the Insight, which means more room inside.

In our tests near Palm Springs, California, the 1.3-liter four-cylinder powered the car to 60 in a respectable 11 seconds. Expect fuel economy in the high 40s, 10 mpg better than ordinary Civics.

Price: $20,000.