With the Malaysian electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure still in its infancy, your next best option for something that delivers that EV driving experience would be a hybrid car. And Honda has quite the car if you’re interested in trying out something electrified- the Honda Civic e:HEV RS.
The thing is, at RM166,550, it costs RM15,800 more than the turbocharged Honda Civic RS which costs RM150,700. So, what does the additional cost give you? Well, let’s get straight into it.
The hybrid Honda Civic e:HEV RS is powered by a an electric motor and a 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle engine. The star of the show is the electric motor which packs 135 kW (184 hp metric) and 315 Nm. It is mainly the electric motor that does the driving in the Civic e:HEV RS. The 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle engine only produces 105 kW (143 hp metric) and 189 Nm. The transmission in use is an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (e-CVT).
The electric motor in the e:HEV RS alone is more powerful than the turbocharged 1.5-litre engine in the Civic RS 1.5 turbo. The turbocharged 1.5-litre engine produces a maximum output of 134 kW (182 hp metric) and a maximum torque of 240 Nm. The hybrid RS produces 2 hp and 75 Nm more than the turbo RS. As for 0-100 km/h acceleration times, the hybrid RS clocks 7.9 seconds while the turbo RS clocks 8.5 seconds.
Despite all that though, the turbo RS wins in terms of top speed as it is able to do 200 km/h while the e:HEV RS’s top speed is 180 km/h. So that’s one reason to not go hybrid.
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Better fuel efficiency
Weirdly, the e:HEV RS uses less fuel despite making more power than the turbo RS. Well, perhaps not so weird once we consider that it has a hybrid powertrain. On paper, the hybrid e:HEV RS can do 4.0 l/100 km while the turbo RS uses more fuel at 6.3 l/100km. In another unit, the e:HEV RS does 25 km/l while the turbo RS does 15.8 km/l. We’ve tried hypermiling the e:HEV RS and even managed 30.1 km/l.
Dual-zone climate control
One luxury feature that the hybrid e:HEV RS adds would be its dual-zone automatic climate control. With this, both the driver and front passenger will no longer have to bicker and what the temperature should be. It’s a small matter to some, but for others it could be worth the extra cost of the car.
Wireless mobile phone charging
While the turbo RS version of the Honda Civic comes with wireless Apple CarPlay, it oddly doesn’t come with wireless mobile phone charging. Hence you get a clutter free cabin when your Apple phone is fully charged, but not quite when it is not. This is where the hybrid e:HEV RS appeals a bit more as it comes with a wireless mobile phone charger. With a wireless mobile phone charger and wireless Apple CarPlay, the cabin can be clutter free (as long as you’re an iPhone user).
10.2-inch fully digital instrument cluster
Another benefit that the e:HEV RS adds would be the fully-digital 10.2-inch instrument cluster as opposed to the RS turbo’s 7-inch version. The screen also has some intelligent features that seem to recognize the type of vehicle around it. For example, when it detects a lorry, a lorry icon will pop up in front of the car.
Perhaps not such an important feature to most, the Honda Civic e:HEV RS also adds a key card that can be used to replace the typical key fob. Not that the car doesn’t come with a key fob, but you do have the option to lock and unlock the car, and even start it with just the key card which as Honda says, is 2 credit cards thick. It should be able to fit in easily in your wallet.
Of course, the bulk of the additional cost of the hybrid e:HEV RS would be due to its more complex powertrain. The Civic e:HEV RS also has several cosmetic enhancements to help you differentiate it from the turbo RS. Part of it being the different wheel design, chrome trims, blue accents on the Honda emblem, and an “e:HEV” emblem on the tailgate. Interested to give electrification a try? You might want to start with the Honda Civic e:HEV RS.
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