Bosch Expanding Further in China, Sees Diesel Sales Growing to 15% in 10 Years
DaimlerChrysler to Launch New Sprinter in March 2006; Platform for Plug-in Hybrid and Fuel Cell Work

2006 Civic Named Motor Trend Car of the Year

Motor Trend has named the all-new Honda Civic the 2006 Car of the Year. The award extends to the entire Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe lineup including the Civic Hybrid and high-performance Civic Si models.

The Motor Trend editorial staff selected the Honda Civic from a field of 28 new or substantially revised models—the largest pool of contestants to date—recognizing it for exceptional value, superiority in its class and the most significant development on the new-car scene for 2006.

Testing took place over a two-week period that included thousands of miles of on-track driving and on-street evaluation, along with several days of walk-around appraisals.

Honda deserves a standing ovation for not playing it safe again. With the sizzling Si, a sleek coupe, an elegant sedan, and a Hybrid that averages 50 miles per gallon, each model shines through with what Motor Trend looks for when crowning Car of the Year. The engineering passion that Honda Motor Company was founded on radiates from these new Civics.

—Angus MacKenzie, editor-in-chief of Motor Trend

Only truly new or substantially revised cars were considered with the condition that they be available for public sale by January 1, 2006.

The 2006 Motor Trend Car of the Year competition included the following models: Audi A3, BMW 3 Series, Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS, Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Charger, Ford Fusion, Honda Civic, Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Azera, Hyundai Sonata, Infiniti M35/M45, Kia Rio, Lexus GS, Lexus IS, Lincoln Zephyr, Mazda 5, Mazda MX-5, Mercedes-Benz CLS, Mercedes-Benz R-Class, Mercury Milan, Mitsubishi Eclipse GT, Pontiac Solstice, Toyota Avalon, Volkswagen Jetta, and Volkswagen Passat.

The last time Honda nabbed a Motor Trend award was in 1994, when the Accord was named Import Car of the Year.



Hopefully Honda will beat Toyota at launching the first Plug-in hybrid that uses either Toshiba's fast charging lithium-ion or A123 lithium-ion batteries.


Is there a new-model Civic GX in the works? Honda's site only mentions the 2005 model...


Great, but where is the diesel engine option? Civic's get worse fuel mileage with every new model. CRX HF used to get 50mpg on gas!


2.2l Common rail turbo diesel hybrid in 'serial' form with 4 active electic regenerative wheels(about 40kw each). ~120kW and 350Nm off the engine, and 160kW and 600Nm off the electrics. My dream Civic. :)

The big question is why are all hybrids so god damn ugly? Give me an MR2 or Type R in hybrid form. Sporty and environmentally conscious people do exist.


On another note with respect to sporty cars:
If the batteries in the front of the car or the back were basically mounted on rails that could shift the battery packs mechanically left or right by 20-30 cm. It could be used as a counterweight when cornering much like sway bars, but active. This would reduce the effect of having extra weight in the car on account of the batteries themselves. And of course shifting the packs at different rates could induce over or understeer depending on the deman of the situation. Fully active electric wheels could also spin at different RPS to combat grip loss or whatever.
It would provide that much more flexibility in designing an idiot proof sports car.

little shop

My dream sports car? The honda Insight with a turbo and upgraded hybrid system from the new civic. While it may only be 150hp with the turbo and the higher juice, it weighs so little due to its aluminum body and small size it would be great. Honda may make it without the turbo, maybe (IMAS concept II).

Total fantasy... A hybrid Solstice. Total fantasy because GM has no vison.


Jay if you miss the CRX HF, get an Insight, same size, better performance, much better gas milage :)

As for getting worse milage every model, the new Civic Hybrid is both faster and more economical than the 05 Civic hybrid :)

I'm waiting for an HCCI Equipped Insight with improved brake regen from valve actuation during braking. 40kW of a assist would be nice too.


Don't think the honda hybrid was ugly, just a bit boring. The new model is a bit less so, boring that is. As for the Prius, I think it is far from ugly. But then, of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

In any event, given a choice, I would prefer a pretty planet or a pretty car any day.


Don't think the honda hybrid was ugly, just a bit boring. The new model is a bit less so, boring that is. As for the Prius, I think it is far from ugly. But then, of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

In any event, given a choice, I would prefer a pretty planet over a pretty car any day.


I spent almost 8 hours behind the wheel of the new Civic Sedan (rental), most of it at 60-70mph. Very solid, responsive, roomy, comfortable car. The dash with the digital speedometer, takes a little getting used to. Fuel economy was 38mpg. The Civic Hybrid will be a worthy rival to the Prius. Hopefully, new Civic IMA system offers the same potential for driver control and spectacular mileage as some people have done with the Insight (see earlier post).

Mikhail Capone


When you say "Fuel economy was 38mpg.", how do you know? Does the car have a mpg-meter or did you do the math yourself?


"Great, but where is the diesel engine option?"

The current diesel sold in the US can not meet emission standards in the California Low Emission Vehicle Program states(CA, NY, MA, RI, CT, NJ, and VT). Perhaps when ULSD is finally available they will consider a diesel option.

Joseph Willemssen

1st comment - plugins
2nd comment - CNG
3rd comment - diesel

I don't know about the rest of you, but I know all about the alternatives out there and don't need to hear about them in every single blog post. This is a post about the new Civic - not about plugins, not about natural gas, not about diesel.

Perhaps the fans of these technologies could exercise a little restraint and speak about those technologies when it's appropriate?



The fuel economy estimate was from refilling the tank when returning the car after putting ~700km on the car. I was hoping there would be an economy readout, as there is on several other cars, but no. I tend to go by km or miles vs. L or gallons to refill. A little piece of legislation mandating readout of fuel economy would be a simple step in the right direction, which would likely be strongly opposed by certain automakers formerly known as the "Big Three".

Mitch N

How to decide between the '06 gas Civic and an '06 Mazda 3i (on environmental considerations alone)? The Civic gets better mpg (30/40 vs. Mazda's 26/34), but the Civic is a ULEV2, while the Mazda is a PZEV here in California, meaning, as I understand it, that the Mazda has half the emissions of the Civic. Any idea which is more significant?


The Mazda 3 can't be PZEV because the "ZEV" is Zero Emmissions Vehicle (e.g. electric). If it burns gasoline it has emmissions.

The comments to this entry are closed.