I got an Uber ride the other day and an aging Honda Civic showed up. Getting into it I noticed that it was one of the first Civic hybrid models. I thought it was a great choice for Uber use – reliable, inexpensive, efficient, and just big and small enough.
Then I noticed something I didn’t expect – it had a manual transmission. It wouldn’t be so weird to see a Civic of that generation with a manual transmission but I didn’t expect the hybrid Civic to have it. But yes, this mild-hybrid and stick configuration was available on the seventh generation Civic from 2003 until 2005. A CVT model was also available for $1000 more.
The small 1.3-liter engine and its electric motor, with batteries charged from regenerative breaking, combined for 93-horsepower. That’s not a lot but it’s enough and that Civic wasn’t a big car. Most importantly, the EPA rated that Civic for 46 MPG in city and 51 MPG on the highway. The driver of this car said he gets about 50 MPG overall.
The driver stated that it has 230,000 miles on it and that he won’t be able to use after the end of this year due to Uber’s rules. But he said it has been solid and that he’ll keep even though he won’t be able to use to for work anymore. It did sounded like it needed a new half-axle, so hopefully he’ll take care of that.
In all my Uber trips, at least ones that I can recall, this was the most obscure vehicle I have had. And possibly the first with a manual transmission. What was yours?