It was first introduced in February 2002 as a 2003 model, based on the seventh generation Civic. Along with the conventional Civic, it received updated styling for 2004. Due to a delay in rolling out the succeeding Hybrid, the first generation Hybrid continued to be sold alongside the eight generation Civics for several months in 2006. The second generation Civic Hybrid is based on the eighth generation Civic, with styling differences between the USDM and JDM Hybrids.
1st Generation (2003-2005 Model)
- 1.3L single overhead cam i-DSI lean-burn internal-combustion engine with VTEC Cylinder Cut-off System, which allows up to three cylinders to cease operation during deceleration. This decreases friction losses generated by engine aspiration and allows more effective regeneration of energy.
- 15kW (20hp) brushless, permanent magnet assist motor, which functions as a generator during deceleration and loads (recharges) batteries.
- 120V Nickel-metal hydride batteries with 6.0A·h capacity.
- Multimatic S continuously variable or 5-speed manual transmission (latter available only in USA).
- SULEV or optional AT-PZEV certification by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
- Low rolling resistance tires (P185/ 70R14) on alluminum rims and regenerative braking.
- Electric power-steering.
- Does not need to be plugged in (nor is a factory plugin available).