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Honda Civic Hybrid
Sticker price: $23,650
Mileage: 45 hwy, 40 city

Honda, like Ford, has made safety a top priority and has worked to make its smallest cars as crash-proof as they can be.

Both of Honda's smallest cars, the compact Civic and the subcompact Fit, have earned Top Safety Pick Awards from the Insurance Institute. The awards include the Civic Hybrid.

The Civic's cleverly laid out interior, with a digital speedometer mounted above, rather than next to, the tachometer, looks like it was designed for a spaceship. It suits the Civic Hybrid particularly well.

Even after the introduction of the Insight, the more expensive Civic Hybrid remains the more viable competitor to the Prius.

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Last updated September 18 2009: 3:05 PM ET
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