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2003 ICOTY Awards - ECO-Friendly

Most Likely to Change the World - Honda Civic
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid

The Honda Civic is perhaps the quintessential compact car. Truly, for normal folks seeking a solid, reliable, simple automobile with which to transport themselves from one place to another, all without breaking the bank, there may be no better match. And this isn't news: with hundreds of thousands of Civics sold every year -- for years now Americans have made it one of the 10 best-selling cars in the country.

Well, this year, the Civic adds a significant new model that should widen its appeal even further. How much further? Well, think about places far away from our bustling metropoli: pristine places in our country's national parks; magnificent glaciers that move slowly yet forcefully; places whose delicate ecosystems rely on the maintenance of a clean atmosphere and an ample reserve of fossil fuels.

For those among us who share the need for reliable, simple transportation but who also want to preserve our precious earth's remaining resources, Honda has installed one of its innovative hybrid powertrains into its Civic sedan, thus delivering a mainstream sedan capable of 46/51 mpg with the 5-speed manual transmission and 48/47 mpg with the available continuously variable automatic transmission.

Sure, it costs a couple thousand more than a comparable non-hybrid Civic, but between the savings in fuel costs and the incentives provided by the government to purchase such a "green" car, such a premium is quickly offset.

Honda has won this award before with its strange-looking, but innovative, two-seat Insight hybrid that still achieves gas mileage figures in the 60s. Now, with the introduction of the Civic hybrid, Honda has one-upped itself by making that technology available in a package that a whole family can live with.

Most Respected
Luxury Car of the Year
BMW 7 Series

Most Likely to Change the World
ECO- Friendly Car of the Year
Honda Civic

Most Likely to Survive Anything
SUV of the Year
Hummer H2