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Honda Civic Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers



  • cablackcablack Posts: 45
    Thanks aero_eng for the great description. For me, it seems like the effect on mileage only kicks in above a certain speed, somewhere above 60 or 65 mph. In other words, at 55 mph on the freeway I get about 54 mpg; at 65 mph on the freeway, I get roughly the same thing: 54 mpg. However, at 75 mph on the freeway, my mpg goes down to the mid-40s.

    Do you know why this is? Are all cars effected at these speeds, or are cars with more powerful engines effected less?

  • aero_engaero_eng Posts: 2
    Power is required by losses in the drivetrain, engine, etc, as well as the force required to deform the tires as they roll. These types of loads generally go up with the speed, while aerodynamic drag goes up with the square of the speed. So, at some speed, the aero overtakes everything else. That is when you start to see the more dramatic mileage reductions.

    To some degree, the effect is less with bigger engines. This is due to the "overhead" power necessary to keep the engine running. That is, they waste quite of bit of power even at low speeds, so the effect on mileage when you go faster seems smaller.

    Also, this all assumes constant-speed operation. When you are accelerating, more power is required because you are increasing the kinetic energy (energy of motion) of the car. You normally throw away this energy when you brake. The advantage of the hybrid is that it recovers this energy and puts in in the battery, using it the next time you accelerate.

  • markdelmarkdel Posts: 56
    I just read the message and want to correct a missaprehension, I do not floor the accelerator, I press it down untill, and just until, the assist is at max. :blush:
  • lamu9lamu9 Posts: 4

    I have been keeping very close track of my mileage since the purchase of my 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid. I have had the car since mid April 2005. I have already had my first oil change. The mileage (regardless of freeway or street/stop-and-go) remains between 30 mpg and 33 mpg. The REGULAR civic claims it has mileage of 38 mpg! I have done some extensive research on mileage and how one might increase it. I have changed my driving habits to anticipate traffic changes, drive freeways more than streets, coast more and for longer durations than accelerate, use air conditioning moderately (open window more often), keep tire pressure up. I do all these things and yet I'm still getting worse mileage than my 1998 Honda Civic did! However, now I have the added bonus of a monthly car payment for the next 5 years. That is false advertising. I've been hearing more frequently that this is a common complaint of 2005 Civic Hybrid owners. I wonder if a class action suit might be considered and if so, how to join. I paid well over $6,000 than if I had just bought a regular 2005 Civic. I think they cheated me out of the $6,000.
  • duddyduddy Posts: 1
    Hi -- I purchased a Honda Civic Hybrid at exactly the same time as you (April 15, 2005) and have, over the past 5,000 miles, averaged 53.3 miles per gallon according to the dashboard computer readout. I would say close to 60 percent of my mileage has been on the Interstate, but I average about 48 mpg on city streets and 57 on the highway.

    I do tend to drive a little under the 75-mph speed limits in my home state and drive with a light touch on the accelerator, so I suppose I'm squeezing every ounce of mileage I can out of the fuel tank. I also do not employ the air conditioning often. When I do, I've found it reduces mileage about 20 percent. That is significant, but it still yields approximately 43 mpg on average when it is running.

    If you are getting just 30 to 33 mpg and doing all you mentioned, i.e., coasting, anticipating traffic conditions, reducing air conditioning usage, something appears to be radically wrong with your vehicle. The current recall of Honda Civic Hybrids might be an opportunity for you to have the problem examined and corrected. I wish you better gas mileage.
  • cablackcablack Posts: 45
    The average mileage for the honda civic hybrid seems to be somewhere between 42 and 46, based on real people's mileage in databases elsewhere and at City driving is the most sensitive to particular conditions, and your mileage can even dip below 40. On the highway, however, at a constant rate of 65 MPH, most people seem to get over 50 without trouble.

    The HCH seems to be particularly sensitive to inefficient driving styles, due to its small engine and non-aerodynamic shape. If you are getting 30 MPG in your HCH, either:

    - your driving style is such that you would be getting in the low 20s in a regular civic, or
    - something is seriously wrong with your car.

    Since your dealer is probably just going to say it's not a problem with the car, you might try having a friend who is notorious for getting good mileage (e.g. another HCH or Prius owner), and let them drive your car. It should only take them a mile or two in order to determine if the problem is your car, or your driving style.
  • We have had our HCH for about 7 months and 6000 miles. Our highest tank to date was 37.2 mpg. We normally average about 34. Lately in the heat, we have been getting 32 to 34. Doesn't really seem to matter what we do differently, the mileage always averages about the same. We drive about 80% city and 20% freeway. We are not lead foots and are constantly keeping an eye on our current mile per gallon indicator. We always have the auto stop on. We have never averaged over 40 mpg like others post. Has any of the advice you've received helped your mileage? We are very discoraged and feel like we have tried everything. We just received a recall for the car running too lean. I'm afraid this repair will only make the mpg lower.
  • kmh3kmh3 Posts: 35
    Getting 43mpg avg so far on the first tank with a 13 (each way) mile commute, 3 miles city, 10 miles highway. I have to use air-conditioning one way.

    The highway part is one long hill (uphill to work and downhill coming back), I am having trouble maintaining 60+mph without mashing the gas pedal. If I mash it my mileage goes down into the mid 30's. So as a neophyte who doesn't know how to drive this car yet I am stuck at about 58 mph when climbing the long hill to maintain 40+ mpg. I still pass the semi's anyway. :-)
    Hoping things will improve in time.

    I have tried several tricks mentioned in these forums and they all seem to work. Using moderate accelleration up to speed and coasting (clutch down) to the next stoplight is my favorite trick so far since my stoplights are just about the right distance from each other for that to work well. Coasting seems to drain the battery quicker however, even though I downshift during braking it isn't enough to keep up, but my city leg is short enough this is not a problem. I pumped up my tires too (44PSI). I like the improved road feel too.

    Overall this car is fun to drive.
    It is like having a dog, the pet trains the owner. :-)

  • lamu9lamu9 Posts: 4
    I read many discussion boards online prior to buying my hybrid. I spent the first 2 months re-learning how to drive and be mindful of things that can reduce mileage: air conditioning use, heavy load, tire pressure, stop and go, alot of acceleration and excessively high speeds. I have made concerted efforts to use the econ button when using air conditioning, not using A/C when open window is sufficient, keeping my tires at 35-40 psi, not carrying much of anything in the trunk when not necessary, driving in such a way as to anticipate changes in traffic to utilize the coasting feature (in which I see I'm supposedly getting over 60 mpg), and not driving over 60 or 65 unless I make a trip to Bakersfield (I've done this twice to visit family). I have tracked my mileage and gallons purchased and gallons consumed. I'm averaging 33 mpg. When I first got the car it was 23 mpg and then I even saw a couple of refills yielded 36 mpg but nonetheless I'm getting 30-33 mpg. I did indeed get the recall letter and promptly (2 weeks ago) got the service to the software. I have refueled since then and saw another 33 mpg tank gone by. I'm so frustrated and disappointed. I really love the concept of contributing to our environment in a positive way and for that reason I paid the extra cost to get this instead of regular civic. Yet, I felt that the payoff would be in miles per gallon savings. My old 1998 civic was getting almost this much in mileage and it worked great! I really am starting to wonder why I did this. Can anyone add that they saw significant changes in mileage with more time after the recall software is done? I drive 80% freeways on average...
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    wants to get in a car and drive, just as they do today. If they're motivated they'll check the air pressure in the tires once a month. They are going to have kids and extra stuff in the vehicle. They are going to drive with traffic on freeways. They are not going to be anticipating traffic and avoiding lights and traffic jams as if many could avoid them. People are going to drive at -10F on snow tires. This is real world.

    I had an '88 Honda CRX w/auto that got 40mpg in those conditions. I would expect a hybrid version could get 50 mpg with no special attention to nursing the vehicle. If you can't just hop in an HCH and get 45-50mpg, why bother, and spend the extra money. Hopefully the new HCH will perform better in real-world as their marketing states.
  • We had the post just above yours. Your story and ours are almost exactly the same. Our car always gets between 32 and 34 on a tank. We are just as mad about the whole thing. The mileage is the reason we bought the hybrid. We meet people whe own regular Civics and they say they get in the 30's. We took our car in to the dealer and they told us everything is working just fine. We dont know what to do. We would join you on the class action suit.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    Be happy, my wife's 2002 Civic EX AT gets 26 MPG in the city.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    with low MPG.
    The average on the HCH is upper 40's, I have no idea why yours in paticular is so low.

    Myself, if I depend on cruise control set at posted speed limits the car does upper 40's to low 50's.
    My wife cares nothing about driving for efficiency and is a "hop in, gas and go" person and gets mid-upper 40's. (I have the CVT, MT should do a little better)

    Good luck on your lawsuit, YMMV.
    Some hypermilers are currently doing a marathon between them in this vehicle and exceeding 70MPH.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    I need to correct myself about the marathon-
    They are 4-5 hypermilers driving a single Prius 2 in over an extremely hilly course with about 7 stoplights. Still in progress, they are exceeding 100MPG using their techniques.

    One of them drives a HCH MT and routinely gets over 90MPG in his daily commute.
    THIS is amazing stuff!
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    Amazing stuff, but totally unrealistic for the folks in the real world.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    Probably is something wrong with the car. Maybe you can sell it and get a decent amount for it. A nice alternative would be a used HX which gets excellent mileage. They don't sell ytoo many of them,so it may be hard to find. On numerous websites lots of HCH owners are very happy with their mileage.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    WOW...that's it? I guess the Lexus SUV gets better mileage than a Civic. That doesn't make any sense!!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "WOW...that's it? I guess the Lexus SUV gets better mileage than a Civic. That doesn't make any sense!!"

    YMMV, and in the case of our car, it does vary. But it does get 37 MPG on the highway. I should also mention that my wife has a lead foot. I haven't yet driven the Civic through a full tank. But the car simply begs to be driven hard; it has so much zip and revs so easily.

    BTW, your Lexus SUV also costs about 3 times what my Civic set me back. (OK, maybe 2.5 times). Anyone care to figure out how long you'd have to drive that Lexus SUV to break even?
  • I don't understand how gas mileage could vary so much. We have an '03 manual Civic Hybrid that now has over 50K. We've driven it from Chicago to Miami, New York, and Oklahoma and average about 50mpg on the highway. We drive with the A/C and average about 70-75 mph. We also get about 46 in city driving. On our last trip to Oklahoma we averaged about 52mpg. I could have driven to Tulsa on a single tank. We are of course, delighted. How can these cars be so different?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    " How can these cars be so different?"

    I don't know if you missed my original post, I own a 2002 ICE Civic, not an HCH. I was just illustrating the fact that sometimes the entire Civic line gets poor mileage, in my case only 26 MPG in town. HCH owners have reported as low as 32 in town, which is really hard to understand.
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