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Honda Civic Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers



  • mimabromimabro Posts: 5
    I bought a 2005 HCH in April and was told my top mpg would be 45... but to my surprise, on average I'm getting 48 mpg and at the highest, I've gotten 59 mpg. I try to go easy on the gas, travel within 5 mph of the speed limit, not use the ac, keep off the defrost so the auto stop turns on. Any other suggestions? I drive an AT... but wish it was a manual! I'd love to average out around 50 mpg.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Where do you live that you can stand it in August with no A/C? I'll do a lot of things to help my mileage, but sweating through my clothes isn't one of them.
  • mimabromimabro Posts: 5
    I live in CT and we most certainly have our unbearably hot days.
    My issue is that I really can't take the A/C in any kind of car without getting severe headaches... the only real way I can somewhat deal with it is if I have my windows wide open, which is even worse mileage wise. I use my A/C but very very seldom, even when I do use it I keep it between 74 and 80 (windows open!)... which is still cooler than the temperature outside when I decide it's necessary. :)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'm very curious, and although it is none of my business, may I ask what the A/C does that causes headaches? Please, tell me "none of your business" if I crossed the line! Is it the airflow? It can always be directed to the floor.
  • mimabromimabro Posts: 5
    I'm not sure why it happens, but I always have it directed to the floor when I use it.
  • I got new tires last month. As expected the mileage dropped. As per my previous post I had been averaging 53 mpg. I am now averaging 47 mpg on the last 6 tanks of gas. Hopefully as the tires wear the mileage will go back up. I bought better tires that will hopefully last longer than the original tires (only 17,000 miles). Alot of my commute is through canyon roads, and it has always been tough on tires on any car we've had.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    A large national newspaper would like to speak with consumers who have purchased a hybrid within the past year or two. If you have a hybrid, please respond to [email protected] with your daytime contact information and what hybrid vehicle you own no later than October 30.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • Hey all,

    Since I regularly followed this forum before purchasing my 2008 HCH, I figured I'd post my mileage. After 3300 miles, I'm averaging right about 50 mpg (low - 47.1mpg, high - 52.9mpg). My commute is 95% highway speeds and about 45 miles roundtrip. It is mostly flat with the occasional rolling hills. I inlfated my stock tires to 42-44 psi as soon as I got it. I live in San Antonio so the climate control is usually set at 73 deg with the windows up unless I'm cruising the neighborhood. Overall, I am very impressed with the mileage and I'm still getting used to the optimal way to drive it, so I expect my mileage to increase over time. my only complaint is a relative lack of power when merging onto the highway. Otherwise I've had zero problems. The sound system is not as good as my RDX's (as expected) but adequate and the Aux input is a nice bonus.
  • Nice Job............

  • mateomateo Posts: 2
    As I approached approximately 10,000 miles on my 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid, I was hearing loud road noise. The dealer determined that all four tires were cupped due to problem with the tire control arms. The arms were replaced, I was given four new tires (same brand, Dunlop, and size as before), and I received a four wheel alignment. The road noise has disappeared but my gas mileage, according to the dash indicator, has dropped significantly, five or more mpg in town and highway. Any similiar experiences or theories?
  • I drive my 2008 hybrid a good bit and had just over 17k in about 7 months. I had the same tire noise. I initially took the car in and they told me I needed control arms, alignment and tires. Unlike your description of "gave you tires", they wanted over $320 from me for tires. I did not get the tires at the time and called Honda to complain. They apparently recognized the control arm problem in 2006 but did not fix it on the Hybrid. Honda eventually agreed to cover all but $100 of the new tires. I just got them today. I got the control arms last week and my gas mileage seemed to improve. Now that I have new tires and control arms, I will find out what happens.
  • mike123mike123 Posts: 10
    Bought a 2009 HCH in 4/09. I've been hypermiling, with my dash gauges indicating 45 MPG highway, about 39 city. The lowest reading was 38. I just gassed up the car to compare actual miles driven to fuel consumed, as I always do with every fill up. I'm getting an average of 18.75 MPG according to real world math. My dash gauge, which I monitor religiously, has been dramatically overstating my mileage. My last 150 miles traveled was all smooth highway. I aced the gauges, maximizing every drop of fuel according to my dash display. I stopped to gas up, just to see the real numbers. The car took 8 gallons of gas for 150 miles. 150/8 =18.75 mpg., yet my digital MPG gauge consistently read 45 mpg. Any ideas ??
  • davem7davem7 Posts: 35
    I've owned both a 2006 and 2008 HCH and have found the digital mpg tripmeter consistently is 1-2mph below my manual calucations, i.e. if the tripmeter reads 51mpg the manual calculation will be 52-53mpg.

    I can't overemphasize the importance of filling the gas tank to the same exact level on each fill up. Typically after the auto shut off engages I can squeeze in another 1.5-2 gallons of fuel. In places like NJ where self service gas stations are prohibited by law, chances are the attendant will only squeeze in another 1/2 gallon after the shut off engages. Then when you cap it at a self service station, your manual calculation will be skewed by the additional l-1.5 gallon you put in.

    It takes about two additional minutes to cap the tank but it is the best way I know of to establish the true mpg figure.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    Be carefull topping of the tank like that. It can caue the evaperative emissions canister to become flooded with raw fuel, whick in turn will be drawn into the engine during the purge cycle, causing the ECM to have to make drastic fuel trim adjustments to compensate for the excessive fuel. I believe the owners manual states to fill the tank on a slower setting and to not top off.
  • sr146260211sr146260211 Posts: 55
    I, myself go to the same station and the same pump and fill until the first click and that's it, never over fill or top off. Do same next time, then take the reading for mileage.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I don't believe 18.75 mpg. Possibilites are:

    (1) Someone reset the trip meter so the distance travelled was more than 150 mi. Always note and record the odometer too. Confirm the trip odo value by subtraction of odo readings.

    (2) On the prior fillup the pump could have shut off early, but on the present one you filled to full. Some Dallas pumps will shut off if the collar is not held tight to the filling seal. The collar controls gasoline vapor emissions during fueling.
  • bradzepfanbradzepfan Posts: 4
    Purchased a 2009 Civic Hybrid 4-5 weeks ago and have been experimenting with various driving styles. Don't be alarmed, Southern Cal flow of traffic is often well above 70 MPH! ; ) I won't go into detail about my methods but I am far from a "hyper-miler".

    Tank A -- 49.3 MPG (keeping MPH 55-65 range)
    Tank B -- 50.2 MPG (keeping MPH 65-70 range)
    Tank C -- 42.4 MPG (keeping MPH 70+ range)
  • I'm having fun with the mileage and driving the Honda instead of the Suburban. I have driven almost 3000 miles in the last month and I am averaging 46.6 mpg. last tank I averaged 48 mpg.
  • jimbenjjimbenj Posts: 1
    This excessive cupping and rear control arm problem is now an official service bulletin notice to Honda service/dealer reps. I had same problem after approx. 10,000 mi. Honda wanted me to pay the full shot for rear control arms, 4 new tires, and alignment. After a lengthy phone tag debacle with a cust. serv. rep I was told Honda would pay for control arms. rear alignment, and 2 tires only after I got the dealership where I purchased the vehicle involved. I had all 4 tires replaced along with control arms and rear alignment. My out of pocket cost was $270. I contacted Honda and requested reimbursement since the only reason I needed 4 tires at 10,000 miles was because of the alignment issue. My mileage incidentally was down to around 30 mpg overall. Honda refused to reimburse me. My mileage is back up to 40mpg combo/overall with a 30 mile daily highway commute. I'm glad the other poster had his entire repair covered. That is the only proper, good business action to take. I will now no longer be purchasing another Honda and I will be certain to tell all of my contacts my story regarding this vehicle and I'll let them decide if I was treated properly. With so many competitors out there I can't believe Honda chose to be penny wise and pound foolish in this case.
  • At my last fill up I ended up with 50.5 MPG. I figure that even with paying the monthly payment and gas for the new Honda I have reduced my monthly transportation costs by $100. The higher the gas prices the more I save.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    You only needed two tires yet you bought four. It sounds like some fancy footwork at your dealership. Most car company dont care too much about tire wear. I knew of the recall, I took my 07 HCH complying of handling issues(which they do care about, if you get into a crash resulting in handling problems) They replaced the rears arms and suggested new tires, I turned them down, rotated them, and am still driving on them.
    I have owned several Honda's, including a 89 accord that had 350,000 miles when i sold it. My wife loves her 08 Ridgeline, we also have ATV's Motorcycles and generators. The rear arm issues on my civic has been the only issue requiring warranty work on it. In my book Honda does not really have any competitors. My daughter has a 05 Toyota that is getting ready to loose a transmission. So i am a little biased there, and the rest seem to be headed towards bankrupsy, so that leaves Hyundai and Kia in a strong market (Good luck with either one of them, I owned a Hyundai for 6 months. What a pile) . I am happy with my HCH and 50 mpg that it gets.
  • highmpghighmpg Posts: 9
    I have seemingly found an interesting improvement in MPG in our 2006 HCH. This one usually averages 41 with combined factors (city-hwy-AC ) but if I go up on octane it really likes it! I have tried all major regular gasolines and all are about the same - yet with grade above regular MPG goes up to 46, and some to 48 MPG.
    This is one of the persistently lower MPG cars, never been able to crack 50 mpg no matter what we tried -- our other 2006 HCH (car #2) always does 47 averages using regular gas. This means either the compression is higher & computer detects pinging-low octane.. or it is just too sensitive to imaginary pinging.
    Others have written that octane is never a factor - but perhaps for the cars that run a bit lower MPGs it will be worth a try.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    in the old days, before electronics, higher octane did not give you more power or better economy over regular grade, but it would allow you to run higher compression and allowed you to advance the timing more, which would give you more power.
    So you are right and the others are wrong in regards to higher octane causing better performance/mileage in engines with knock sensors and electronic timing. If you are getting better numbers with premium fuel, then there is a problem. Like you say, it could be too high compression, or an overly sensitive knock sensor. You should try some aggressive top end engine cleaner to remove any carbon deposits off, and make sure that it has the proper spark plug installed, only use the plugs recommended by the manufacture ( there should be a sticker under the hood with plug specs)
  • davem7davem7 Posts: 35
    I'm still addicted to capping the tank. If I can squeeze l-2 to 2gallons after the auto shut off engages that extends my range(w/0 refueling) another 50-75 miles. Practically speaking what damage could that cause in the long run? Not clear from the description you gave.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    there is a vent at the top of the fuel tank that allows fuel vapors from the gas tank to flow into a canister that is full of carbon particles, the carbon acts like a sponge and traps the fuel vapors. When the engine is running, a valve open that allows engine vacuum to draw air through the canister, causing the fuel vapor to be released from the carbon, and burnt during the normal combustion process. When top off the tank, it is possible for liquid fuel to enter into the carbon canister, either through slosh of heat expansion. When the purge valve opens, the engine gets liquid fuel instead of fuel vapor. So whats the big deal about liquid fuel being drawn into an engine? It acts like a solvent, washing the oil off of the cylinder walls, causing ring wear and it washes down past the rings, into the oil causing it to get diluted with fuel, making it thinner and less of a lubricant. You are already using a 0/20 wt oil, you really dont want it to get much thinner. There also other issues with emissions and the electronic fuel control, but i think that with the complexity of the mechanical side of the engine and the V-tec system, i would be most concerned with fuel wash. Is cramming another gallon of gas into the filler neck worth it.
  • gm_nutgm_nut Posts: 1
    I've owned one since new. Mileage peaks soon after purchase, within 5-10 thousand miles as rings seat and compression peaks.

    The key to reductions in mileage as time passes is the condition of the battery. When the battery begins to fade it begins to lose charge internally - the amount of energy it contributes to propelling the car forward is reduced. When the computer asks for energy the battery responds with reduced voltage under load. The computer reads this lower voltage as meaning the battery has less to contribute (it actually does) and so it asks for less. Meanwhile, the lower voltage causes the computer to spend more time recharging the battery (to bring up its low indicated voltage). This energy comes from fuel burned unless you are coasting downhill.

    The energy is lost due to reductions in the chemical efficiency, and increased internal resistance in the battery. I've noticed a change in the ratio between the amount of time the battery is charging versus the amount of time the battery is discharging and providing propulsion. Charging (green) goes up. Interesting, their choice of color here. The color that saves fuel is white, the color which uses fuel is green, and interesting juxtaposition.

    Honda does not wish to be replacing everyone's batteries under warranty, so they program the computer to be very accepting of this lower voltage condition. After all, as other writers have noted, Honda is not promising any certain mileage figure. At some point the battery will fail completely, but before that, the mileage will drop significantly as the battery absorbs charging energy, but gives back little in propulsive force.
  • Have you run any tests on the battery, or is this just some unproven theory? I have a 2004 HCH bought used with 36K miles, now at 61K miles. I had averaged about 51 MPG lifetime, then just recently got a four wheel alignment and now I am averaging close to 56 MPG. There are many variables in the mileage equation.
  • jtischjtisch Posts: 9
    Here's a real puzzler. I have a 2008 Honda Hybrid Civic that I got this past January, bought new, and that just turned 6,000 miles. I replaced a 2008 that was totaled. When I first got it I averaged 47 mpg consistently, (same as the first one, 50 on the highway), because I check the mileage every fillup. All of a sudden my mileage has dropped to around 40-42 and it seems to be getting less and less. Since I live in Florida, the car's air conditioner runs consistently since April. Can use of the air conditioner reduce mileage this much. I talked to the agency and they couldn't explain it. It's maddening!
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    The hybrid engine is a finely tuned piece of machinery, if anything is slightly off, or any extra load placed on the engine, the effencency drops off rapidly. Things like under inflated tires, alignment, head winds, extra passengers/weight, even the wrong kind of oil can cause mileage numbers to drop like a rock. The A/C compressors on the civic are driven by both a belt and an electric motor. That way, the engine can shut down at stoplights, and the compressor will continue to operate. The down side of this, is that it puts a pretty heavy drain on the battery, which requires extra power from the engine to recharge it. You also have additional loads from the radiator cooling fans and the electric water pump.
    That is the problem with hybrids, they have to try to make them civilized to drive, to behave like a non hybrid. It takes a lot of technology and compromises to achieve that goal.
    I live in Idaho, and have the opposite problem, the colder it gets, the worse the mileage, due to the basic fact that a cold engine needs more fuel. The best mileage i get is when its about 85 out and I run with the a/c off and windows open.
  • jtischjtisch Posts: 9
    Thanks. With only 6,000 miles on the car I just cannot understand the drastic change. I've even changed fuel from generic RaceTrac, to Sunoco, to Hess, the Mobil. I don't even consider the car broken in. I had the oil changed and the tires filled at the dealer a couple of weeks ago. They cannot explain the sudden drop in mileage. I was watching it tonight and it looks like it has dropped to around 39 mpg. That is a drastic change from the consistent 47 I was getting. I always refill it and it usually takes no more than six gallons. And, everything seems to be working properly such as the engine shutting down at stoplights. My driving habits have not changed. I guess I will have to wait until late fall when I no longer need to use the AC to see if it changes. It is frustrating, though.
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