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Honda Civic Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers



  • I bought a 2009 HCH. During the summer I routinely got 48mpg. Starting this fall where there was a lot of rain, I started to see 44mpg. I suspect the windshield wiper usage and headlight must have cost the mileage. My commute is half local half highway, but rarely picks up speed on highway. I drive a little bit on the slow side, but keep up with the traffic from the traffic light.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    51mpg spring/ fall wo a/c 47mpgsummer w a/c temp 90+ 39 winter temps below 35 degrees yearly average 45mpg. 2007 Civic 20000 miles, original tires.
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  • I've had my 2008 HCH for 13000+ miles now and I get about 44 MPG. I keep the tires inflated about 2 or 3 PSI above manual, use 'name brand' gas, don't accelerate hard and coast when possible (heading to traffic light -- no need to hurry up to come to a complete stop!). Also, I try not to go over 65 on the highway, but usually keep it below 60, as drag increases exponentially (accelerating from 55 to 65 uses more fuel than going from 45 to 55). My commute is local ( ~15 miles, round trip), so I don't do a lot of highway driving, but when I do, I get over 50 MPG. You cannot drive *any* car like a sports car and get great gas mileage.

    However, during the winter (this is my 2nd with the HCH), my MPG drops (per tank) to around 33-36. Need to check the tires more often (obviously), but the Hybrid engine simply does not perform as well when it is cold. For instance, the engine has to warm up before it turns off during stops (e.g. traffic lights).

    At first, I thought perhaps the gasoline 'winter blend' had something to do with it, however we had some nice temps (mid 60's) during November and my MPG went back to 'normal.'
  • Sorry DJ, but you're not a normal driver. If I drove like 55 to 60 on Highways here in Southern Calif. and slower than speed limit in town, I would get run over. Again, if you get 50 mpg on the highway driving normally (70 to 75 mph) with factory recommended weight, and tire pressure, please take the car into an independent mechanic, and have him tear the car apart to see what secret module Honda has put into your vehicle. Gasoline brand has nothing to do with mpg. Wasting money on Premium Gasoline Does at Cost per MPG. Glad you are getting such fantastic MPG, Honda should give you a medal!
  • Thanks, I know I'm not 'normal' -- I'm better! :) But, seriously...

    The drivers here in Jersey are as bad as anywhere (they've bled over from NY!), and I don't get run off the road (co-workers here give me the same excuse!). I can't possibly be that brave, I'm only 5'5"!!! (NJ has the highest population density in the US, so the congestion here is as bad, if not worse, as anywhere else.) Simply have to put the testosterone in check and remember that it's not a race out there; no prize for getting to the red light or exit ramp first! Unless you consider lower MPG a prize! (lol)

    BTW, I didn't say that I use "premium" grade, I just avoid the 'independant' brands. I have tried them (during the price spike last year) and it really affected my MPG.
  • Also, driving 70-75 may be considered 'normal,' but it is not 'correct' (ie. legal) or even safe, and certainly not what the EPA numbers imply. Driving that fast and trying to get great gas mileage is against the law -- of physics, that is.

    If you want to drive that fast, then don't waste your money on a hybrid, because you don't understand what it takes. As you parents may have told you: you cannot have your cake and eat it, too.
  • twrecktwreck Posts: 1
    I bought a used 2008 last year, got around 45 mpg around town. No fast starts, staying around speed limit. Interstate speeds (75) with AC running dropped to about 41 mpg. Installed K&N air filter and synthetic oil blend and saw highway mpg increase to 50 mpg. Just had the fist cold snap and it's dropped to aroung 34 mpg. Is it the cold weather?
  • Sorry, but it is legal on most of our Interstates in California to drive 70 mph. Most people drive 75 and 80. Of course 75 to 80 is looking for a ticket. CHP allows 5 mph over the speed limit, however should never go over that. If you're in a lot of stop and go traffic I don't know how you can possibly get above 40 mpg. I do not drive any car unrealisticly, speeding, driving in and out of traffic, racing, etc. as some of you infer. I try to keep the car at 70 mph on long trips. A lot of local driving is in 45 & 65 mph zones. If a car, I don't care if it's a Hybrid, can't be driven at the speed limit and get the recommended mileage, I'm not impressed with it, and the manufacturer's EMPG is a big lie. I have not had a traffic violation ticket in over 35 years. I do not intend to have to drive, (abnormally) a vehicle that doesn't live up to its claimed EPA MPG. If you want to drive like you're in a contest to see who can get the best MPG, then be my guest, but don't tell me how to drive in normal driving conditions.
    I've had more experience driving on all types of highways, in many different states, and countries in many different automobiles, and trucks, than most of you have had going to the bathroom. And oh, yes. Cold weather does affect the mileage of any vehicle.
  • I have a 2009 Civic Hybrid and this is my second winter with the car. The mileage was fine last winter - hovered between 38 and 40 - and very good over the summer. Over the summer, however, I had the dealer "fix" the IMA computer due to a recall and now my winter mileage is down to 35. The recall dealt with the programming of the IMA computer in areas that can have cold winters - the charge of the IMA batteries was apparently not recording properly, so the electric motor would not kick on as designed. That's what the recall said, anyway. The end result is that my mileage has been bad this winter, and it's been a pretty mild winter so far. It's been cold the past few days (low of 10 F and high of 22 F), but overall, it's been mild.
  • Running the heater shouldn't affect gas mileage but I suppose in cold weather the car would be set to run a little faster until it warms up. Not sure if these cars have automatic chokes. My car is kept in the garage.

    But here is a tip I recently found about getting better gas mileage on these hybrids. Turn on the cruise control and don't turn it off. Use it every chance you get by setting it to the speed limit on the road you are driving, even in urban areas. Hit the set button every chance you get. Watch the assist go to work no matter what speed you are driving. Believe me, it works, and it will give you better than average mileage.

    Currently my gas tank is down to a little under half full and when I checked the mileage on the dash last night I am averaging 50.2 in mostly non-highway driving. Prior to this trick, I was averaging 45 to 46.

    I live in Florida and am anxious to see how this works in the hot weather because using the air conditioner does reduce mileage per gallon. In the hot weather I average around 41-44 because the AC runs constantly. Haven't noticed any change yet using the heater because I haven't run it in around 10 days when the last really cold spell came through (yes, it's gets pretty darn cold in Florida in the winder).
  • That last word should read winter, not winder.
  • First day: 42!!! And, it was on hills and in the cold and with lots of slow, fast traffic I have to adjust to.

    The merrit in Connecticut is what it is: I can't do the super efficient driving without getting shot.

    I'm real happy with 42! My old 2002 regular civic was getting 34 or lower.

    And, I LOVE IT!! :shades:
  • dan11809dan11809 Posts: 8
    Is it normal with a 2006 HCH to get 39 m.p.g. on the highway with rolling hills at 75 m.p.h.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    That depends on air temp and tire pressure. I have noticed that my fuel efficiency is highest when the engine is running at 1100 to 1500 rpm. At 75mph the transmission has shifted out as far as it will go, and the rpms were probably around 2200-2500 rpm at 75mph. Plus the fact that the wind resistance against the car climbs greatly above 55 mph. So in other words, the HCH is great around town, best at a cruse of 35/45mph and begin to suck at higher speeds and heavy loads/ extra passengers.
  • jtischjtisch Posts: 9
    Don't know if you saw one of my earlier posts but a trick I learned is to keep the cruise control ON at ALL TIMES. I use it every chance I get even in local driving. If I am on a road and the speed limit is 35 mph and it is pretty clear ahead, I hit the set or resume button. It does have a positive effect on gas mileage. My last fillup, Friday (and I check my mileage at every fillup) was 49 mpg for local driving, one of my best. Also, with a hybrid long trips do not necessarily mean better mileage. The most I could get on a trip on interstates is 50 mpg. But I always average 46 to 49 mpg local driving. That's without the AC on. With the AC constantly running I usually average in the 44-45 range. I also found I get much better mileage on the off-brand gasoline than I do on the name brand. I can't explain that.
  • dan11809dan11809 Posts: 8
    I use that method except going up hills I take the cruise off.I f I don't the r.p.m.s go way up! Air pressure in tires is 44lbs. filled with nitrogen,air off windows up.Still 39 m.p.g. before it was 40-45.Something changed,I can't figure it out.
  • dan11809dan11809 Posts: 8
    I'm going to slow it down to the slow lane 68m.p.h. and see what happens and report back in a couple of weeks.
  • Bought a used HCH 06 with 70K on it. Previous driver had logged avg of 29-30MPG and since I have learned the "tricks", I have improved the MPG, but still has not even touched 40avg MPG. Driving almost all highway, cruise control, very mild acceleration, watching the meters constantly, no A/C. On 550 miles, still hovers in the 30s. Does anyone know if mileage (70,000) affects MPG? In comparison with other "real world drivers", much less the marketed MPG, it's so low; it seems like something's wrong.
  • Per my Honda Dealer, MPG should improve with more mileage.
    I suggest you take your car to a Honda Dealer and ask them to do a MPG Test.
    If HCH is only getting 29 to 30 MPG, something is wrong! If you're getting 37 mpg, that is, on average, what I get with combined city/highway. We now have 7,600 miles on our 2009 HCH, and were told by the Honda Dealer the more we drive it, the MPG should improve. Sticker advertised MPG's on new vehicles are very inaccurate, and there are fine print disclaimers.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    The HCH powertrain can be broken into two parts. Failure or inefficiency on either part can cause poor mileage. The electric motor gives the gas engine a boost when accelerating. Acceleration is what sucks the most fuel, so a boost from the electric motor helps reduce that fuel consumption. Also having the motor shut of at stops also helps unneccesary fuel consumption.
    So a problem with the electrical part of the powertrain can cause poor mileage.
    The gas engine is extreamly fuel effiecient on its own, but lacks power on acceleration, (thus the electrical boost). So when traveling at say 45mph, it is all gas and no electrical. To see if the problem is one or the other, I like to find a long stretch of level road, get the car up to speed, set the cruise,and reset the mpg display. If the readings are high, then there is a problem in the electrical drive system. It the reading is low, the problem is with the rest of the car: Tires,tire pressure, alignment,not using the proper weight oil, dirty fuel injector's,dirty mass air flow sensor, weak oxygen sensor, too much weight......
    I just added Seafoam fuel system cleaner to my 07 GMC Envoy with a 5.3 V8 and gained 3 mpg, so I am going to try it in my civic and see if i get any results. I currently get 50mpg spring and fall 40 during the coldest months and 47 during the hottest months with A/C.
  • Thanks for this advice! Does it sound to you, then, that there really is a problem, either way? I am willing to check according to the test you mentioned, but the car was recently purchased and I feel the dealer should have not sold it at such low MPG performance.

    re: "Tires,tire pressure, alignment,not using the proper weight oil, dirty fuel injector's,dirty mass air flow sensor, weak oxygen sensor, too much weight...... "
    - service tech people checked tire pressure and presumably everything else when I went in. We even did a drive together to make sure it was at its optimum.

    If it's the powertrain, do you think its "fix"able?
  • highmpghighmpg Posts: 9
    I have been pouring thru the HCH06-07 Honda serv. manual -I found a clue to why my HCH06 may not get max mpg..especially with AC or fan on. I suspect the AC compressor electric drive (pulls power from the 158V Bat) is not working and it pulls power that should go to ASSIST white bars .. even when engine is running. --
    To see if this applies to your car ( around 39-41 MPG in most good weather conditions) then try this as a temp. test...Pull out fuse #22 near driver's is 7.5 or 10amp -- make sure it is #22 under dash fuse box.
    It is a fuse that disables the drive to the electric AC compr. circuit... regular AC still works fine and doesnt steal power now from the HV Bat. My mpg jumped to 50 mpg with AC on at moderate levels ----- 20% improvement! I am still investigating......
  • highmpghighmpg Posts: 9
    I also agree with use of the cruise control for best MPGs ... the computer wants to control the car itself for optimizing power use... keep it on as much as you can.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    you are absolutely correct in your findings. The A/C compressor is split into two parts, The belt drive or mechanical for when the engine is running and the 158V for when at stops. Honda and all other hybrid manufactures had to go thru great length to insure comfort when the engine stops. and they all suck power from the battery pack that then must be recharge at the cost of fuel mileage. There is even a small electric water pump that keeps hot water circulating through the heater. The electric a/c unit is not very powerful, and will deplete the battery completly on 100 deg days on my commute home, so I do something like you do, I just roll down the windows until i get through the stops, or I kick the trans in neutral and let the engine keep running.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    If you really want to squeese out every drop at the inconvence of loosing speed, try running as much as possible on battery only. I have an 07, and this is what i have to do. On my commute, I travel a route that has has several long streches of road that have a slight downhill grade.With a 3/4 or more battery charge, I accelerate to about 5 mph over the speed limit, then slightly decelerate untill the mpg guage hits 100mpg and the recharge meter is showing about three bars green. Then ever so lightly press on the accelerator to no more than three bars white. If all conditions are right the mpg guage will stay on 100, and you are operating on battery only. The valves on the engine are being held open so there is no compression loss. Every time that is can get this to happen, i gain .1 mpg on the fuel mileage counter. The problem is, that the car cannot maintain the speed for long,and you end up having to accelerate back up to speed.If tou go over 4 bars white while in this state, you will feel a slight bump, as the engine takes over and you will see the mpg guage drop. It can me difficult to learn, but once you get it figured out you can easly add 1 or 2 mpg per tank full. When the cruse is on, it will somtimes try to run on battery only, but will usually apply too much throttle and will fall out of it within a second or two.
  • highmpghighmpg Posts: 9
    I agree with you-- less AC means more car however seems to also send pwr to the elect. AC when the gas engine is running as well... so less bat power to assist on hills etc. This situation may be software that is glitched...or electrical inefficiency / malfunction possibility. Quite a few people report a "drop" from good mpgs to the 39-40 range ... so I suspect it is a real issue with many cars.

    I drive another HCH06 that avgs. 45+ - with AC on in similar driving situations..and it gives several ASSIST bars ... whereas the Older HCH06 is often actually charging up a hill and rarely can assist...even with the fan on lowest setting and ac temp higher than comfortable. With Elect AC disabled it is same or better than 45+ car.
  • mrwaugmrwaug Posts: 16
    If it's the powertrain, do you think its "fix"able?
    That all depends on the dealer.And i would say that there is a problem somewhere, but getting them to fix it depends on how hard they want to try to make you happy. I know almost anything but the original tires can kill your mileage, I am hanging on to mine as long as possible, I also keep them slightly over-inflated, which is a risk i take( remember the ford explorer's and the exploding tire issues). I gained 3mpg after an alignment. And was told that anything other than the 0/5w oil or whatever it is, can cause a drop of 7 mpg.
    I dont know if you purchased from a Honda dealer, or just a used car lot, but if they have any reputation, the should try a little harder that air up the tires for you.
  • dan11809dan11809 Posts: 8
    edited April 2010
    Took your advice and called Honda,they replaced the battery and upper rear control arms! Thank you.
  • dan11809dan11809 Posts: 8
    Slowed down to 68 m.p.h. and mileage went back up to 45 m.p.g. Hope I don't get run over. :)
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