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2011 Honda Civic

Bought a 2011 Civic, next to bottom model, minimum equipment. Got 21.3 MPG 1st tank, 23.4 MPG second tank. Called service dept, told “it takes 6-7000mi to break the car in” -obvious nonsense.Took it back to dealer, they did whatever and told me the drove 50 mi. hiway and got 44 MPG. This last tank I got 27 MPG, 127 mi hiway, 178 surface, took 11.3 gallons to fill up. If 40 mpg, then 3.17 gallons, leaving 178 miles at 21.8 mpg. Car obviously not meeting EPA mileage estimates of 36 mpg hiway/25 mpg on surface roads. Anyone have similar trouble with 2011 Civic? Had 1997 Accord, wife has had 2 Civics, no complaint with MPG in any of them. Dealer trying to ignore me and hope I go away.

Any input from anyone relevant to this problem


How many miles presently on the odometer?
How long have you had the car?
How many tank fill-ups have you gone through?

EPA are “estimates” not dogma. You might be driving in an area with more hills. Perhaps you accelerate quickly and brake hard compared to other drivers.

While I can see you are disappointed, mpg is a highly variable number. Quality of the gas is a factor, tire pressure, tire alignment, habits of the driver, average speed, roads and terrain driven upon, winter’s cold weather will all impact on your mpg.

A good test is make sure you have the tires at proper inflation, get on the interstate just after filling up the tank, drive 200 miles, fill it up again and calculate your actual mpg. You can’t depend on the cars computer calculated mpg, the only way to be sure is to calculate mpg the old fashioned way - fill up to fill up.

What engine and transmission is installed in this car? My Crown Vic gets 26 out on the road…

Car was new, 18 miles on odometer.Purchased Dec 19, 2010 . Standard Honda Engine, automatic. Driving same routes I drove with Accord for 14 yrs, would get EPA miles or better. Got 33 with it last summer on the Interstate at 13 yrs old. Tires, temp, terrain, OK or no change from prior vehicle. Calculated mpg from fill up to fill up through 3 tanks of gas. Driving habits unchanged (I am 60) only I drive the car.
Anyone aware of any factory bulletins or info on this make and model?

You’re not going to get anywhere in an argument with Honda about it calculating MPGs each tankful. The notion that the dealer drove it 50 miles and figured out they got 44 mpg is also completely bogus. This cannot be a precise science largely b/c of the imprecision involved in getting a tank “full.” Small variations make big differences. If the dealer used some ind of computerized thing I wouldn’t trust that either.

Start a log. The next time you fill up record the OD reading. Then drive a good 1000 miles or more recording gallons to fill the tank & OD reading each time. The ideal would be to use the same gas pump & just let it go to the first click-off (which you should do anyway). But that can be a little nutty and the point of driving a good 1000 miles or more is to make sure that kind of variation doesn’t have a large effect on the calculations.

If you do all of that and are still off of EPA estimates take the whole log with you to the dealer. (I am not nearly as skeptical as some about the EPA estimates. In my experience they have always been about right & I’ve met or exceeded them in every car I’ve owned. If you’re not within about 10% of it I’d be complaining).

YOU NEED TO PROPERLY BREAK IN THE ENGINE BEFORE TAKING THESE MPG STATS…It is NOT NONSENSE in any way shape or form. Havent you ever heard of this before? The engines internal parts (as well as the tranny) are still getting to “know” each other. You will not see the proper MPG until all the surfaces in the engine get into spec…polish each other and “RUN IN” It is a very basic principle and the dealer should have told you this without even batting an eye NOR entertaining any notion that they were going to be able to affect this in any way with some sort of service procedure…silly…very very silly of them.

Your “Break In” couldnt be any more important and REAL than…well…Than it IS…which is VERY REAL and VERY IMPORTANT!!!

The dealer is correct to ignore you until you “go away” for a few thousand miles…You will see your mpg go up and up and up as she wears in… Im surprised that you are actually doubtful of this very real situation. You will soon be enjoying great MPG with your wise purchase of a new Honda. Wait…Drive some more and enjoy. You are jumping the gun in a major way and no one can help you but yourself…

You noticed that the fuel economy is going up. This happens. You will get near your best MPG when there are 3,000 miles on the car. You may even notice a change in the utomatic transmission after 8,000 miles. My 07 Yaris was much better at maintaining a constant speed until it aged a bit. It used to be maddening to try to do steady speeds. There was just too much gas pedal action required. When it had 10,000 miles it handled well.

My 79 Chevy pickup with 6 cylinder engine and manual transmission went from 19 on the highway to 23.5 after a few thousand miles. So keep figuring MPG by dividing the miles traveled by the gallons used and you will see better fuel economy.

So far, it looks like a very normal situation and I’m sure that you won’t get anywhere with the dealer for a while. EPA estimates are for all the Civics and yours with an automatic transmission will probably end up with 33 MPG OVERALL if it also has AC. It may get less if it has more than two doors. After all, all Civics don’t weigh the same.

You will have to wait and see. The Yaris is getting 32 OVERALL now. This means that my MPG on the highway is higher than 33. You’re not just breaking in the engine. The transmission, CV joints, wheel bearings and ball joints have to count for something too. It’ll be better when they all loosen up.

Stay away from the dealer unless you want them to get a restraining order.

You really do need to cut back on the Red Bull or something :wink:

I’ve never bought into the takes 5k miles to improve the fuel economy argument for one second. The engine is broken in within 20 miles from new.

It seems to me that if the car is really suffering on the fuel economy then the CEL should be illuminated or the ECM will have a code or two stored in regards to rich running.

You stated the tires are OK, which means what? Have you actually checked the tire pressure yourself with a gauge? Just wanted to clarify that one way or the other.

And Any Other Types Of Bull That Creep In There.

When I managed a Body Shop (Old days of “eyeball” paint matching) I had a car painter who knew just how to handle customer complaints about his occasional mismatched paint. If the paint was too dark he’d tell the customer it would fade a bit as it cures and if too light he’d tell them it will darken as it ages.

Surprisingly, very few customers ever came back to report that the paint failed to fade or age. They must still be waiting.


You have only driven in the winter. Cold air = worse mileage. It will improve as the weather warms. Unless you live in Miami, stop annoying the dealer.

When Consumer Reports tested the base-model Civic with automatic transmission, their overall (average) mpg calculation was 28 mpg. If the OP was able to achieve 27 mpg on his last tank of gas, then it does appear that he is getting the actual “real world” gas mileage that this car is capable of.

Some folks will be able to get the stated EPA gas mileage, and in a few cases (hypermilers), some may actually exceed the EPA figure. However, in the real world, most folks are not able to match EPA gas mileage figures.

I don’t think that there is a real issue here.

I KNOW I DO…LOL…it isnt that…my friend who is now staying at my house…who is unemployed…IS DRIVING ME NUTZ!!! AND I seem to be taking it out on everyone around me…

MY APOLOGIES… I am going crazy with a new room mate WHO NEVER LEAVES THE HOUSE!

LOL.,…I’m sorry

Pick up an issue of Motor Trend magazine and read any long term test they have printed in that issue. They will list mpg they got when the car was brand new and mileage they are currently getting at the mileage they currently have on the car, sometimes anywhere from 30k to 50k miles. The figure when the car or truck was brand new is always lower, sometimes significantly, than the figure once the car has some miles on it. Quarter mile times and braking distances always improve as well. I don’t think they accomplish these improvements by pestering the dealer or calling it a lemon, either. Drive on, and your performance will likely improve and become more consistent, particularly with spring and summer coming up. Warmer temperatures alone will probably net you a 10% or so improvement if you live in a seasonal climate (cold in winter, hot in summer).

From The EPA:

New vehicles will not obtain their optimal fuel economy until the engine has broken in. This may take 3-5 thousand miles.

The energy content of gasoline varies seasonally. Typical summer conventional gasoline contains about 1.7% more energy than typical winter conventional gasoline.

Also, winter often comes with more idling (warm-up) and the EPA says, “Excessive idling decreases MPG. The EPA city test includes idling, but more idling will lower MPG.


Based on the OP’s statement about 127 highway and 178 surface (whatever that is) and 27 MPG I don’t think there’s a problem at all.

If the point is made that it requires thousands upon thousands of miles of break-in for fuel ecnoomy to improve then this means that new car dealers for every make should be absolutely deluged with poor fuel economy complaints. They’re not. If this were the case there would be a parking lot full of complainees there bright and early every morning.
Matter of fact, this board and many others should be also be flooded with similar complaints is this were the case.

If you want to compare your mileage to others with similar cars, go to:

Click on 2010 and 2009, then follow the links to the Civic with the auto transmission. About half way down the page, there is a link: “View Individual Estimates”. Click on it and see what others get.

My 13 yr old Accord and my wife’s 2 Civics immediately met or exceeded EPA standards , brand new, off the lot. I drive the same routes, the same way as I did with the Accord, no difference in topography. I live in San Antonio, Tx., so climate is not a big deal as it rarely is below freezing when I drive. Car has tire sensors, I checked tire pressure, it is OK. Only I drive the car. The thousands of mile break in is bogus for modern cars according to the Car Talk guys.
If anyone has had poor initial mileage with a brand new Civic, I would like to hear about it and the resolution of the problem. Did it improve, did the dealer have to do something, did mileage get to or near EPA estimates?
Factual info , please, not opinions.

“Factual info , please, not opinions.”

I provided a reference that shows mileages posted by people that own the same car you own. I consider their posts to be facts. Why do you call them opinions?