How can I tell if a 2005 Honda Civic has a "lean burn" engine?

The title says it. I’m looking for a used 2005 Civic (manual tranny) and I see that fuel economy stats for the model w/ “lean burn” engine (as opposed to VTEC) gets about 4 mpg better mileage. But how do I tell?

Aside from the hybrid, the 2005 Civic with the best economy is the HX, available only as a coupe as far as I can tell. It has the 4 mpg better rating that the others.

Never heard of a “lean burn” Honda engine in 2005. They did Have a ULEV designation on some cars going to certain areas in California, i.e. Los Angeles. That was an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle, but I don’t think that had an affect on the fuel economy.

Almost all, if not all Honda’s sold in the US that year had a VTEC engine. There was a 2 valve/2 plug per cylinder variant sold overseas that got better mileage, but the engine was smaller also, about 1.3l

@keith, the HX was the high-mpg model, like you can now get on some others, like the Cruze Eco. But I agree, @ibekarl forget the ‘lean burn’ lingo. It’ll just confuse things.

Thought “lean of peak” mixtures were now verboten by the EPA due the higher ignition temps upping NOx outputs…

Think both of my 2000 Accords had ULEV engines,what is the NOX supposed to harm anyway?-Kevin

The “Lean Burn” nonsense ended when Honda finally bit the bullet and paid Bosch for the rights to use fuel injection. This happened back in the late 1980’s…During the 1980’s Honda used a 3 valve stratified charge engine to meet emissions requirements. They were a maintenance nightmare…They called them CVCC, controlled vortex combustion chamber…The term “Lean Burn” is usually associated with Chrysler emissions technology during this same time period…

These cars already got good mileage. I don’t know why anyone would forgo the performance and improved driveability benefits of variable cam timing just to eke another couple of MPG out of a car. To each their own I guess. I just hope I’m not stuck behind them while they’re “hypermiling” to save $1 a week.

I have an '03 Civic EX which means the Vtec motor with a manual transmission. Had it since new and always kept good records on mpg. With Michelin tires it gets just over 40 mpg on expressway trips going 70 mph. In town only driving, the worst I ever got was 34 mpg. It virtually always gets 35 -37 mpg in my normal driving which happens to be in NE PA with lot of 40-55 mph 2 lane roads and relatively few traffic lights. My guess is the lean burn engine would not do significantly better in real world driving.

My Civic has always been a peppy fun car to drive too. To me it is like driving an old MG, corners great, decent acceleration, and good power when you keep the rev’s up - real strong from 3,500 rpm an up.

I don’t mean to go off topic here, but find one you like and buy it. So much of fuel ecenomy is dependent on the driver. I think that’s more important than engine configuration. I’m on vacation right now and last leg I averaged 26 mpg in a 2006 Lincoln Town Car.

texases, the HX model, from what I remember, came with the VTEC engine profiled for gas mileage instead of power and a CVT transmission which was prone to failure.

@Caddyman, CVCC stands for "Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion"
CVCC allowed Honda to forgo the cat converter until 1981, when other companies had to to use it in 1975 when the EPA emission limits took a big step down.
Yes, it was a maintenance challenge, but so were all the other emission controlled engines of that era.
There’s no evidence that Honda bought the rights to fuel injection from Bosch.
The Bosch system was mechanical and Honda’s was a unique electronic system.
The fuel injected Corvettes of the late '50s, did they pay Bosch?
I’ve owned a 1975 Civic and 1981 Accord with CVCC and they were both very reliable.
My 1985 Accord SEi (first fuel injected Honda in US) was also very reliable.
The HX models from the '90s on are unrelated to CVCC.
HX used tall gearing and mild cams to gain MPG.