Low MPG on Honda Civic Hybrid

hybrid-repair
civic
honda
fuel-economy

#1

Well not really low… but lower than than advertised. My 2008 Civic Hybrid, which I’ve had for about 4 months, is averaging 35 mpg. I got a tune-up a few weeks ago and since then it’s averaged 32 mpg! The service dept. at the dealer can tell me nothing. It’s supposed to get 40-45. Anyone know why or, better yet, how it could be improved? I do keep the tires well inflated and I drive pretty cautiously, slow acceleration, etc, to try and maximize mileage, but it doesn’t seem to be helping.


#2

In cold weather your hybrid gas mileage drops severely since you need THE ENGINE running all the time to get heat. In warm weather (which is used for the rating)the engine runs only part time.

You don’t really have a true hybrid in cold weather, something even Prius owners have to get used to. You will still get good mileage, but forget about the claimed figure!!!


#3

“It’s supposed to get 40-45.”

Those numbers were obtained with a brand new vehicle on a dynamometer, inside a building, in a climate-controlled environment, with a trained test driver operating the car in a highly specific manner.

They do not take into account cold weather, wind, traffic, hills, vehicle maintenance, etc, etc.

Depending on where you live 32-35 may be normal for a Civic Hybrid. Another variable is how you’re calculating the 32 mpg figure. If you’re going by a computer readout on the dashboard it may not be very accurate.

The only reliable method of calculating mpg is to divide miles driven by gallons used, and average the mileage over MANY tankfuls.


#4

Sell it and buy a Honda civic 4cyl w/manual if you want to not own an American car. The Civic gets 35-45 depending on who’s driving. I used the hybrids (Civic & Accord) for work and was getting 18-32 mpg for an 8 hour shift on city streets. Why did you need a tuneup on an 2008 car already? Did Honda do it?


#5

The Honda Civic is made here in the USA. Is it less “American” than a Chevy made in Canada, or a Ford made in Mexico?


#6

I appreciate the feedback from you all. I guess I’ll just have to accept it, but it is disappointing since I did a lot of research prior to buying… even though not a new car, it was still a major investment for me. Knowing what I know now, I probably would have been more likely to buy a Prius or a new Insight since mileage is very important to me. In answer to ahm1127 - I should have written regular maintenance, not a tune-up, at a Honda dealer.


#7

You may want to find some hybrid forums, check out the (long) lists of gas saving tips. However, a fair number of them are either irritating to you, irritating to others on the road, or illegal.


#8

Or the one assembled in the US of 80% Canadian, Chinese and Mexican parts?


#9

Honda’s hybrids just can’t compete with the Prius in fuel economy. Even the new Honda Insight can’t get the fuel economy you get with a Prius.

When you think about it, your four door Civic hybrid sedan isn’t the small economy two door car like Civics made in years past. 35 MPG is pretty good for a car that size.


#10

I have a lifetime average of 43 mpg over the 130,000 miles I have driven my 2003 civic hybrid (this has already been adjusted from the 45 showing on my dahsboard according to my known bias relative to the actual calculation from gas fill-ups – the comment given on that is correct). The comment on cold weather is also right on…so if the 4 months have been all in cold weather you should expect an improvement next summer. Contrary to expectations, you get significantly lower milage in the city: I commute with a fairly high percentage of highway so that will boost my mpg if you are always making short trips in city traffic, or if you live in an unusally hilly area. Behavior does effect it…but you are already utilizing milage-aware behavior so that can’t be it. I agree with you, 35 seems low. I am not a mechanic…but it makes me wonder if the CVT transmission might be off (so you are using a “lower” gear ratio than necessary) – but this might be completely bogus. Good luck


#11

i purchased a 2006 civic hybrid in mid-december, so i’ve had it a little over a month now. the first few days, when the weather was still in the 40-50 Fahrenheit range, i got almost 40mpg during my 50 minute commute (most of which is at 80mph). after those first few days, we had a huge cold wave and my mpg dropped down to 36. the last couple days, the temperature has gone back up into the 40/50 range and guess what, my mpg has gone up as well. i can’t wait to see what this thing does when its 100 out. :wink:


#12

AliceZ, did the dealer do any software fixes in connection with your tune-up? I took delivery of a 2006 Civic Hybrid in January 2006. With a lot of highway driving, I got 36-37 MPG for the first 80K miles or so. And other comments are right–your mileage will drop in both cold weather and in very hot weather, when you’re running the A/C a lot.

But many Civic Owners have found that when their batteries start acting up, the dealers will do some “software updates” that seem designed to reduce the strain on the batteries by reducing the amount of help the IMA system provides to the gas engine. As a result, your mileage drops because you’re relying more on the gas engine. Performance also drops. You can read about this on edmunds.com website: http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX?14@@.f145abe/248. Look for Honda Civic Hybrid battery problems. There’s a string of over 250 postings.

But you might not want to read them unless you’ve got a box of tissues nearby, because they will depress you. I’ve owned Hondas for 26 years, and this is the first time I’ve really been disappointed with the company. At least Toyota is standing up to fix the accelerator problems forthrightly, even if that was delayed. I fear Honda doesn’t want to admit this problem.

Good luck to you!


#13

I will second the comments about the software “update”. I have a 2009, and I got a notice from Honda to get a software update. It was supposed to provide better IMA performance in cold weather.

What it did was affect my mpg, and radically change the behavior of the IMA (if I can believe the displays on the dashboard). There is chatter all over the net about this.