Hybrids are rapidly grabbing up more of the market for fuel-efficient vehicles. Since Toyota's introduction of the Prius, almost every major brand manufacturer has produced a hybrid vehicle. The benefits seem obvious: unparalleled mileage and super-low emissions. But what you may not know about these cars is that there are plausible alternatives in terms of fuel economy to be found with regular gasoline engines. For Honda, the leader of this pack is the Civic HF.
This version of the Honda Civic, for sale in New York in 2012, has a lot going for it before the economy enters into the equation. The Civic has been a best-selling compact car for decades, so to buy one of these is to enter into some good company. But what's important to note is that the 2012 HF model provides nearly the same fuel economy as the hybrid without the added price points and with somewhat more power.
Here's the comparison: The Honda Civic hybrid is know to achieve at least 45 miles per gallon in mixed driving conditions. The HF does away with the lithium-ion battery and systems of the hybrid-drive vehicle, and replaces it with a 1.8-liter gasoline engine that produces more power while retaining much of the fuel economy. The EPA estimates that the Civic HF can achieve 29 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. A recent driver study with both stop-and-go city traffic and some highway miles measured its mixed highway and city fuel consumption at 31.5 mpg.
The 2012 Civic HF uses a number of tricks to get it efficiently around the highways of Springfield. Honda designed this car with new front and rear-end shapes that decrease wind-resistance and increase fuel economy. There are also low resistance tires and special alloy wheels that help the vehicle roll smoothly along the pavement. Test-drivers have noted slightly decreased grip from the low-resistance tires, which is to be expected. The vehicle also includes an "Eco" button, common to many Hondas today, which optimizes the car's response and performance for preserving fuel.The 2012 Honda Civic HF will be available for a base price of $19,445.