• May 18, 2006

If you use natural gas in your home, Honda may have a good solution for your daily commute. American Honda Motor announced Wednesday that the redesigned 2006 Civic GX will sticker at $24,440. Although the price isn't particularly low, the federal government sweetens the pot with an alternative fuel tax credit of $4,000, and an additional $1,000 for "Phill," Honda's natural gas home refueling station.

The CNG-fuelled GX boasts an EPA city/highway fuel economy rating of 28/39 miles per gasoline-gallon equivalent, but Honda estimates that if buyers refuel their GX from a home natural gas line using "Phill," the car's fuel will be a whopping 65 percent cheaper than gasoline.

On the green side of the ledger, the Civic GX has been proclaimed the "cleanest internal combustion engine on earth" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

While performance isn't really the objective, the 2006 GX's 113 hp (a 10 percent increase over its predecessor) should get owners around town without difficulty.

[Source: American Honda]



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  • 17 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      G. Snyder - sorry, I live in the Bay Area in California and happen to have a 40,000 mile annual commute. I guess I am the exception to the rule annually though...

      I guess 20,000 miles is more realistic around the country. That means a payoff in about 4 years.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If the numbers are right, this alternative fuel vehicle might actually make economic sense.

      A 2006 base Civic sedan costs about $15,000 and gets 30/38. The natural gas Civic costs about $20,000 (after rebate) and gets 28/39 (equivalent, not sure how they calculate that).

      The cost difference is $5,000. They say natural gas will cost the driver 65% of what gasoline costs (depending on where you live).

      Say a commuter drives 40,000 miles a year. For the normal gasoline sedan that comes to $3,473 (at $3.30/gallon and 38 mpg). If natural gas is really 65% cheaper then it will cost about $1.15/gallon equivalent. That means a natural gas commuter going 40,000 miles will spend $1,179 (at 39 mpg). That's a savings of $2,294. So, it will take a little over two years to pay it off.

      Factors that could skew the numbers:
      - Is the GX a high-end or low end sedan? If it's high-end then it is more appropriate to compare it with the EX which is $18,000 and that would mean the GX would pay itself off after one year.
      - Factoring in the rebate, what does PHILL cost the user? I seem to remember it being pricey. That will drastically affect the return on investment.
      - Factor in the regional cost of natural gas for the user.
      • 8 Years Ago
      There is a CNG gas station open to the public at San Jose airport.
      In May, 2006 CNG was $1.81 per gallon
      Gasoline is over $3.00 / gallon in California
      • 8 Years Ago
      For those of us in the rural northeast, the cost of propane will drive the cost high enough that I doubt that this would be a reasonable prospect.
      One would need a far less volatile market for propane, as opposed to city natural gas for this option to work.
      As already mentioned, both this Civic and the hybrid suffer from smallish trunks.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not even traction control and ABS & throttle by wire is standard.

      Screw Honda.
      • 8 Years Ago
      never mind the savings/cost effectiveness- what happens when one stored in a garage springs a leak and the car is started or worse yet- the garage is heated? michigan road salt eats cars and lines up in a hurry.
      • 8 Years Ago
      *COUGH* RIPOFFFFFFFF! *COUGH*
      • 8 Years Ago
      This isn't directly related to the natural gas version of the Civic but it is Civic related. I would like to know why Honda sells a Civic in Europe with electronic stability control (they call it VSA) but the Civic sold in the US does not have that option. Call me cynical but it appears to me that Honda USA is deliberately decontenting saftey features in the US Civic because they know that Americans will open their wallets and buy more expense cars to get these features. I think this is totally reprehensible on the part of Honda USA. I want a small sedan or hatchback with stability control and it really irritates me that the only company offering this is Volkwagen (Golf). Booo and hiss to the Japanese manufacturers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Say a commuter drives 40,000 miles a year."


      Holy cow - are you serious? That is a lot of driving. A hybrid will more than break even if that is how much driving you do.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hope you don't need alot of trunk space. I saw it at the NY Auto Show and the trunks about half the size of the gas model's.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm STILL waiting to see a offset crash test!!!

      m
      • 8 Years Ago
      I bought a used Civic GX in ebay for $6500 plus delivery $750. It has less than 20k on it and it runs just like a normal Civic sedan except less trunk space (not really care) and shorter driving miles between fill up (about 200 miles). However, it saves me a lot of money for gas. In Northern California, PG&E charged $1.45 per gallon (equalivent to Gasoline gallon) compare to $3.45 gasoline per gallon, and it saves me $2 per gallon. My wife communte 60 miles per way (120 miles both way) 3 times a week. My average mpg is 36 with AC on and 39 without AC. Plus she can drive on a carpool lane by herself which a lot of time.
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