Green drivers looking for a car that has green credibility should look no further than the new Honda Civic 2012. The natural gas version has been voted Green Car of the Year by a panel of motoring and environmental judges and editors from the Green Car Journal. The Civic NG took the coveted title, leaving the competition of the Ford Focus Electric, the Mitsubishi I, the VW Passat TDI and the Toyota Prius V behind it.
They’re the only natural gas powered cars that are currently manufactured in the States and the fuel is also produced domestically. Compared with gasoline costs, natural gas can save drivers 30-50% on their fuel bills. And natural gas produces about 30 per cent less CO2 than gasoline. If you own a Civic NG, you can fill up at commercial filling stations in about five minutes or you can opt to have a home filling system put in. These fill the tank slowly as the gas isn’t stored in the way as at commercial stations.
As natural gas requires more storage space than gasoline, the tank is larger, and this means that you have smaller capacity for storage in the trunk compared to other Civics. On a full tank the Civic NG has a range of 248 miles when the tank has been filled at 3,600 psi.
If the natural gas model’s limitations put you off, there are two other eco-friendly options in the 2012 Honda Civic range. The HF is a gasoline engine that offers 41mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city. That’s only four miles less on the highway than the Civic Hybrid, which can achieve 44 mpg both in town and on the highway.
All the new Civics have an ECON button on the dash, allowing the driver to instruct all car systems to function at their eco-friendly best, and all models with manual transmission have been given stop start technology, reducing the amount of emissions produced in standing traffic – and increasing their fuel economy to save money on gas, of course.