Gasoline misser takes a close look at the 2013 Honda Civic HF
As with most applied innovations at Honda, this one was developed and tested on the race track. While we find the same body design upgrades common to all Civics as introduced to the world at the 2012 SEMA show, the HF utilizes one or two innovations that may not be as evident when viewing the car.
Honda engineering has integrated a trunk downdraft wing, solid under body panels and a dish designed low-flex aluminum mag rim with hard compound low-profile tires. While the HF upgrade to the Civic Sedan does produce an astonishing 41 mpg highway rating, you will be paying forward for the fuel savings at the time of purchase and for years to come. Here’s why…
An entry level Civic Ex-L sports a sticker price of msrp $18165.00. This car offers the same basic features of the Civic lineup and an average mpg of 28/36. Pretty impressive mileage for a car that will seat 4 adults in comfort.
Granted the standard trim Civic Ex-L will not provide the sports-kick of the Civic Si. The 140 hp 1.8 liter SOHC 1-VTEC is designed for many years of trouble free service, while falling a bit short in sports performance. However, for your money you do receive a decent 160 watt stereo system, 1-mid monitor and backup cam and Bluetooth docking capability.
Those wishing for 10-15% more mpg will pay a suggested ‘starting’ retail price of $19,765 for the HF., a $1500 premium over the Ex-L. Where you’ll keep paying for better mileage in the future is in the purchase of the special hard compound tires. Expect to spend no less than $800 per set, if you can find them. Also, you may note a bit more road noise transference and stiffer ride due to the low profile sidewall of the tire. It’s my opinion that most buyer’s can’t get past the questionable/ math = fuel savings of the Civic HF.
When I do the math it comes down to a relatively small price paid forward for reducing one’s ecological footprint. Depending on your driving style and miles driven per year, the HF can save you .30-.40 cents per gallon. For those driving 20,000 miles or more per year, the upgrade should will pay for itself in 5 years, or so. For those driving 10,000 or less miles per year the savings are negligible.
So, then it becomes a personal statement. Do I wish to lessen my ecological footprint on the planet? Or, will the 36 highway mpg offered by the Ex-L at a lower price with a smoother, quieter ride work for me?