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North America wants 78 mpg Earth Dreams diesel Honda Civic

North American Honda fans ponder the missing diesel option from Honda’s car and light truck offerings. Asia and Europe owners report 70+ mpg from CR-V and Civic. Hey Honda, where’s my 70 mpg Civic?


It’s not that North America hasn’t seen diesel engine powered cars and light trucks offered in the not too distant past. In-fact, Chevrolet,Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen have all offered diesel fueled small cars and light trucks for decades.

Yes, diesel engine production has been sidelined more than once at the hands of CARB and EPA regulations, but with today’s direct injection, low to no sulfur diesel fuels and multiple staged catalytic converters, diesel engine based automotive technology is quickly becoming the propulsion of choice.

On the West Coast of the U.S.,diesel fuel availability and distribution has put a damper on the consumer's perceived viability of diesel powered car and light truck ownership. While the retail pump price of diesel fuel remains high, the appeal of bio-diesel fuel is gaining much needed ground in North America.

Bio- fuels can be burned in today’s high efficiency, direct injected diesel engines without mechanical modification. Honda can help North America go mainstream with bio-fueled diesel technology.

In a recent article written on the residual value of the Honda Civic, our friends in Dublin, Ireland shared with us a Honda model or two that we can’t buy in North America. Included on the list is the 2014 Honda Civic 5 door Hatch and the iconic CR-V SUV, both diesel powered.

Imagine if you will, a Honda Civic powered by the world’s cleanest burning direct injected, high compression,vegetable oil burning engine on the planet. Honda’s 1.6i DTEC Earth Dreams diesel engine is a best seller in Asia and Europe.

With Chevrolet and others offering diesel fueled light cars for 2014, we can no longer look to smog regulations for the absence of a diesel option for North American Honda buyers. While Honda engineering pats itself on the back for achieving 50 mpg with the 2014 Accord Hybrid, Japan and Europe find the equivalent of 70 + average mpg in their diesel fired Honda variants.

As a younger driving demographic embraces bio-fueled automotive tech- diversity, perhaps it's time for American Honda Motors to jump on the bio-fuel wagon with a handful of diesel powered options.

We believe that 100 mpg is achievable through the marriage of clean burning diesel and i MMD Hybrid technology. Bring it on Honda


Brad Craig (not verified)    February 19, 2016 - 8:01AM

In reply to by DrLou (not verified)

I own a 2004 Passat and a 2010 Audi A3. Both have the 2.0 clean diesel engines and get around 39mpg with average to hard driving.
I think Honda really should consider stepping onto the field with their knowledge. I believe that with the lawsuit that Volkswagen is incurring right now that Honda could really clean house in the clean diesel

Parks McCants    February 19, 2016 - 1:49PM

In reply to by Brad Craig (not verified)

Welcome Brad. I agree! As a decades long diesel pickup truck owner, with the "clean burning" diesel engine technology available to the market today, it only makes sense to expand the technology throughout North American markets. Take care.

Parks McCants    April 30, 2014 - 8:33PM

In reply to by MrT (not verified)

Good point Mr. T... .0832 x 99 imperial mpg = 82.36 U.S. average mpg.. The first number is the high end of the efficiency spectrum experienced by drivers in Asia and Europe. I believe that 70 mpg U.S. is obtainable. It's all a mater of fuel efficiency meets torque to weight ratio. Small cars, small trucks...

Adam (not verified)    April 30, 2014 - 2:56PM

+1 to that, DrLou. I would love to have a little truck that I could reasonably drive to work every day, and do some occasional yard work/light towing on the weekend. What would ruin it is if Honda falls prey to the same 'truck inflation' bug the rest of the industry seems to have contracted. How can they call a truck "mid-sized" when it's 90% as big as a full-size, and uses about as much fuel?

Andrew (not verified)    August 15, 2014 - 9:28AM

What heck is wrong with the auto market??? We're just constantly getting screwed on this. In Europe every second passenger car is a diesel. They are no more noisy than petrol vehicles, and who can honestly believe that North American environmental regulations are what is causing the disparity? It's just sickening. Why don't the car companies wake up? Also, don't get me started on stop signs.

William J Toensing (not verified)    January 30, 2015 - 6:25AM

In reply to by Andrew (not verified)

Because, in the USA, we have the best government money can buy! Just the Koch brothers. Also, since it is difficult to raise fuel taxes on a state & federal level the government really doesn't want the USA flooded with fuel efficient cars like Europe.

Parks McCants    February 5, 2015 - 11:39AM

In reply to by VAdiesel (not verified)

I truly believe it's more about supply and demand on the consumer level. If you notice driving down the roads of any state, you will find diesel fueling stations with 2 tier pricing dedicated to trucking.(P.U.C.#) The private sector demand for diesel fuel remains low. As to diesel engine options in the U.S.. The greatest opstical here has been air quality and secondary urea injection. Depending on the manufacturer's biggest market volume location, in the cae of Honda, California, C.A.R.B. regulations have a huge impact on that slightly dirtier diesel choice. It's a percentage game. For me, I like Bio-Diesel and run it in my Dodge/Cummins Diesel D2500 P.U. It's about as alternative as I need to get. Cheers!

Parks McCants    October 11, 2014 - 7:48PM

In reply to by Jeabo (not verified)

Actually in the U.S. it's a matter of demand and supply. Example: On the west coast of the U.S. there are 3 refineries controlling diesel fuel distribution. The problem is two fold. Low supply= higher fuel prices. lower demand= fewer refineries and higher fuel prices. Also in the U.S. due to road taxes included in diesel fuel retail ( non PUC) pricing, manufacturer's have moved away from the development of clean diesel engine technology and option engine choices.

Brandon Hedger (not verified)    November 28, 2014 - 1:36PM

Honda Civic I-ctdi Type-s Gt 2.2 3d

This is one that I have found this one is the new design witch the years are different over sears meaning a 2008 is not a 2008 here to us it is newer. If you are interested in Left hand drives I can get the limousine style which is comparable in the front to a 99 civic si and honda prelude mix. Very different it looks like they may had been test models in japan I am going to contact them further. As far as licencing in the state it will have to pass a state vin check and as well as emissions control.

They are a little pricy yet if there are more put in a forty foot container which believe it or not can hold 5. The cheaper I can get them. I also believe quantity matters. For an applipal quote I will have to know more specifics of course. You can get them loaded down with options or believe it or not they are so advanced in this market they have an economy version. Being the on I described with the LHD. Both of witch I believe would pass emissions. OBD i am checking into. I will let you know more specifics as I know more. Might I also add this is one beautiful car.

Vehicle Code 130518 Make



Other Options Panoramic Roof MAG Alloys Aluminium/silver exterior with a interior. Spec includes : Panoramic Roof, Half Alcantara Seats,CD, Air Con, Climate Control, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Silver Interior Trim, I Pod Connection
Colour SILVER Year 2008/6 Class Engine Capacity 2,204 cc

Electric Folding Exterior Mirrors, Arm Rest with Storage, Push Button Start, Boot Spoiler, Cruise Control, Auto Lights, Electric Windows & Remote Central Locking

Doors 3 Seats 5
Fuel DIESEL Gear Manual

William J Toensing (not verified)    January 30, 2015 - 6:15AM

Last Aug 2014, I bought a new 2014 VW Jetta TDI with the automatic manual "value edition" as I gave up waiting for the Mazda & Honda diesels in our "so-called free country". I low balled the dealer am offer of $20,000 plus tax & license. They wouldn't accept until I got into my 1997 E300 Mercedes diesel after first saying I would "think about it'. I was also considering a Prius but chose the TDI due to its better driving charicterictics & very high resale value, at least in Calif. I did test drive the Chevy Cruz diesel but it didn't drive as well and does NOT have a spare tire, only a tire inflation kit! BEWARE, the Ford Cmax hybrid also lacks a spare tire. I WILL NOT BUY ANY CAR THAT LACKS A SPARE TIRE or at least room for a spare tire!!!
In the USA, diesel used to be cheaper than gas but for the last 10 or more years if has been higher than higher than gas due at least two reasons: 1) an extra .05 cent federal tax on diesel and 2) the higher demand for diesel in Europe where at least 60% of new cars sold are diesel because many European countries tax diesel less because it is more fuel efficient and thus, helps their balance of payments. Also, remember, the price we pay for gas & diesel are world prices. The reason our prices are lower than Europe is because of lower taxes.
Also note, the reason gas & diesel prices have dropped in the past few months is, a world wide (except for the USA & maybe a few other countries) recession & the desire of the Saudi's to kill of fracking, Alberta tar sands development, Keystone pipeline, deep water drilling, & other high costs sources of oil. Once accomplished, watch oil prices rise! The Saudi's can do this because because they made lots of money when oil was selling for $2 a barrel.

Parks McCants    February 5, 2015 - 11:28AM

In reply to by William J Toensing (not verified)

Welcome William. Thanks for the thought provoking information. As you've stated, there are many factors influencing Honda regional production of vehicle type, style and price point. It's not for a lack of diesel fuel availability, The United States is the #1 exporter of refined diesel fuel in the world. We'll see where this goes a gasoline pricing begins to trend up n the late Summer.

detroit_steel (not verified)    February 11, 2015 - 4:10PM

70 mpg seems a bit far fetched. Maybe realistic at constant 50 mph in 6th gear.

In Germany, the Civic 1.6 i-DTEC gets a real world mileage around 55 mpg. In my 2WD CR-V, the same engine in moderate driving will give me 47 mpg. At top speed of 119 mph on German autobahn, it drops to 25 mpg (which is still good, compared to competitors).

detroit_steel (not verified)    February 11, 2015 - 4:56PM

70 mpg seems a bit far fetched. Maybe realistic at constant 50 mph in 6th gear.

In Germany, the Civic 1.6 i-DTEC gets a real world mileage around 55 mpg. In my 2WD CR-V, the same engine in moderate driving will give me 47 mpg. At top speed of 119 mph on German autobahn, it drops to 25 mpg (which is still good, compared to competitors).

Albert (not verified)    April 8, 2015 - 9:50AM

Sorry to hear you cannot buy the Civic Diesel in the US. I have had mine now for nearly 2 years. It is a fantastic car with a fantastic engine. The engine is very powerful because of its torque and will suck you into the seat if you accelerate with the rpms at 2000 or above. In 6th gear and in cruise control at 75 mph on the freeway (South Africa) I do not have to once change down for any sort of incline, car loaded, i.e. when my wife and I are on holiday. In city driving I obtain 54mpg and on the open road 61mpg, all the time in Eco mode. My particular car calculates consumption incorrectly between 10 - 18% but that has been reflected in my figures. Furthermore, although the car supposedly has an 11 gallon fuel tank it takes 9.3 to fill it up when the warning signal is displayed that I have no more than 5 miles of fuel left. The engine is very quiet and at cruising speed in town or the open road there is no engine noise except if you accelerate suddenly. That purr is just beautiful. At 75mph in 6th gear the rpms are just above 2000.

Dan (not verified)    May 19, 2015 - 11:29PM

I was very disappointed, because I couldnot buy a Civic diesel inUS, I think about to buy Jetta TDI but I already had a Civic 2000. It is just too old to me and I spent enough to buy a new Civic Diesel only. Because I want to try something new. No more gas.