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Why Some 2016 Honda Civic Owners Report Low MPG

2016 Honda Civic claims one of, if not the highest combined MPG in the non hybrid compact sedan class. What’s your MPG?

With a stated combined fuel efficiency of 31 to 35 miles per gallon, 2016 Honda Civic, specifically the direct fuel injected turbocharged, CVT shifted Touring, claims not only the highest power output in Civic’s history, but the highest fuel efficiency achieved in a Civic sedan since the exit of the small-body Civic hatchbacks of the mid 1990s.

Now, before a handful of my astute and well studied Honda-philes, throw my tattered body to the internet gods for omitting a later Civic offering from this analogy, I’ll kindly remind the gathering horde that model year fuel economy comparison is not the basis for the story here.

The bottom line: Some 2016 Civic owners are reporting far lower MPG

While tripping over my growing pile of junk mail Monday morning, I fell across an item of interest ; something most near and dear to most Civic owners -- and certainly a pre-purchase consideration when weighing the attributes of North America’s best selling retail sedan over Toyota and others.

There it sat on my monitor like a stinking halibut caught over the weekend and forgotten in the backseat to rot in the warming sun. Members of the online owners forum were pointing to far lower combined fuel economy, some as low as 21 mpg, while asking the community if this was normal?

Here’s this member’s answer: Your 2016 Civic's fuel economy will vary, here’s why

Weather: Cold weather, slip and slide road condition will lower your fuel economy - a lot! Your Civic is working harder, burning more fuel.

Fuel formulation: Seasonal changes in gasoline formulation at the refinery will impact your fuel efficiency

Increased tire to road friction: Studded tires, sand on the road: Hey, when your car works harder, it burns more fuel!

Rabbit Starts, hard braking: We tend to drive a bit more aggressively when first experiencing the joy of new car ownership.

Winter weather: Increased use of accessory fans, defrosters, seat heater, etc -- adding greater load strain on the engine resulting in lower MPG. The same is true for summer driving with the air conditioning blasting.

Initial engine and drivetrain break in: Dispite today’s low-friction engine and drive component technologies, it does pay to in future fuel efficiency dividend to consciously “break - in “ your new Civic.

The bottom line is this

2016 Civic owners, regardless of region, will most likely experience lower than stated MPG in the first month or two of new car ownership. Is this normal? Yes.

By allowing your 2016 Honda Civic, regardless of variant, some engine and component break-in time, after a couple of weeks, and assuming that you’re not one of our Canadian or East Coast readers driving around in sub-zero temperatures, your fuel efficiency will increase.

It’s not unusual for Torque News to receive reports from Honda owners that regularly exceed the manufacturer's published EPA, MPG -- we anticipate the same from Civic.

To our friends who have purchased 2016 Civic, give it a month or two, Spring is just around the corner.


John Goreham    February 29, 2016 - 10:08PM

I got 40 MPG in mixed suburban and highway driving testing in January cold on winter blend fuel in the 2016 Civic EX-T (1.5L turbo with CVT). That over a week.

John Goreham    March 1, 2016 - 12:39PM

In reply to by Parks McCants

My trip notes don't mention snow, so I don't think I tested it in bad weather. However, I must say that Honda's Civic has always had an advantage in snow. As a company, Honda does not overdo the wide, low profile tire thing. That helps, as does front wheel drive of course. As the former owner of a Civic SI with snow tires on just the front, I can say from experience that Civics have always been the match of their peers in snow.

J Lynn Boehm (not verified)    March 1, 2016 - 9:59AM

I live in central Ohio and have been driving a 2.0 Liter EX since mid January. With just over 1,200 miles on the car I'm averaging 35.6 MPG combined city and highway. My experience is that better fuel economy happens when I take my foot off the gas and coast a bit before braking. I don't know if it is the tires or the CVT but the car wants roll for a long time.

Denny (not verified)    March 11, 2016 - 1:58PM

My HR-V fuel mileage dropped significantly when cold weather finally hit in January. I'm talking from a 33MPG average per tank to a 25-27 MPG average per tank. Now that the weather is starting to warm a bit I'm already back up to 32MPG on the current tank.

Natarajan (not verified)    July 18, 2016 - 4:45PM

My MPG is mostly between 25 to 27. It never crossed 30 even once. I drive on very good roads. I dont know what is affecting the MPG of my EXT.

Parks McCants    July 18, 2016 - 7:31PM

In reply to by Natarajan (not verified)

Welcome Natarajan, Tells us a bit about your car. What year, do you have quality fuel in your area, where do you live, how is the weather? Your fuel efficiency should be a bit higher, unless you live in a high altitude region or carry heavy passenger or freight loads.Thanks.

Natarajan Arumugam (not verified)    July 19, 2016 - 9:53AM

In reply to by Parks McCants

I have a 2016 Honda civic EXT. The average MPG I see is 25.6 as of today. I bought this car about month and half ago and have driven close to 900 miles now. I live in Tampa, Florida and I only drive this car to work so no heavy load or altitude. I dont know why the MPG is so less for my car.

Melissa Whipple (not verified)    August 3, 2016 - 3:44PM

In reply to by Natarajan Arumugam (not verified)

I just bought mine July 1--mine is a 2016 Honda Civic Coupe Touring model. I have 600 miles on it and it hasn't gotten more than 25.4 mpg. What is up with this? I am not an aggressive driver and I live in San Diego--no bad weather. I have tried it both with the ECON button on and off--always get the green light--saying I am driving economically. I went down the dealership and they blamed it on the ECON button being on while doing city driving--but there are multiple videos and resources on line that say that is absolutely not true. I see that you did not get a response to your second question. Bummer.

Scott K (not verified)    June 22, 2017 - 11:22PM

In reply to by Melissa Whipple (not verified)

I have a 2016 Honda Civic 4-door Touring. I never got very good gas mileage from day one. However, immediately after my first recommended oil change there was a noticeable improvement in gas mileage. Maybe some Civics are being shipped with the wrong engine oil? It should be 0W-20. Where I live, it never gets really cold. I don't drive with heavy loads and I've always used the ECON button. I started out averaging 31.6 mpg combined for the first 6000 miles which included two 1000 mile road trips. I never really got above 35 mpg even on road trips of mostly highway driving. However, after the first oil change, I immediately noticed an improvement. I drove a similarly with a similar amount of road trips and got 34.1 mpg combined.

David Chai (not verified)    July 29, 2016 - 12:31PM

I have been averaging no less than 31mpg. At constant speed of 70mph, with Econ Mode switched on, travelling on the highway for 200miles, I managed 47mpg. The figures are genuine. It's by far the most fuel efficient vehicle I have driven so far, beating even the Nissan Altima I drove previously.

Melissa Whipple (not verified)    August 3, 2016 - 3:38PM

Just bought a 2016 Honda Civic Coupe Touring model on July 1.
The biggest selling point was the 31-42 gas mileage range. I have never even gotten close to that.
My gas mileage in 620 miles has NEVER averaged above 25.4. I am not happy. I returned to the dealership, and was told it was because I had the Econ button on (although I have experimented with it both on and off).
The salesman told me I should only have it on on the highway and take it off in the city--but now that I have explored the ECON button online-- I find out that is not true. I am not an aggressive driver--I have always gotten the green light on the dash.
Could it be something wrong with the system?

Martha Ramos (not verified)    August 5, 2016 - 11:10AM

On May 26, 2016, I purchased my 2016 Honda Civic Touring. I have approximately 1500 miles to date.I am yet to get more than 27mpg. I have over 2 months driving my Civic and 1500 miles. On May 25, 2016, my daughter also purchased a 2016 Honda Civic and she is also experiencing low mileage. I should have kept my 2013 Honda Civic it gave me more miles for my money. It is not the weather as I live in Sunny San Diego. It is not the green Econ button. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE VEHICLE!!!!

Jia (not verified)    August 5, 2016 - 11:34PM

I just got my Honda Civic 2016 cvt with 130 miles on it and the gas tank say only 40 more mpg is left in the tank . What is wrong with my civic ?

Parks McCants    August 6, 2016 - 10:38PM

Welcome Jia. My guess would be that your Civic didn't have a full tank of gas when you took delivery. I'd love to read your average fuel economy after a week of driving. Take care.

Parks McCants    August 8, 2016 - 11:40AM

Unless you live at extreme high elevation and climb a mountain daily, your Civic needs to be diagnosed and adjusted. But, I'm suggesting that you run a full tank of fuel through your new car just to confirm your suspensions of super low fuel efficiency. Best of luck. Please let me know how it goes.

Peter (not verified)    August 11, 2016 - 12:10PM

I've been very disappointed with the gas mileage of my 2016 civic touring. I average about 23 mpg on my commute that is full of stop signs and red lights. I have noticed the trip computer's calculated mpg drop quickly when I am stopped at a stop light for a minute. I have gotten 29 mpg driving on back-roads with no traffic or stoplights. I've also checked the accuracy of the trip computer, and it consistently reports about 1.5 mpg higher than the actual gas mileage calculated by dividing the miles driven by amount of gas used.

Tom (not verified)    August 12, 2016 - 4:56PM

The civic is a bigger car and heavy,,,,,,,, the turbo wastes more gas,,,,,,,,,,, the 2005 civic gets better mpg 36 city lol

Hugo (not verified)    September 10, 2016 - 5:26PM

This is my second fill up 2016 coupe. First fill up average 21.2 second 23.3 mpgs. Is this normal

Parks McCants    September 10, 2016 - 11:11PM

In reply to by Hugo (not verified)

Welcome Hugo. Seams a little low. Tell us about your drive route. Are you heavy on the gas peddle, do you live in an area of hills, high winds, stop and go traffic? What quality of fuel are you using. And finally, what model, trim level coupe are you driving? Thanks.

Michael Austin (not verified)    September 16, 2016 - 11:18AM

I bought a 2016 Civic EXT at the end of August. The initial tanks were getting about 28 MPG in mostly city driving. I just drove it from Boston to Baltimore and back I90 to 84, around NYC to I95, I had the econ button on and got 42.9 mpg. Coming back I turned the econ button off, came up through the Poconos ( I81, I 83, I84)which was a harder terrain and still the computer told me 41.3 mpg.
I do not think the car and computer knew really what it could do until driven long distances. Every hour I watched the mpg move from 32 to 34 to 39 and thought surely this is wrong. Amazed when it went over 40!

phil m (not verified)    September 19, 2016 - 3:12PM

I just bought a 2016 Honda Civic. It's suppose to get 35 - 40 miles per gallon. I drove over 1000 miles but I can only get 28 mile per gallon. I am so disappointed and I always use the cruise control on the freeway to try to increase my milage, but it doesn't increase it. My 2013 Civic was giving me 32 miles per gallon on average. The more i use the cruise control the higher the mileage. Anyone have any tips? I live in Valencia, california. The road is always dry. i don't go on dirt roads on my new civic, I am suppose to get 35 - 40 miles per gallon. I am shocked.

Tracy (not verified)    October 18, 2016 - 12:37AM

My 2016 Civic EXL is three weeks old and has consistently hit 42 mph. Can't wait to see what it does after the break in period. I hope it performs overall as well as my 2008 Civic EX. I had 212 miles with nothing more than maintenance when I turned it in.