Honda makes great cars. The Honda Civic, Accord and CR-V are annually among the top-10 best selling vehicles in the United States. But even Honda admits failure sometimes.
Which is why at the end of the 2015 model year, three Honda models will be discontinued. Gone will be the Civic Hybrid, the Accord Plug-In Hybrid and the natural-gas powered Civic GX.
Honda has plans for a new plug-in hybrid and battery electric models. But in the meantime, here’s a look at the three departing Honda models:
It’s a Natural Honda Gas
The innovative Civic GX was arguably the least appreciated car in the United States.
About four years ago, Honda made a concerted effort to market its natural gas vehicle. It was offered nationwide for the first time 13 years after it debuted in five states in fleet sales only.
The then-called Civic CNG ran on compressed natural gas. It’s cheaper and cleaner than any other internal combustion engine. The Civic CNG was named “Greenest Vehicle of the Year” many times by the American Council For Energy Efficient Economy for a decade.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named the GX the “cleanest” car in the world in 2001.
But the public never bought into the idea of a natural gas car, despite its far lower cost. Natural gas refueling stations still aren’t plentiful. And the public at-large didn’t want to be inconvenienced.
The Civic Hybrid, like the originally Accord Hybrid, was also unheralded and a poor seller. The gas mileage averages between the gas-powered Civic and its hybrid sibling weren’t much different and the hybrid underperformed.
Honda re-introduced the Accord Hybrid in 2014 after a several year absence. And if it didn’t sell well, then certainly even less was achieved with the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid.