One reason hybrid and other alternatively powered vehicles haven’t made a substantial impact among among the general car-buying public is the increased efficiency of gas-powered vehicles. The 2016 Honda Civic, my test vehicle during the Tour of Utah, is among about a dozen 2016 non-hybrid cars available in the United States rated at more than 40 mpg in freeway driving.
While driving the Honda Civic Touring model, I left Sacramento on July 30th for Cedar City, Utah. When I refueled for the third time on day 6 of the trip, just out outside of Park City, I’d covered 1,100 miles, most open-road freeway miles with posted speed limits of up to 80 mph.
The Honda Civic (Touring model) is rated at 31 mpg in city driving, 42 mpg in highway driving and 35 mpg combined. For two days, I left the Tour of Utah to attend the Outdoor Retailers show in Salt Lake City. The route was along Interstate 80 and primarily on technical mountain roads, with steep ascents and descents for about 30 miles and then a few downtown metropolitan city streets.
Temperatures continued to reach into the low 90s for the first five days on the race, but it was slightly cooler for the two days in Salt Lake City. I rarely drove without the air conditioner on. The Honda Civic (Touring model) is equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 174 horsepower. It’s rated in the standard 0-60 mph test in 6.7 seconds, the quickest vehicle in its segment.
Salt Lake City has an elevation of 4,300 feet and the road to Park City, once leaving the downtown area, is a series of steady climbs to the small 2002 Winter Olympic venue that rests at 7,000 feet. The Honda Civic handled all but a few steep, brief inclines without issue. On those occasions, I had to heavily accelerate to maintain my speed among the aggressive car and 18-wheel truck drivers.
Here are my gas mileage statistics to date:
7/30, Austin Chevron, Austin, Nev., 9.322 gallons, $2.79 per gallon, total $25.53. MPG, 37.6.
8/2, Smith’s, Cedar City, Utah, 9.051 gallons, $2.34 per gallon, total $21.26. MPG, 38.7.
8/4, Summit Sinclair, Summit Park, Utah, 10.915 gallons, $2.52 per gallon, total $27.60, MPG, 40.0.