Sector: CNG

Honda Civic Natural Gas - for change’s sake

When the current generation of Honda Civic debuted in the States, we could immediately hear a loud groan. Low quality and conservative styling forced the manufacturer to make some quick changes. These were applied also to the methane-powered variant of the car – the Civic Natural Gas.
2014 Honda Civic Natural Gas© HondaIn order to see the characteristic features of the methane-powered Honda, you’ll have to look at it closely, preferably from behind

But first we have to clear one thing – the North American Civic is not the same car we know from European roads. They don’t have the hatchback version known here by some as the “UFO”, and a classic sedan version is the standard one over there. It’s always been stylized rather conservatively, as that was what American buyers expected. But when the current generation debuted, even they found its appearance too conservative. It coincided with the mentioned problems with quality, and it turned out that masses did not fall for the new Civic and there were no long queues at Honda’s showrooms. The company had to act fast.

A “thorough modernization” was soon announced but it didn’t bring any big stylistic changes. A few small ones were made here and there (radiator grille and front bumper) to give the new Civic some more expression, but it’s still unmistakably the same car. Larger changes were introduced to the quality of materials used and the assembly precision – we admit there’s some substantial improvement here. With this recent set of modifications prepared for 2014 models, the Natural Gas version got an upgraded interior with new seats and better equipment. And… that’s it.

Honda did not reveal any performance figures, which leads us to the assumption that the car is still run by its 1,8 liter, 4-cylinder engine with 112 PS. The price in the States is $26640 (plus additional $790 of the so-called destination charge), which wouldn’t be that bad were it not for the fact that the hybrid version of the same model (Civic Hybrid) costs $2005 less (which makes it $24635 plus the same destination charge as above). What’s more, you don’t need a CNG station near your house to drive the petrol/electric version, nor do you need your own garage to charge the battery overnight (Honda’s hybrid compact is not one of the plug-in cars). We wish the Civic Natural Gas that it enjoys the growing popularity of CNG on the other side of the Atlantic connected with the increasing extraction of methane from unconventional sources (shale gas). Because it’s been pretty clear for some time that it won’t make a big career in Europe.


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Robert Markowski
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