VIDEO: 2013 Honda Civic CNG, Clean But Gut-less

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2013 Honda Civic CNG

It looks like a Honda Civic. It drives like a Honda Civic. It is all things Civic, except for what’s under the hood and inside the trunk.

This is the Civic CNG. A car that runs on compressed natural gas.

Honda performed a few tweaks to the 1.8 liter four cylinder engine like special fuel injectors, and beefier connecting rods, plus a stiffer rear suspension for the weight of the tank.

With the mod’s, you lose 30 horsepower. Zero to 60 with the CNG engine takes close to 11 seconds. It’s slow and it feels like it, especially when you are going up hill, or trying to merge onto the freeway.

And where do you fill up? Well right now the infrastructure is limited. There is a handy app on the navigation screen to help you find a fill station.  There are just 400 CNG stations around the country. Some states don’t have them yet. If you live in California you are better equipped than the rest of us. With a range of somewhere around 300 miles, you do get a wave of range anxiety when the compressed gas gauge gets below half.

There is another problem. The tank that holds he compressed natural gas cuts trunk space in half. Not cool.

72662429 VIDEO: 2013 Honda Civic CNG, Clean But Gut less

(Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

I commend Honda for offering a car that drives well, burns cleaner cheaper fuel and delivers a respectable 27-MPG city, 38-MPG highway. The lack of trunk space, range worries and a gutless engine will probably add up to too many compromises for the average car buyer. The Honda Civic CNG is a work in progress.

Specs

Engineering

Natural Gas

Engine Type In-Line 4-Cylinder

Engine Block/Cylinder Head Aluminum-Alloy

Displacement (cc) 1798

Horsepower @ rpm (SAE net) 110 @ 6500

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm) 106 @ 4300

Redline (rpm) 6700

Bore and Stroke (mm) 81 x 87.3

Compression Ratio 12.7 : 1

Valve Train 16-Valve SOHC i-VTEC®

Multi-Point Natural-Gas Fuel Injection Standard

Drive-by-Wire™ Throttle System

Standard

Front-Wheel Drive Standard

Eco Assist™ System[1] Standard

CARB Emissions Rating AT-PZEV[2]

Direct Ignition System with Immobilizer Standard

Battery 12V-45Ah (20Hr)

Alternator 12V-95Ah

100K +/- Miles No Scheduled Tune-Ups* Standard

Transmission

Natural Gas

Compact 5-Speed Automatic Transmission Standard

Gear Ratios: 1st: 2.666, 2nd: 1.534, 3rd: 1.022, 4th: 0.721, 5th: 0.525, Reverse: 1.957, Final Drive: 4.44 Standard

Body/Suspension/Chassis

Natural Gas

Unit-Body Construction Standard

MacPherson Strut Front Suspension Standard

Multi-Link Rear Suspension Standard

Stabilizer Bars (mm., front/rear) 18.0 / 13.0

Motion-Adaptive Electric Power-Assisted Rack-and-Pinion Steering (EPS) Standard

Steering Wheel Turns, Lock-to-Lock 3.11

Steering Ratio 16.08

Turning Diameter, Curb-to-Curb (ft.) 34.8

Power-Assisted Ventilated Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes (in., front/rear) 11.1 / 8.7

Wheels 15″ Lightweight Alloys

All-Season Tires P195 / 65 R15 89H

Compact Spare Tire T135 / 80 D15 99M

EPA Mileage Ratings

Natural Gas

5-Speed Automatic Transmission (City/Highway/Combined) 27 city / 38 hwy/ 31 combined

Fuel (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent; GGE) 8.03 @ 3600 psi

Required Fuel

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