Honda has been known to inflate their MPG numbers to unrealistic heights. The DoE and EPA tried to crack down on this with the new 2008 estimates, but in essence they ended up penalizing everyone for the misdeeds of a few.
Has been known to do that by whom?? You are alleging fraud. What's your source? Honda and other companies can do things like setting transmission ratios to maximize mileage at the EPA's test speed, but the test itself is very scientific and repeatable. The reason the EPA changed their method was because it no longer reflected realistic speeds and common conditions (A/C on, for example or hybrid vehicle differences)... not because they "cracking down" on Honda (who was using the EPA's method in the first place, by the way). But they didn't respond by simply reducing every vehicle's estimate by a fixed amount... that WOULD have been unfair. Their procedure is much more complex.
FYI: On the EPA site, owners can also enter their real-world figures which are then averaged. If you visit their site, there is much more info on their methods and so forth. Please check it out. If you have a credible source for your comment about Honda's mileage inflation, could you present it? I'm not interested in the site if its based on speculation or purely anecdotal commentary. But if you're right, this should be in the courts and the news so there should be a plethora of good sources.
P.S. I've heard this before, but it was by a Nissan dealer who was claiming this about both Toyota and Honda (go figure, huh?). You don't happen to sell Nissans do you? :)
I had a 2004 Civic EX manual. It got 40+ mpg at 55MPH. At 70mph it would usually drop to between 32-36mpg depending on wind (ND). It got 32mpg in the city pretty consistently. We lived in town, but did quite a bit of freeway and highway driving. Most tanks averaged near 35mpg. The worst we ever saw was 26 mpg on trip where there was a strong headwind, cold, and 70mph driving.
I drove with a heavy foot in town. Not so much on the highway.
I traded it in Nov 07.
From my experience, I'd say something isn't right with your car. I hope it gets straightened out. Mine was a fun, reliable car. Good luck!
It's not just fuel mileage. Most Japanese car makers also use horsepower ratings systems that also grossly over rate the engines horsepower compared to domestics. A Camry rated at 270 horsepower is about equal to a Ford rated at 220.
Car and Driver magazine did a story a few years back about overinflation of hp ratings. A new certification (the name of which I cannot remember) ensured that hp ratings were not overinflated by randomly selecting a vehicle and testing it. I remember that Toyota, BMW, and Honda were among those who were certified.
By the way, I have a 2.0 liter 2005 Civic Si. The gearing is short, and I drive it hard. I still get 28-31 mpg. The OLD EPA rating was 26 city / 31 highway. My other current car is a 1995 Civic VX, with which I frequently get 55+ mpg, with a high of 66 mpg (the old EPA estimate was 47/56.
Change your Oxygen sensor and check the alignment. If the car has too much toe-in or toe-out, it can make a big difference. Check the air filter. Make sure you are using the highest gear (drive in D (4) (for a 4-speed auto) or 5th gear whenever possible.
"A Camry rated at 270 horsepower is about equal to a Ford rated at 220."
Again, where's the proof? They WERE caught doing something like that in the early 2000s, but the amounts were found to typically be 5-10hp inflation... not 50hp. For example, a 2001 Toyota Tundra was rated at 245hp. A few years later they were rated at 240hp because they were caught inflating the number by 5.
I agree that ANY hp inflation is wrong... in the same way that claiming Toyota overestimated by 50 is. Both are unfounded hyperbole.
One Honda was enough to send us running back to Ford (and Dodge and GM). We currently own 2 GM vehicles. One is 9 years old and one is 6. NEITHER has ever had a single mechanical problem. Our Honda didn't even LAST 9 years!!
"Our Honda didn't even LAST 9 years!!"
That's hilarious because my first car was a 1981 Honda Accord hatchback. I BOUGHT it when it was 9 years old and kept it for 4 years. It was mechanically sound although it needed a new clutch. There was a lot of underbody rust (common on early Accords). I can't remember the mileage at purchase. At sale it was somewhere around 200,000 miles, though.
I've since owned 4 more Hondas. Except for a used one that had been beat, all have been good solid performers. My experience doesn't preclude someone else having a bad one, but I think my experience added to all of the other evidence out there adds up to something meaningful. Buying 1 Honda and having it fail is the anomaly. Good luck with your GMs. They're probably good vehicles too.
I think our experience WAS an anomaly, as most people DO seem to have better luck with their Hondas. However what REALLY made me question Honda's quality was some of the VERY flimsy construction and very under-engineered items on the car. I'm a mechanic and do my own repairs and servicing on all my vehicles. The brakes on my Civic were TINY. The brake pads were actually smaller than the ones on my 1100cc Motorcycle and about HALF the size of those on our 4-cylinder Fox Mustang!! They wore out twice as fast too, as might be expected. There were also numerous poorly fitted parts and very flimsy parts. The plastic clip holding the cable to the hood opener mechanism just snapped off, forcing me to have to crawl under the car and open it manually from underneath. There were similar issues throughout the car.
Our "mileage champs" have come from ALL THREE of the "Big Three". We got 325,000+ miles out of our Ford with less than $400 in repairs, 277,000+ miles out of a Buick LeSabre with ZERO problems other than brake replacements, and 240,000+ miles out of a Dodge with only two brake jobs, two timing belts and one hose. These are the cars we kept the longest, but not one of our domestics has EVER had any major problems before 140,000 miles, and not a one has ever had a transmission or engine replaced. That's why we currently drive Ford and GM. In addition to our older GM vehicles we also have a 2007 Mustang and a 2006 Fusion. Both are flawless. The build quality of the Fusion is absolutely outstanding.
I own a 2005 Honda Civic LX coupe. The car is solid and reliable. I average 32-36 MPG city, and I drive "aggressively". My car is also equipped with lowering springs and heavier (thank stock) 17 inch wheels. When the car was stock my MPG was about 3-5 better around town. On the highway I still get over 40 MPG. I perform my own maintenance, but I am far from a mechanic. The car runs perfect after 40K miles, and stands up to the abuse I give it.
Seems to me there is a lot of Honda bashing going on here. I owned a 1999 Pontiac Trans Am that I drove viciously (learned how to drive manual trans on it, and I raced it regularly) and it was running strong at 90K miles. It was an excellent car. A friend of mine had the exact same year and model and it was constantly in the shop. GM makes a good product, as does Ford and Dodge. But like anything else, there are anomalies and lemons.
Don't make generalizations about Honda because you got one bad car and the dealership you go to for service didn't take care of you. Find a better dealership and get your problem resolved.