Deciding to purchase an alternative fuel vehicle is a responsible choice, but how do you know which is the best hybrid car in the U.S.?
Many manufacturers have invested dollars in electric cars, with eco-unfriendly batteries. Others have invested in flex fuel options, such as diesel engines running on cooking oil.
But the best hybrid car is the the Honda Civic Natural Gas, which runs on compressed natural gas also known as CNG.
Natural gas burns cleaner and hotter than gasoline, which means less emissions. Because natural gas is domestically abundant in the U.S., our reliance on foreign oil is diminished.
Honda Natural Gas Car
In production since 1998, the Honda CNG is a clean alternative fuel vehicle. It is the only compressed natural gas vehicle in the U.S. available to consumers.
Chrysler and GM will be in the market, though, in the near future with natural gas trucks; also, conversion kits are available.
The Honda Civic GX is similar to its gasoline counterpart, with a few differences.
The most noticeable change with this hybrid car is the natural gas fuel cell in the trunk, which reduces cargo volume.
The gasoline Civic sedan has 12.5 cubic feet of cargo space, but the Civic CNG has only 6.1 cubic feet.
Also from a numbers standpoint, the compressed natural gas engine produces less horsepower and torque than the standard gasoline motor in the Civic.
The CNG engine cranks out 110 horsepower at 6500 RPM and 106 foot pounds of torque at 4300 RPM versus the gasoline counterpart that produces 140 horsepower at 6500 RPM and 128 foot pounds of torque at 4300 RPM.
Despite the 30 horsepower difference, the Honda CNG makes up for it with the price of natural gas, which is $1 to $2 cheaper per gasoline gallon equivalent.
This is a significant advantage of natural gas cars over their lifespan.
Honda Civic GX range
The range of the Honda CNG is about 250 miles. This natural gas vehicle holds 8.03 gasoline gallon equivalent and gets 31 mpg.
The Civic hybrid's range should be adequate for commuters. Road warriors, though, will need to make sure CNG stations are on their route.
CNG stations to fill up your Honda
Public CNG filling stations dot the United States, with about 1,000 of them. Only about 500, though, are open to the public.
These pumps are similar to standard gasoline pumps. The difference is that CNG pumps have a female end and gasoline pumps have a male end.
But a CNG home filling station is available. Because it uses your home's existing natural gas piping to refuel your vehicle, it is an overnight process.
Best hybrid car: Honda CNG
Although you may not know much about alternative fuel vehicles, you will soon see these clean energy machines soon replace the gasoline chugging motors of today.
As an early adapter, you will be ahead of the general public by driving a compressed natural gas car. Also as an early adopter, Honda has had the time needed to develop its Civic GX, which is the best hybrid car.