2007 Honda Civic Long-Term Road Test

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2007 Honda Civic GX: Almost Ready for Primetime

June 30, 2009

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I've been hearing about the merits of the Civic GX for a few years now from my hairstylist Sue, who drives one from Lake Arrowhead to Pasadena nearly every day she works. Under the conditions she drives, I think the GX is a great choice...here's why.

Most of Sue's 70+ miles each way is on the highway, and in most cases traffic isn't nearly as snarled as it is near our Santa Monica offices. Even if traffic was bumper-to-bumper, she could make use of the HOV lanes as a single-occupant vehicle. She has a Phill station that she plugs into every night and she has another mode of transportation for longer trips into uncharted territory.

For the rest of the populace, the Civic may end up being more of a pricey novelty. Even though the Civic GX is has a short list of creature comforts, it is still one of the highest-priced Civics ever. The trunk is tiny, eaten up by large pressurized gas cylinder. It's slow to get up to speed...any speed, and the Phill station is expensive, even after any/all tax credits are applied.

But let's also remember that the GX is an adaptation of a Civic -- a car that was not originally designed as a CNG vehicle. I'd like to see a natural gas-specific vehicle someday -- one that offers the optional features we now expect of most cars and one with a proper trunk. I'm especially fond of CNG as an alternative because the infrastructure is already in place for many people to refill at home. Given the trend that technology eventually becomes inexpensive enough for the masses, perhaps the Phill stations will begin dropping in price after its popularity and demand increase. With legislation in the works that will likely be even more favorable to alternative-fueled vehicles, maybe we could expect even more savings in the near future. Let's hope so.

Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor @ 32,665 miles

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