Honda Civic Natural Gas review: Clean and cheap

The natural gas version of the Honda Civic boasts very clean emissions, but most owners will appreciate the low cost of a fill-up: less than $20.

Josh Miller/CNET

Among hybrids and the new generation of electric vehicles, one stalwart of the roads comes with emissions much reduced over an equivalent gas-engined car, and its domestically sourced fuel costs almost half that of gasoline. The natural-gas-powered 2012 Honda Civic makes a good argument for its own environmental responsibility.

The Civic Natural Gas checks off some important boxes on the pro side, but also suffers from some pretty serious cons. The low price of a fill-up is not only because of the cost of natural gas, but also from the fact the car's tanks can only hold 8 gasoline gallon equivalents. Despite the lower fuel capacity, the car's tanks affect the trunk room significantly. Although the fuel economy is about equivalent with gasoline, the lower fuel capacity also means less range.

Then there is the fact that the Civic Natural Gas takes a performance hit, losing about 30 horsepower compared with the gasoline-powered Civics. However, it is perfectly drivable, doing fine on city and suburban streets.

This Civic Natural Gas is a sound car for those who want to spend less at the pump and place a value on protecting the environment.

Read CNET's review of the 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas.

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