2009 Honda Civic GX, carpool laneEnlarge Photo
Honda’s natural-gas-powered Civic GX is only offered to the general car-buying public in two states—California and New York. But today the automaker announced a third state where it’s available: Utah.
Why Utah? According to Honda, the Great Salt Lake state leads the nation in per capita natural gas refueling infrastructure and has the lowest natural gas prices in the country. Current average prices are just 99 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent. The 2009 Civic GX costs $25,090, but buyers might qualify for a double money-saver in the form of a $4,000 federal tax credit plus a $3,000 Utah tax credit.
Still, not all dealerships in California and New York sell the Civic GX; Honda says that 42 California dealerships and just nine New York state stores have added retail sales of the GX. Plenty more—129 dealerships in 32 states—sell it as a fleet only vehicle though.
TheCarConnection.com has driven a Honda Civic GX in previous model years. The GX has a range of about 170 miles and takes just a few minutes to refill at a compressed natural-gas station. Honda partner company FuelMaker offered the Phill home refueling system previously, but the firm went bankrupt earlier this spring and the system was taken over by Fuel Systems Solutions.
2009 Honda Civic GXEnlarge Photo
On a gasoline-equivalent basis, the 2009 Honda Civic GX achieves 24 mpg city, 36 highway, and it is classified as an Inherently Low Emission Vehicle (ILEV)—a designation only awarded to a few clean fuels, like natural gas.
There are just eight dealerships in Utah and two of them are already selling the Civic GX, so it’s unlikely that the move will have much effect on the GX’s relatively low retail numbers compared with the rest of the Civic lineup.