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I am a somewhat new 2005 HCH CVT owner (have had the car 1 month this last Saturday). I have to say I do like my HCH, but comparing it to two other cars I have had. (This is also my first Honda, but not my first Japanese car.)
1. Volkswagen Rabit Diesel: This one would definitely give you 50MPG, but try to get the car to go faster than 70mph with the air on (I am in Miami) on a flat road was impossible. Top speed with the air off was about 75mph as best as I can remeber. Much louder than the HCH and a lot of vibration at idle compared to the HCH. HCH is much roomier and has better appointments. Manual tranny with 5 speeds.
2. 97 Vette: What can I say, I have always wanted one and when I could afford it got it. Very comfortable car for two people, plenty of room in the rear and 0-60 in 4 seconds (vs 12 secs in the HCH). The car for what it is, is really very fuel efficient (20 to 22 in the city, 30 hwy at 85.) Vette was a 6 speed. Top speed was 170+ (I was only able to get it to 155Mph one time and was amazed at how smooth the car was.) I have had the HCH to 85 and am amazed at how smooth the car is, but that is not my normal cruising speed in the HCH.
Do I regret trading in the Vette for the HCH, no, economics forced me to do it (I have my own computer repair business and do a lot of driving). Do I miss my vette, yes, I have to admit that. Do I miss my Volkswagen, no, and I will never buy another Volkswagen again.
Bottom line, so far I really like my HCH, I like the fact that I'm saving about 60% in my fuel bills, and now since I have a metal car, I can get signs for it!!!
BTW, I have a tad over 2k miles already on it in one month.
I'm all about "purpose built vehicles" rather than one vehicle that tries to do everything, so its too bad that you had to trade in the vette for the civic, cuz now you don't have a sports car for the weekends.
You simply can't compare a vette to the HCH . . . the Rabbit, sure, but since its a "Rabbit" and not a "Golf", that really dates it (1982 perhaps?) and that isn't fair either! The new TDI VW's are pretty slick.
I'd suggest that if you still want to go fast, pick up a used bike.
Believe it or not the 99 and 02 Vettes I have driven were actually gas misers. I drove two of them, an auto and a 6 speed, for 189 and about 250 miles on mostly interstate for a dealer. Both of them got over 29 miles per gallon! The engine practically idled at 70MPH+. And when you wanted to pass, it was done before you could think of it! My son told me that a mechanic had a late model one that got 21 or so MPG back and forth to work. I wanted one, but my wife would not buy the gas miser thing, but I finally talked her into letting me get my 05 HCH.
No one would believe me either when I told them that my old 1989 Camaro convertible would get about 28mpg (5.0 Liter V8) on the highway. Yes, I tweaked the timing a little, but before that 25-26 was the norm.
They say you should own a convertible once in your life. I did for 3 years, and probably won't again. Too hard to keep the inside clean and you always have to lock everything up or take it with you.
I compare my HCH to my Vette all the time. It is a natural comparison if you have/had both. Clearly it is not fair to compare power but in some ways the Vette has more advanced MPG features. Vettes get fantastic mileage and have a wonderful display that shows current MPGs down to the tenths of a MPG.
Our other vehicle, a Grand Caravan:
No need to mention the size difference and economy but...
1.Accelleration in WOT seems to be about the same.
2.Most Fit & trim is superior in the GC.
3.GC interior is better with better materials.
4.HCH runs alot smoother. Not sure if it's because of it's hydraulic compensating engine mounts or what.
5.GC is a little quieter and smoother ride (Guess this comes with size/weight)
6.Hands down HCH is more fun to drive and I look forward to the next trip as long as it's under 50-75 miles.
7.GC beats the HCH in longer distance trips for its size. (TV/N64 for the kids etc)
Wangofree has a good point.
Since I'm also taking my car for the long distance and time I got one.
Peace of mind if nothing else.
Thanks for the nice thread mavidal!
Efficient drivers do it better. 1003 miles a tank personal record. 74MPG calculated. HCH1 CVT