Hell, my brother’s old gasoline-only Civic got better than 30 MPG.
One of my buddies has a VW TDI Jetta sedan that gets 52mpg.
My Civic hatchback with manual transmission routinely got over 35 mpg. BTW, anyone here own a Honda CRZ hybrid?
Not at all surprising. A hybrid car in non-hybrid mode gets very bad MPG because:
a: extra weight from batteries
b: the (gasoline) engine in a hybrid is typically smaller and less powerful than the engine in a non-hybrid car which means it will have to work a lot harder when the electric-motor is not helping, causing it to consume a lot more gas than a more powerful engine would.
Especially the second point is easily demonstrated by driving aggressively, on a track for instance. A hybrid will get worse MPG than a sports-car because it's just not optimized for it. Top-gear did a funny segment on this when they pitted a Prius against a BMW M3 on a track and the M3 got lower fuel-consumption.
A lot of people don't realize this however. A hybrid does not magically get you better MPG, it just enables a different driving style that, when executed properly, will improve mileage.
The very first Honda civics imported to America got FIFTY MPG! I bought a 1980 Pontiac Phoenix with 2.5 liter four cylinder and a four speed manual transmission with overdrive and it would do 34 MPG on the interstate running seventy miles an hour with four passengers and a trunk full of luggage, it wasn’t a dragster but it had all the power I ever wanted. In fact when I first got it I had a hard time shifting into second without making the tires chirp. I don’t understand why we can’t have higher gas mileage today. Ford had an F-150 pickup with a 300 cubic inch six and manual trans with overdrive that was EPA rated at 29! The old Volkswagen Rabbit diesel was a fifty MPG vehicle back in the seventies.