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Best Used NGV Value & Reliability

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  • Best Used NGV Value & Reliability

    What dedicated NGV offers the best value and reliability? I'm in the market for a used NGV and would appreciate your insights (and warnings).

    When choosing a used CNG car or truck, what CNG specific factors should a buyer be aware of? Are there any any NGV inspection services in the So Cal area?

    How does parts availability affect serviceability since Honda is the only active player in the market?
    2000 CNG Camry
    VRA Wannabe

  • #2
    Re: Best Used NGV Value & Reliability

    When it comes to reliability, Honda is legendary. I've put 300k-400k on every one I've owned. That's what led me to work for Honda in the first place. The early years of the GX, when they were using the CVT transmission, I would avoid. American cars I avoid as a matter of the generally high cost of ownership factors overall. On most cars the CNG portion of the car isn't the most troublesome, it's things like transmissions and peripheral components... window motors, etc.

    I look at a car as a tool. I want a car that will get me from point A to point B and use as little fuel, require as little maintenance and take as little repair as possible. Since a car is an expense, as opposed to an investment, I don't want to throw any more money away than possible. What else in life do you spend tens of thousands of dollars on and ends up with a net value of zero... ex-spouses don't count.

    A Honda meets all those requirements in my book. Granted, as a tool, if you need it to tow a trailer the Honda won't work. That goes to the "best tool for the job" approach and the Honda just doesn't fit. But if you are looking for a commuter car to simply put a ton of miles on, get you in the carpool lane and last as long as you want to drive it and cost you the least amount of money to keep on the road... the Honda is by far the best choice.

    As to parts availability and getting service... you pretty well sumed it up. No one else is in the arena anymore. These guys driving the Crown Vics and Ford trucks seem to play hell trying to get problems diagnosed, or simply find parts sometimes. No such issues for the Civic GX. Just pull into any of the 34 certified CNG repair facilities in Ca and bingo... problem solved.

    As far as a new vrs used, there are plenty of used GX's around, but with all the incentives on the new one's, it may be only a marginal savings to go with a car that has a CVT tranny, not have the range, comfort, or safety factors of a new car. All too often I see people stepping over dollars to pick up dimes. Trying to save a few bucks often costs you more in the long run. That is exactly my point though, people get caught up in "Price" and what they should really be considering is long term "Cost".

    You may think my view slanted because I work for Honda, but there is a reason I chose Honda in the first place. I was a mechanic many years before I started in this end of the business. I wanted to work for the company with the best product, quality, reliability and reputation.


    • #3
      Re: Best Used NGV Value & Reliability


      Depending on where you are, there is an alternative fuel shop in Huntington beach that does repairs and service. I had him check out my Crown Vic when I bought it. I have also used the Ford Dealerships in Alhambra and Tustin/Orange (55&91) for service.

      The fun part in finding a used CNG vehicle is actually finding one. The GSA auction in Norwalk usually has a few, but if you want a carpool sticker, be sure and check the list posted on DMVs site. I am looking for a pickup, and the 2000s no longer qualify!


      • #4
        Re: Best Used NGV Value & Reliability

        Do you have the alternative fuel shop in Huntington beach name, address and phone number?


        • #5
          Re: Best Used NGV Value & Reliability

          You are referring to AFT (Alt Fuels Tech) at 17092 Gothard St, 714-842-3017


          • #6
            Re: Best Used NGV Value & Reliability

            Curtis, you are a great advocate for Honda, and I am a big fan as well. But I live in Austin, Texas and none of the dealers here carry the GX - yet. Any sense for Honda's plans to roll the GX out on a broader basis?

            CNG costs $1.30 per gallon equivalent here (called the utility and worked through the math last week), which is still far less than gasoline or diesel. No carpool lanes in Austin, but the notion of fueling at home for my relatively short commute and operating at half the fuel cost is appealing.


            • #7
              Re: Best Used NGV Value & Reliability

              You can buy the car from any dealer which sells the car, looks like the CA is as close as you get. It is up to you to get it to your location.

              Good Luck!