Honda unveiled two new vehicles at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show: The first was an all-electric version of its Fit subcompact; a commuter car that will run up to 123 highway miles on a single charge. The Fit EV will be available for lease beginning next summer.

Honda’s second debut was the redesigned 2012 CR-V, which goes on sale nationwide December 15. The fourth generation of the crossover SUV has been redesigned for efficiency and style. It offers more horsepower, better gas mileage, improved interior space, and upgraded standard features: Bluetooth HandsFreeLink® phone interface, multi-information display (i-MID®), multi-angle rearview camera, and an SMS text messaging system that will play received messages over the vehicle’s audio system (which is also equipped to connect to Pandora Internet radio through a driver’s compatible Apple® iPhone®).

Honda was also honored when its Civic Natural Gas received the Show’s coveted Green Car of the Year award. This alternate fuel vehicle, formerly known as the Civic GX, went on sale October 18 in California, New York, Utah, and Oklahoma – but the automaker is expanding its sales to 32 other states, as interest in using alternative fuels like compressed natural gas (CNG) has risen. There are currently 87 CNG public and private fuel stations in Southern California; this number will increase with demand.

The EPA has certified the Civic Natural Gas as the cleanest internal combustion vehicle on the market today. It produces nearly zero emissions and qualifies for the state-issued decals that allow single drivers to use California’s carpool lanes. Manufacturers’ suggested retail price is $26,155.

Another choice for the environmentally conscious car shopper is the Honda Civic Hybrid, which EPA has rated at 44 miles per gallon in both city and highway driving. The 2012 Civic Hybrid is equipped with an upgraded Integrated Motor Assist (IMA®) system with a lithium-ion battery. The Civic Hybrid also comes with standard Bluetooth HandsFreeLink®, and Intelligent Multi-Informational Display (i-MID®).

Donna Schwartz Mills loves her cars. Of course! She’s SoCal Mom!


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