Poor Mileage on 2004 Civic

I bought a Civic EX last summer, but drive only 300 to 400 miles per month. I currently have only 3600 miles on it. The vast majority of my driving is
city driving, and the city is San Francisco, which means lots of hills. Even so, my gas mileage (on those rare occasions when I fill the tank) is only about 20-22 mpg. That seems low to me, even for San Francisco driving.
Also, this is the first car I've had in over 30 years with automatic transmission (what does one do with the left foot?). Unlike rental cars I've driven with automatic transmissions, the car more or less automatically goes into D3 rather than D when I shift from park or reverse. Is this normal? The dealer says it is, but maybe this is causing the poor gas mileage.
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I think the economy is the best you can hope for under those conditions. Lump together the city driving, short trips (sort of comes with city driving, but is a burden of its own) and the hills, and any non-hybrid vehicle would be hard pressed to do better.
Mike
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Sounds like the use I put my '90 LX 5 speed manual Civic to. I get about 23 mpg. Lots of short trips, hills and California gas mean poor mileage. But it's still a lot better than my Yukon would get if I put it to the same use!
Take it on a trip to Tahoe or Yosemite or someplace. If it gets 30+ mpg, it's OK.
WW
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don't feel bad. I have an '04 LX and drive just as little as you, and about 90 percent short trips, stop-and-go of the worst variety. 21 or 22 (with the occasional "burst" of 23) is my mileage as well.
check your tire pressure, for one thing. I believe you can go above the recommended 30 on the bridgestone potenzas (presumably that's what you have). I went to 32, have been mulling going to 35.
one thing I have noticed, and I am sure that you have too, is that this auto tranny really, really likes to downshift, especially in four-speed mode. I have learned to "baby" it just a bit, pressing the gas just slightly less so it doesn't do that so much.
at any rate, I am at about 4,800 miles now and I *seem* to be getting better mileage on this tank. whether it's truly breaking in or I'm getting a little better at "babying" it, I dunno. It's also on a tank of shell, which I don't think I've ever used in this car. who knows? I'll know more after this tank and the next.

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month.
is
driving.
automatically
First of all, the engine is not fully broken in. Mileage should improve as it does. Get the car on the a long road trip and I think that you will see a significant change in the gas mileage. I just finished a 3500 mile RT spending most of the time going between 70-80 mph.. About 250 miles of the total was city driving. Gas mileage on the trip up & down averaged 27-29 mpg vs 23 mpg for the city. I have a 2000 Accord Ex (6 Cyl) D3 vs D is normal, D is a downshift. MLD

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