IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The Honda Civic lineup offers a range of trim levels to suit a variety of tastes and budgets, and all of them are practical, economical, refined, and fun to drive.
The Civic’s basic design is bit older than key class rivals, and its engines can be noisy in fast acceleration.
Honda also sells a super-performance Type R version of the Civic that has a 306-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and racetrack-focused equipment inside and out. The Civic Type R comes only as a hatchback and is priced around $38,000.
WHAT IS IT?
The Civic is Honda’s popular compact car. It was redesigned for 2016 in coupe and sedan form, and gained a 4-door hatchback body style for 2017. For 2021, the coupe body style is discontinued, and the sporty Si trim level goes on hiatus. Trim levels ascend through Honda’s traditional LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Sport Touring models, though not all are offered on both body styles. The base engine, offered only in sedans, is a 158-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. The step-up engine choice, offered both in sedans and hatchbacks, is a 174-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four (it is rated at 180 hp on the hatchback’s Sport and Sport Touring models). Standard on most models is the Honda Sensing suite of safety features, which includes lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, forward collision warning and mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.
As noted above, the Civic’s coupe body style and Si trim level are discontinued, and the Civic sedan loses its previously available manual transmission—a manual is still available in the hatchback’s Sport and Sport Touring models. Honda is in the midst of readying the next-generation Civic, which is expected to debut in the 2021 calendar year as a 2022 model. Honda says that the sporty Si trim level will return as part of the 2022 Civic lineup, but we don’t expect the coupe body style to come back.
Regardless of model, the Civic has commendable fuel economy for its respective levels of performance. The base 2.0-liter engine is EPA-rated at 30 mpg city/38 highway in base LX trim, and 29 city/37 highway in Sport trim. The turbocharged 1.5-liter engine is rated at 32 city/42 highway. The turbo 1.5’s EPA ratings in the hatchback body style or the Sport, Touring, and Sport Touring trim levels are 1-5 mpg lower across the board. In Consumer Guide® testing, a Touring sedan averaged 33.8 in 60-percent city driving, and a Sport Touring hatchback averaged 30.7 mpg in 55-percent city driving.
VALUE IN CLASS
In any of its trim levels—from penny-pinching commuter to the classier, sportier top-line models—the Civic offers excellent all-around refinement, an engaging driving personality, and laudable real-world fuel-economy numbers. Both body styles are spacious for the compact-car class, but we’re especially fond of the sporty-yet-extremely versatile hatchback.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$21,050 – $28,100|
|BODY STYLES||4-Door Sedan, 4-Door Hatchback|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||158-HP, 2.0-Liter 4-Cyl.; Turbocharged 174/180-HP, 1.5-Liter 4-cyl.|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Front-Wheel Drive|
|BUILT IN||USA, Canada, England|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||29-42 MPG|