Compact car; Built in Canada, USA, Japan
  • 2-door coupe
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $6,700 – $19,300*


2006 Honda Civic


2006 Honda Civic


2006 Honda Civic


2006 Honda Civic

Pros:
  • Control layout/materials
  • Fuel economy
  • Quietness (sedan)
  • Steering/handling (Si)
Cons:
  • Acceleration (hybrid)
  • Cargo room
  • Noise
  • Rear-seat comfort (coupe)

Dynamically, Civic matches the class-leading Volkswagen Jetta and Mazda 3. That’s high praise, even if the Honda isn’t quite as substantial feeling as the Jetta; or, except for the Si, quite as athletic as the Mazda. Civics are more comfortable than most rivals, despite being only as big inside as they absolutely need to be. With its two-tiered instrument layout and some futuristic shapes, the interior is innovative–even entertaining–without sacrificing functionality. What no competitor matches is the particular fusion of reliability, engineering, style, and value that Honda brings to this market segment. Civic continues as a compact-car Best Buy. DX models depreciate the fastest, and could be sensible used-car choices. Other Civics tend to be expensive secondhand.

Overview

America’s best-selling compact car was redesigned for 2006 with new styling, new safety equipment, and more power. Civic returned in four-door sedan and two-door coupe body styles, plus a gasoline/electric Hybrid model. A sporty Si coupe replaced an Si hatchback. The Hybrid came only as a sedan.

Compared to the 2001-2005 generation, the front-wheel-drive sedan was larger outside, but smaller in some dimensions inside. Coupes were slightly smaller, inside and out.

Head-protecting curtain side airbags were new to Civic, and standard on all 2006 models. Antilock braking also was newly standard on all.

Sedans and coupes came in DX, LX, and top-line EX trim. DX, LX, and EX models had a 140-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which replaced four-cylinders of 115 and 127 horsepower. The Si held a 197-horsepower four-cylinder engine (up from 160).

The Hybrid sedan combined a four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor, for 110 horsepower; the previous Civic Hybrid made 93 horsepower. Sensors determined whether the Hybrid ran on the gas engine, the electric motor, or both. The system recharged itself; no plug-in charging was necessary.

DX, LX, and EX models used a five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic.

The Hybrid had a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that provided near-infinite drive ratios. The Si came only with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Antilock braking was standard on all models, but the EX, Si, and Hybrid had four-wheel discs rather than a front-disc/rear-drum setup. The Si had a limited-slip differential designed to direct more power to the outside front wheel in a turn to aid handling. Hybrid and DX models had 15-inch wheels, LX and EX rode on 16s, while the Si had 17-inch rubber, plus a sport suspension and uprated brakes. An 18-inch wheel/tire package was a dealer-installed option for any model.

Front torso side airbags and head-protecting curtain side airbags that covered both seating rows were standard. A navigation system with voice activation was available on EX, Hybrid, and Si models, and included satellite radio.

New interior features included a two-tier instrument panel with an analog tachometer ahead of the driver, and a separately-housed digital speedometer directly above. Compared to the previous Civic sedan, the 2006 model was 3.2 inches longer in wheelbase and about 1.5 inches longer and wider overall. Rear legroom shrunk by 1.4 inches; front head space by nearly a half-inch. The coupe’s wheelbase was 2 inches shorter than the sedan’s, but 1.2 inches longer than the preceding coupe’s. Coupes lost an inch of front headroom and 2.5 inches of rear legroom. Sedans gained about 180 pounds over 2005 models; coupes, about 145 pounds.

With the Civic, Honda competed mainly against the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, and Toyota Corolla.

Yearly Updates

2007 Civic
A sedan version of the sporty Si model joined the 2007 Civic lineup. Otherwise, changes were few for 2007.
2008 Civic
New to the 2008 Honda Civic lineup were the luxury-themed EX-L, sporty Si, and natural-gas-powered GX. All Si models got a 197-hp 2.0-liter four. Also new was the Civic MUGEN Si sedan. MUGEN is a 3rd-party firm that supplies high-performance parts for Hondas. The MUGEN Si featured high-performance tires, specific suspension tuning, and unique trim. The GX ran on compressed natural gas and was initially only sold in California, New York, and to fleets.
2009 Civic
The 2009 Honda Civic got slightly freshened exterior styling, a few new features, and some new trim levels. New for 2009 were DX-VP and LX-S sedans. The limited-edition MUGEN Si was discontinued. New for 2009 was an available wireless cell phone link for EX, EX-L, Si, and Hybrid. Leather upholstery was newly available on the Hybrid.
2010 Civic
The 2010 Civic lineup saw no major changes.
2011 Civic
The 2011 Honda Civic lineup sees no major changes.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

DX, LX, and EX models had a 140-horsepower four-cylinder engine with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. Offered only with six-speed manual, the sporty Si held a 197-horsepower engine. Honda’s Civic Hybrid sedan combined a four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor for 110 total horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) mated with the Hybrid’s gasoline/electric power source. The new for 2008 MUGEN model used the 197-hp 2.0-liter four. The limited-production, natural-gas-powered Civic GX used a 1.8-liter, 113-horsepower engine that ran on compressed natural gas, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

ohc I4/electric
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.3/82
Engine HP 110
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 123
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
CVT automatic

49/51

38

ohc I41
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.8/110
Engine HP 113
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 109
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

24/36

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.8/110
Engine HP 140
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 128
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
30/38
30/40
26.1
dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 197
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 139
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

23/32

30

1. Civic GX (natural gas).

Road Test

With either transmission, 140-horsepower Civics are lazy accelerating away from a stop; but they have adequate power around town and for highway merging/passing. Honda’s automatic transmission is especially alert to throttle inputs. Hybrids also are slow off the line, and demand liberal throttle application to build speed quickly; but they easily keep pace with fast-moving traffic. The same goes for the natural-gas-powered GX. As with other CVTs, the Hybrid’s version lets the engine rev ahead of vehicle speed, waiting for the car to “catch up.” The Hybrid powertrain has no overt vices: the system shuts off the engine at stops to save gas, restarts instantly, and maintains air-conditioner power. Slick-shifting Si models crave high rpm and respond with terrific acceleration.

As for fuel economy, an EX sedan with automatic averaged 26.1 mpg. Si coupes have averaged 29.9 to 30.3 mpg, while Hybrids managed 37.8 to 38 mpg. Si engines require premium-grade fuel; other Civics use regular-grade gasoline. “Fuel economy” in the natural-gas-powered GX can’t really be measured in miles per gallon; instead, it’s easier to go by cents per mile. On a per-mile basis, our tests showed the GX cost only about a half to a third as much for fuel as a “regular” Civic, but natural gas stations are few and far between in most states, and range on a full tank is limited to only about 200 miles.

Sedans take bumps in stride, with good absorbency and little float or wallow. LX and EX versions are especially stable at highway speeds. Coupes feel choppier on uneven surfaces, but even a firm-suspension Si never jars.

DX models are competent, but no more than midpack for steering response, grip, and resistance to body lean during cornering. LX and EX Civics could use more grip in fast turns, but they feel reassuringly responsive in most directional changes. Using their 16-inch tires to good advantage, EX versions feel assuredly balanced and secure in changes of direction. Hybrids have low-rolling-resistance tires that enhance fuel economy, but allow copious noseplow in tight turns. Agile Si models are tenacious in corners, though they suffer slight torque-steer wander in rapid low-speed acceleration. All Civics have straightline stability, even in crosswinds, plus effective stopping power with good pedal modulation.

Civics rank near the top of their class in quietness. Sedans vie with the Volkswagen Jetta for class leadership in suppression of road and wind ruckus. The Hybrid’s CVT promotes pronounced engine noise in rapid acceleration, but some testers find the 140-horsepower gas engine noisy as well. Coupes do not isolate sound nearly as well as sedans, though the Si’s snarling engine/exhaust note is racecar invigorating.

Adventurous two-tier instrument-panel design combines analog and digital features to good overall effect. An analog tachometer sits ahead of the driver, with a separately-housed digital speedometer directly above. Speedometer digits are more than an inch tall and in the driver’s line of sight for viewing without taking focus off the road. Controls move with smooth precision. Climate controls are within easy reach and grouped logically, though easily confused with look-alike switchgear. Audio controls require a stretch. Honda’s navigation system takes time to master and has undersized buttons. It absorbs some audio functions, but programming via predetermined voice commands is a plus. The navigation screen powers open to reveal CD slots, but it’s difficult to read in changing light. Door-mounted power window and mirror switches are conveniently backlit. Dashboard illumination–amber on Si, blue on other Civics–may not please all drivers. Cabin materials are a laudable mix of high-grade plastics and fabrics; EX and Hybrid have richer trim for a decidedly upmarket feel.

In the front seat, a tilt/telescoping steering column and manual height-adjustable driver’s seat (both standard) help tailor the highly accommodating driving position. Front seats blend supportive firmness with comfortable softness; the Si’s is buttressed for glued-in-place feel in fast cornering. There’s no excess front headroom for tall occupants, especially beneath the sunroof housing. Outward visibility is generally satisfactory, though the long dashtop shelf and sloping nose complicate judging distance in close quarters. Also, long front roof pillars impede outward views to the corners. For shorter drivers, the instrument panel’s upper tier hides the road directly ahead. Sunlight could trigger annoying windshield reflections. Sedans have adequate adult rear head room. Knee space is tight with front seats more than halfway back. Toe room is uncompromised unless front cushions are near their lowest point. Civic’s flat floor aids overall comfort, as does the firm, well-contoured seat. Sedan doors open wide for good entry/exit. The coupe’s tiny, hard-to-access rear area is best left to toddlers.

Sedans have a wide, tall trunk with a generous opening and low liftover. Coupe trunks have the same attributes, but slightly less volume. On both, lid hinges intrude on cargo area. An exception here is the GX, as its tank for compressed natural gas takes up the forward part of the trunk, leaving only about two-thirds the volume of a gas model. All except the Hybrid and GX have a folding rear seatback. All doors have map pockets. Cabins boast a wealth of storage bins and cubbies.

Ratings

Model Tested: Honda Civic EX sedan w/auto.

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 7
70%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 10
100%

Total: 59

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.3 174.8 68.9 53.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
11.5 13.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.0 35.1 42.6 30.3
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
106.3 176.7 69.0 56.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12.0 13.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.4 37.4 42.2 34.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 Honda Civic 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Airbags
Description: There was a campaign to replace the occupant position sensor in the passenger seatback that was causing the SRS (airbag) light to stay on.
Brakes
Description: Brakes on vehicles with automatic transmissions may feel stiff when first starting in cold weather requiring replacement brake booster. (2006-07)
Engine mounts
Description: Rattle from the front when going over bumps due to liquid-filled motor mount problem. (2006-07)
Engine stalling
Description: The engine won’t start (and the immobilizer light blinks) if the battery dies and the car is jump-started when the security system is set. (2006)
Keyless entry
Description: The keyless remote may not work if water gets into the position switch for the door lock. (2006)
Oil leak
Description: Two engine fluid leaks–oil and power steering–affected some models requiring replacement of an engine bolt and the power steering low-pressure pipe. (2006)
Steering noise
Description: A rattle from the front when driving over bumps may be due to a defective motor mount for which there is an improved replacement. (2006)
Tire wear
Description: The rear tires wear prematurely due to design of rear suspension for which there is an upper control arm repair kit. (2006-07 except Si)
Windows
Description: Power windows may malfunction due to failure of the master switch in the driver’s door. (2001-05)
Wipers
Description: Windshield wipers may not park when turned off, especially in cold weather, due to bad wiper motor. (2006-07)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light comes on due to a malfunction of the air/fuel sensor which may get wet from moisture in the exhaust system requiring a new sensor. (2006)
Interior trim
Description: Sun visors break due to manufacturing defect. (2006-07)

Recall History

1998-07 Honda Civic GX compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle
Description: In the event of a severe interior fire, the CNG tank may rupture, explode, and be ejected from the vehicle. Dealers will install a heat insulator material to the rear seat back.
2006 Civic Hybrid
Description: Certain parts of the integrated motor assist (IMA) system are located under a metal cover behind the rear seat back. Over time the weight of rear seat passengers may cause the metal cover to come into contact with a rubber cap covering an electrical terminal. This could possibly cause a blown fuse. Dealers will inspect and replace affect parts.
2006 Honda Civic sedan and gas/electric hybrid
Description: Grease from the telescopic steering column could drip onto the brake light switch and cause a loss of brake lights, or prevent shifting the transmission from the park position. Dealer will replace the switch and install a protective cover.
2006-07 Civic
Description: An improperly assembled wheel speed sensor could leak, causing the bearing to fail over time. This could cause a wheel to fall off the vehicle. Dealers will inspect the rear ABS sensors and wheel bearings for damaged parts and replace them.
2006-2007 Civic Hybrid
Description: There is a potential for the voltage converter that relays power from the integrated motor assist (IMA) system to the vehicle’s electrical components to fail. This failure will cause the headlights to turn off, the engine to stall, and prevent the vehicle from being restarted, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the voltage converter free of charge.
2008-09
Description: A bracket that covers the fuel hose connector is secured with a bolt and nut, but during assembly, the nut was not installed. In the event of a crash, the bracket may become loose which could result in damage to the fuel hose connector. Dealers will install a nut on the fuel feed hose bracket.
2011 Civic
Description: Due to improper ultrasonic welding of the plastic case that houses the roll over valve (ROV) within the fuel pump module, the case material may break or crack, which may cause the ROV to separate from the case and fail to function, thereby increasing the risk of fuel leakage in a roll-over incident. Fuel leakage, in the presence of an ignition source, could result in a fire. Dealers will inspect the fuel pump module and if necessary replace the module free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.