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Overview

The iconic Honda Civic epitomizes compact-car excellence with its mix of practicality and a fun-to-drive personality. The versatile Honda has a version for everyone; its lineup includes a two-door coupe as well as a four-door sedan and hatchback. It's available with two excellent four-cylinder engines and either an adroit continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) or a slick-shifting six-speed manual. Buyers seeking practicality don't need a crossover, nor do those seeking sportiness need to buy a sports car: the Honda Civic Sport does both at an affordable price. It's so good, we named it to one of our 10Best Cars along with the Civic Si and the Type R. While the affable compact isn't perfect, it excels everywhere else and ranks near the top of its class.

Highs: Fun to drive, strong turbocharged engine, comfortable ride. 
Lows: Heavy-handed styling, light on amenities, manual transmission limited to cheaper versions. 
Verdict: Everything a compact car should be, with only a few caveats.

What's New for 2019?

The Civic lineup receives a slew of changes for 2019 that range from mild styling tweaks, new standard features, and spreading the Sport moniker to the coupe and sedan. Perhaps the most underappreciated update is the volume knob and hard buttons that are added to the touchscreen, which was previously a source of frustration. Otherwise, the sedan and coupe have cleaner front-end designs and newly standard driver-assistance equipment. While both body styles are now available in Sport trim, only the hatchback version has the 180-hp four-cylinder with an extra 22 horsepower. Still, the Sport coupe and sedan have the same blacked-out appearance and stiffer suspension tuning. Inside, all Civic models have larger cupholders, redesigned steering-wheel controls, and better sound insulation. New exterior colors include Platinum White Pearl, Lava Pearl, and Tonic Yellow Pearl.

Honda Civic Pricing and Which One to Buy

  • LX sedan: $20,345
  • Sport sedan: $22,045
  • EX coupe: $24,095
  • Touring coupe: $27,745
  • Sport Touring hatchback: $29,645

The Civic lineup spreads three body styles among various models. The multitalented Sport version is our pick, with its dark exterior trimming and sharper handling that help optimize the fun factor. We'd stick with the standard six-speed manual transmission versus the optional CVT. The hatchback version is not only more practical than the sedan and coupe, it also has the more powerful 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, and only costs a little extra. Every Sport model includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic climate control, and 18-inch wheels.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Likes: Potent engines, balanced ride and handling, affordable and fun. 
Dislikes: Not every model gets the manual transmission, rivals have better stopping power.

The Civic's four-cylinder engines are peppy, with the pricier—but more powerful—turbocharged version earning our preference. It's a terrific engine. In our testing, it eagerly pulled our Civic Touring test car away from stoplights. While we prefer the light and crisp action of the six-speed manual to the optional continuously variable automatic transmission, the CVT is by no means a poor pairing—in fact, it's one of the best on the market.

A true jack-of-all-trades, the Civic strikes a near perfect balance between comfort and driver engagement. Its smooth ride, responsive steering, and athletic driving dynamics make it a joy to pilot in any driving situation. Neither cushy nor harsh, the Civic's ride quality is just right. Quick, well-weighted, and surprisingly feelsome steering makes piloting the Civic that much more enjoyable. Those looking for even sportier vibes should consider the Sport versions, which feature quicker steering. Despite possessing a firm brake pedal with good feel, the brakes lack the stopping prowess of competitors.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Honda proves that power and fuel efficiency need not be mutually exclusive. Both Civic four-cylinders sip fuel as frugally as if it were fifty-bucks-a-snifter brandy, but, interestingly, the more powerful turbocharged engine manages to return slightly better fuel economy than the base 2.0-liter found in lower-level Civic sedans and coupes. Unfortunately, the Civic's fuel economy failed to pan out in our real-world highway fuel-economy test. Our turbo Civic Touring sedan scored just shy of the EPA's rating. Furthermore, we eked out 37 mpg from a six-speed manual Civic Sport hatchback—2 mpg less than the EPA number.

Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo

Likes: Sedan version has very good visibility, the arrival of a volume knob, massive center-console storage. 
Dislikes: Missing some features that rivals offer, sedan has awkward trunk design.

Practical and modern in appearance, the Civic's interior is roomy and offers sufficient storage space. Even the entry-level model is far from a penalty box. While it doesn't offer the most optional comfort-and-convenience equipment in the compact class, it has enough of the good stuff for any small-car shopper. The interior of the sedan is on the roomier end of its class, though the coupe's rear seats are all but useless to anyone of above-average height.

The Honda's touchscreen interface is much improved thanks to the addition of a long-awaited volume knob for the audio system and hard buttons. Our top-tier Touring sedan test car served up its infotainment features through its 7.0-inch touchscreen, including navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. کرم ضد آفتاب The front compartment has two USB ports and a single 12-volt outlet. Sadly, rear-seat passengers are left unconnected, as not a single USB port or 12-volt outlet makes its way past the Civic's front seats.

The Civic has a number of cleverly designed storage cubbies throughout its cabin, and the sedan's trunk is one of the biggest in the class. Need even more cargo-carrying capability? Then check out the hatchback model. The coupe is more about style than practicality.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Paired with solid crash-test scores, the Civic is a fine option for those who prioritize safety. Every Civic also has a host of driver-assistance features that includes automatic high-beams and forward-collision warning. Honda groups these features under the Honda Sensing umbrella. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking
  • Standard adaptive cruise control
  • Standard lane-keeping assist

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Those customers seeking the best warranty coverage may be better off looking at a competitor such as the Hyundai Elantra. Honda does not supply complimentary scheduled maintenance, a feature that's offered on competitors such as the Chevrolet Cruze and the Toyota Corolla.

  • Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

Reviewed by Eric Stafford, Assistant Buyer's Guide Editor, November 2018

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