When Honda released its wildly popular Civic hatchback in its current form in 2012, buyers were a bit overwhelmed with the new car’s direction. Styling was tepid and looked like the last Civic, and interior tech was underwhelming. That led Honda to respond, drastically improving base equipment and feature content for 2013 and further refining the car in 2014.
But the Civic is still strapped with a rather outdated and harsh 1.8-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder, while other Honda products have moved to the automaker’s new Earth Dreams family of engines. Reports state that for the 2015 model year, the Civic will receive a downsized version of the 2.4-liter Earth Dreams four found in the larger Accord. These direct-injection engines, when paired with efficient CVT transmissions, have helped Honda products to outstanding fuel efficiency.
A switch to the newest engine, along with a CVT instead of a conventional automatic, should help the new Civic to well in excess of 40 highway mpg in its base form.
Honda will likely debut this powerplant before the 2014 auto show season is finished, with changes to come to the Civic as well as further styling retouches and one of the earliest applications of Apple’s iOS in the Car tech. In order to remain competitive, pricing should stay the same as the current model, which starts at $18,190.