Although the Honda Civic enjoys an undisputed reputation for economy and reliability, we're most impressed with how well this compact treats its passengers.

Pricing and Equipment

The Civic lineup starts with the LX sedan, priced at $18,740 (all prices are MSRP before $875 destination charge). The LX coupe and hatchback come in at $19,150 and $19,700, respectively. Standard features include:

  • Automatic climate control
  • Automatic headlights with LED running lights
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • A rearview camera
  • LED running lights

The mid-range EX starts at $21,140 and comes with remote start, an eight-speaker sound system, blind spot monitoring, and a host of smaller upgrades. Priced from $21,500, EX-T models get a more powerful, more efficient turbocharged engine and heated front seats. The EX-L adds leather seats and extra interior amenities. The sedan and coupe top out at the Touring trim level, where navigation and active safety features like automatic emergency braking are standard. The hatchback goes a step further with the $28,300 Sport Touring, which has some mild performance upgrades and a high-output stereo.

Performance Pros

Honda Civic

Honda offers two engines in the Civic, both rated at about 35 mpg in combined driving by the EPA:

  • The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivers a decent 158 horsepower and comes with a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT).
  • The available 1.5-liter turbo (standard on hatchback) makes the most of its 174 hp, propelling the Civic around with verve. The extra oomph comes at no expense to efficiency, so we recommend the 1.5-liter without reservation.
  • The Civic's positive steering and agile handling character make it the most entertaining mainstream Civic – i.e. not a sporty Si model – in years.

Performance Cons

  • We can see why Honda has made the turbo standard on the upper trim levels and all hatchback models. The base engine just isn't hearty enough to draw out the Civic's sporty potential.
  • We expected paddle shifters to be standard on upper-trim models equipped with the CVT. As it turns out, they aren't offered at all.

Interior Pros

  • The Honda Civic takes on near-midsize dimensions inside. Passenger room is hands-down impressive for a car of this size and weight. Even the coupe can easily accommodate two adults in back.
  • The low-profile dashboard not only looks sophisticated, but also opens up the cabin to natural light and enhances visibility.
  • The digital gauge cluster, standard on all but the base LX (where it's an option) is lovely, intuitive, and packed with information that it displays in a stylish, modern manner.

Interior Cons

  • The rear seat doesn't fold down on LX coupes and sedans. There's not even a small pass-through to the trunk.
  • Most infotainment controls are mounted on the steering wheel. We found the small, multi-function buttons more challenging to use than traditional knobs. It's a case of clever packaging gone too clever.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Buick lovers take note: The Honda Civic offers a relaxing ride that reminds us of an entry-level luxury car.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Despite the Civic's room and ride, interior noise levels are high enough to assure customers won't confuse it with compacts from the premium brands.

The Bottom Line

The Honda Civic delivers substance and comfort without comprising any of the virtues that made it so popular in the first place.