Fresh off a tremendously successful redesign in 2015, the 2017 Honda Civic adds a versatile third body style – a five-door hatchback – and high-performance Si and Type R trims this year. But while Honda has injected its popular compact with a healthy dose of fury and space, the overarching package remains largely unchanged, which is no bad thing.
USED 2017 Honda Civic FOR SALE NEAR ME
Autohub Center of Stafford, VA (39 mi)
Autohub Center of Stafford, VA (39 mi)
2017 Honda Civic Overview
What's New for 2017
Honda has been busy. The Civic Hatchback, Civic Si, and Civic Type R all join the family for 2017 as the range begins to blossom. Beyond the new trims, Honda is throwing a bone to budget-minded enthusiasts and making a six-speed manual available on the turbocharged Sedan EX-T and Coupe EX-T.
Choosing Your Honda Civic
This might take a minute. There is, to be blunt, a Civic for nearly every consumer, with three separate body styles, an affordable naturally aspirated engine, a thrifty turbocharged powerplant, a nippy sport compact, and a 300-plus-horsepower giant killer – these vehicles cover a price range from just around $19,000 on up to nearly $35,000. We'll start at the beginning.
The humblest of Civics uses a 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 158 hp and 138 pound-feet of torque and is available in Sedan, Coupe, and Hatchback body styles. It returns an EPA-estimated 31 miles per gallon city, 40 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined as a four-door sedan, 30/39/34 as a two-door coupe, and 30/39/33 as a five-door hatchback. A six-speed manual is standard, but a continuously variable transmission is within reach of even the most frugal customers.
The 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder is the Civic's sweet spot and volume engine in the Coupe, Sedan, and Hatchback models you'll see at dealerships. Base versions of this engine are available with a six-speed manual – new for 2017 – but a continuously variable transmission is the only way to get into the more expensive, better equipped models. The mainstream version of this engine (it also powers the Civic Si) produces 174 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque while returning 32/42/36 for the automatic Civic Sedan, 31/40/35 for a similar Civic Coupe, and 30/36/32 for a two-pedal Civic Hatchback. Manual transmissions return identical numbers, give or a take a mile per gallon here and there.
Following a year off, the 2017 Civic Si marks the return of a beloved model for fans of affordable, fun cars. The Si takes the normal Civic's 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder and literally turned up the boost – from 16.5 psi to 20.3 psi – to generate 205 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. The Si trim is available in both coupe and sedan body styles, but as Soichiro Honda himself intended, is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.
The biggest bit of Civic news for 2017 is the return of the Type R. Previously sold only in Europe and Honda's home market of Japan, the legendary Type R comes to North America for the first time. Its 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder spits out 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. At the same time, it blends sublime driving dynamics to challenge the hottest hatchbacks – the only body style the Type R is available in – on the market.
The only choices most Civic customers need to make is which interior and exterior colors to choose. If there's a standalone option, it's likely Honda's excellent Sensing suite, a package of active driving assists that reduces driver strain and stress and can actively prevent crashes. They include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, and LaneWatch. Other than that, though, the Civic range is broken down into pre-packaged trim levels.
The 2017 Honda Civic Si is one of the industry's great performance bargains, but mainstream shoppers will probably be much happier with a Honda Sensing-equipped Civic EX-T – it's the best blend of high-tech equipment and frugality in the Civic family, even if it lacks the Si's sense of fun.
2017 Honda Civic Review
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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