The Honda Civic was the Little Compact Car Darling of the 70s and 80s until competition started to ramp up in the form of Toyota’s, Mazda’s and a plethora of Hyundai’s and Fords!! The Civic first came on the scene in 1973. It was economical, rated high for safety and attracted a lot of frugally minded consumers. Competition isn’t always bad; it kept Honda refining and resculpting the Civic over all these years.
Today, it comes in coupe or sedan. You can buy four different engines sizes: the 1.5L 4 cylinder hybrid, the 1.8L 4 cylinder 110 hp engine, the 1.8L 4 cylinder 143 hp or the 2.4L 4 cylinder 205 hp engine.
There are four different types of transmission packages, as well: CVT, 6 speed manual, 5 speed automatic, or the 5 speed manual. The 1.5L 4 cylinder hybrid gets a combined 45 mpg, whereas their unique natural gas engine gets a combined 31 mpg. The biggest benefits to the natural gas engine is its fuel is a lot cheaper and the crash tests done on the natural gas vehicles prove that they are a lot more resistant to crash – explosions/fires.
The trim levels on the Civic are quite exhaustive, but there are some honorable mentions on the aforementioned hybrids and natural gas models. Both models feature a 7″ touch screen command console and the Honda Link syncing program. They both sport expanded view drivers’ mirrors and Lane Watch display to enhance driving safety. They both have unique offerings as well. The hybrid has smart entry with push button start and a CVT transmission. The Natural Gas model comes in a leather trim model that has heated seats, heated side mirrors and quite a few interior upgrades with a 5 speed automatic transmission.
Most of the Civic models fall in a $18 – $30,000 price point.
The things that set the Civic apart is its fuel economy – all models have combined mpgs of between 29 – 45 mpg, they scored high on all the government crash tests and they were built with very roomy interiors for such small cars!
For the more sports car – minded person, the zippy SI Trim level has a 6 speed manual with an excitable revving engine that still gets 29 mpg.
The Civics do have some pitfalls. While the interior is roomy, the form fitting front seats are somewhat tight for bigger customers. The command console is quite cluttered and complicated to use. The steering has been known to be a little stiff and the cabin has a lot of road noise, as well.
Despite all those complaints, the sleek styling and great economy are keeping a loyal following of repeat customers.