For several years, the Honda Civic has likely held a unique distinction throughout the automotive industry — most available trims.
The 2011 Civic is available as a sedan or coupe and it’s offered in five main trim levels: DX, LX, EX, EX-L and Si. As a sedan-only, Honda also offers the DX Value package, the LX-S, the Hybrid and the GX.
The likely reason for all choices is that the Civic is perennially among the top-selling cars in the United States. That makes for an easy equation — more is better.
Since its 1972 debut the Civic has evolved through eight generations. The much-anticipated ninth generation Civic redesign is set for the 2012. Early examples are currently making auto show appearances, its dealership debut will come later this year.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
When Honda introduced the Civic in the U.S. it was the manufacturer’s smallest car. It’s not anymore. The 5-speed manual transmission Civic EX model (with navigation) I drove for my weekly escapades is larger than the Honda Fit, Insight hybrid and Honda GX, the manufacturer’s unheralded natural gas vehicle.
In fact, I parked the Civic one day next to a friend’s two-year old Accord and there wasn’t much difference at first glance.
It’s hard to question the Civic’s enduring reputation. Standard equipment for the Honda lineup has always been strong. Yet, in addition to the navigation system upgrade, the EX model I drove also included: Split folding rear seat, USB port, steering wheel radio controls, power sunroof, outside-temperature indicator, variable-intermittent wipers and alloy wheels among other features.
Practical, comfortable and economical. Are there any more important traits for a compact car?
Acceleration. It’s no speed demon, but the Civic scoots around town with a fair amount of pep.
Easy Access and spaciousness of the trunk.
Honda’s signature two-tier dash still works for me.
Exterior color, Royal Blue Pearl, is stylish.
Conservative overall interior design.
Facts & Figures: 2011 Honda Civic EX
Acceleration: 0-60 mph (not available).
Airbags: dual-stage front, front side and side-curtain airbags.
Antilock brakes: standard.
First aid kit: No.
Fuel economy: 25 mpg (city), 36 mpg (highway)
Government Safety Ratings: Federal government: 3 of 5 stars overall; 4 of 5 stars, front crash and rollover tests; 2 of 5 stars side impact crash tests.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (range): $15,805-$24,405.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.honda.com
Warranty: Bumper to bumper. 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.
What Others Say:
“The Civic continues to hold its position at the top of the highly competitive compact class, thanks to innovative styling, refinement, Honda reliability, and a broad model line that ranges from the eco-friendly Civic Hybrid to the racy Civic Si.” —- New Car Test Drive.
“Honda knows how to time things. Just as fuel costs have prompted Americans to say ‘Whoa, Mamma Joe!’ on their personal appetites for fuel…Honda is ready to receive them with its fuel-sipping Civic lineup.” —- Car and Driver.
“In a sense, the Civic represents Honda’s good old days: high quality, fun to drive, reliable and fuel efficient.” —- Cars.com
What The Wife Says:
“I like the position of hand brake. It’s not like the near flush position other cars have and when you can’t tell if it’s engaged or not. Overall, this isn’t the ‘old’ Civic. It’s now substantial.”
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“The Honda Civic has been the compact standard for decades and it’s still among the front-runners. But just like savvy consumers, Honda knows there are plenty competitors on the road. What’s been viewed of the 2012 Civic looks impressive, and it’s arriving without much time to spare for Honda to retain its compact leadership role.