Now in the fourth year of its ninth generation, the Honda Civic remains among the most successful automobiles in history. The compact, which debuted in 1972, is available as a coupe and sedan. And it’s offered in nearly a dozen trims and in three fuel choices — gas, hybrid and natural gas.
The 2015 edition gains a trim level, but overall the Civic remains the same as the 2014 model as a coupe and sedan and in LX, EX, SE, EX-L and EX-L Navi (navigation) trims.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
In its base LX model, the Civic is equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a one-piece fold-down rear seatback and cruise control. Electronic features include a five-inch display screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, SMS text messaging functionality and a four-speaker (six for the coupe) sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod/USB audio interface and Pandora radio functionality.
The mid-range Civic adds nearly a dozen items, and my top-line sedan EX-L Navi added 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, leather upholstery and heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat, a navigation system as well as HD and satellite radio.
Since its debut in 1972, when it was little more than a box with an engine and four wheels, the Civic has always had a reputation for providing steady, dependable transportation. It’s not the fanciest nor fastest automobile, but it does everything well and keeps doing so — for as long as it’s asked.
The front-wheel-drive Civic is powered by a 1.8-liter, 16-valve four-cylinder engine with 143 horsepower. My weekly driver had an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). A five-speed manual transmission is an option.
The CVT powere is seamless and it further adds to one of the Civic’s best attributes. With the leather-trimmed seats providing not only more comfort but a noise buffer, the Civic has a composed, comfortable ride with little road noise at any city or highway speed I drove.
Strong gas mileage averages.
Multiple trims and fuel options.
Long list of standard features.
Below average cargo space.
Strong competition at the same or lower price points.
Facts & Figures: 2015 Honda Civic
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 9.0 seconds.
Fuel economy: 30 mpg (city), 39 mpg (highway), 33 mpg (combined) continuously variable transmission.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $24,300.00
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.honda.com.
Price As Tested: $25,130.00
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.
What Others Say:
After nine generations and 4 years in its current body style, the Civic is still one of today’s top compact cars.” — Auto Trader.
“The Honda Civic may not be as automatic a choice as it once was due to improved competition, but its variety of configurations, high fuel economy and ease of ownership keep it among the best compact sedans and coupes.” — Edmunds.com.
“Be it the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, or longtime rival Toyota Corolla, the compact car market is tougher than ever. With its broad array of choices and fuel-efficient powertrains, however, the Civic remains a strong contender.” — Kelley Blue Book.
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“There are plenty of reasons the Honda Civic has been top-seller for decades. But there’s one primary reason — reliable transportation. The Civic is just hard to beat and then maybe only by the Accord, it’s bigger sibling.”