2015 Honda Civic: Dependable transportation defined

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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.

 

The 2015 Honda Civic remains much the same as the 2014 edition.
The 2015 Honda Civic remains much the same as the 2014 edition. Images © James Raia/2015


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.

Likes:

Strong gas mileage averages.

Multiple trims and fuel options.

Long list of standard features.

Spacious interior.

Dislikes:

Below average cargo space.

Mediocre acceleration.

Strong competition at the same or lower price points.

Facts & Figures: 2015 Honda Civic

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 9.0 seconds.

Airbags: 6.

Fuel economy: 30 mpg (city), 39 mpg (highway), 33 mpg (combined) continuously variable transmission.

Horsepower: 143

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.”

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