The Honda Civic has been near or at the top of compact sedan segment for so long, maybe one day an upgraded trim or a new generation of the now 46-year-old vehicle will debut that just doesn’t hold up. But it’s not the 2015 edition.
New competitors — Mazda3, Ford Focus and Kia Forte — offer increasing competition. But Honda keeps tweaking the Civic lineup, including this year’s addition of the mid-range SE trim.
Now in the fourth year of its ninth generation, the Civic remains among the most successful automobiles in history. It’s 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 trims: LX, EX, SE, EX-L and EX-L Navi (navigation) trims.
There’s something for everyone in the compact market. As such: the Civic may be the versatile vehicle in the automotive industry.
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 Civics add nearly and dozen additions 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 and 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 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 power 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.
The navigation system works efficiently and it features the right-lane watch camera that provides a visual of what’s in the right lane. It’s a unique feature and a worthwhile safety component.
Comfortable, confident ride
Numerous trim levels and engine types available.
Not the quickest sedan in the segment
Below average cargo space.
Strong competition at the same or lower price points.
Facts & Figures: 2015 Honda Civic EX-L (w/navigation)
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:
“For 2015, the Honda Civic remains the act to beat, thanks to its strong reliability, safety, comfort and resale value.” — Kelley Blue Book.
“The 2015 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan with Nav offers some of the best performance, fuel economy, and technology you’ll find for the price.” — PC Magazine.
“The 2015 Honda Civic meets and exceeds small-car buyer preferences for reliability, safety, fuel efficiency, quality, and value without so much as breathing hard. It’s everything you’d expect in a compact economy sedan, and so much more.” — CarGuru.com.
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“Looking for a lot of car at a fair price and don’t want buy another vehicle for 10 years? Buy a Honda Civic — gas, hybrid, natural gas. They’re all good.”