Honda’s Civic has had some minor upgrades for 2019, and the reason for that is, why mess with a good thing as it’s the benchmark for comparable compact sedans and coupes.
Sculpted, sporty lines make Civic the best looking model year ever. Gone are the mundane, turtle look of earlier models. And with the addition of the Sport trim to sedans and coupes, the upticks make it even more appealing.
Civic is offered in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, Touring and high performance Si and hot Type R versions. We tested the Sport sedan trim model. It’s also available in Coupe and Hatchback.
One significant change Honda made to the Civic was adding a volume knob that was previously a touchscreen slider button. A pain to use while driving.
Another notable upgrade was the addition of Honda Sensing safety system. It includes adaptive cruise, collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and road departure mitigation system. All important and most desired features that Honda has now made standard.
Aside from the aggressive and sporty exterior, the Sport model gives you a 7-inch display featuring Apple CarPlay/Android Auto all within the Honda Link infotainment system, a rearview camera and smartphone connect apps.
A center-mounted speedometer is digital and combined with the tachometer make it a compact package for easy viewing.
A feature that is catching on among other carmakers is a right turn camera view when activating the right turn signal. Another nifty safety item that helps when merging back from the passing lane.
One point regarding the HVAC system. When pressing the “Climate” control button, the display also brings up the HVAC symbol touch buttons. But it only stays up a few seconds requiring a second touch of the screen.
Civics’ interior is comfy and spacious for a compact sedan. Front seats are nicely supportive and are composed of cloth inserts and leatherette outer edges for high wear ability.
With the Sport model comes aluminum pedals with one being the clutch pedal for the 6-speed manual transmission (a CVT is also offered).
The rear seat is similarly comfy with a surprising amount of legroom. It can hold three youngsters but only two adults unless they’re small of frame. Ingress/egress into the back seat is easy thanks to wide opening doors. But tall folks need to do a head duck when entering because of the sloping roofline.
Civics’ spacious trunk is rated at 15.1 cu/ft but doubles when flipping the rear seatbacks. With the seats upright there’s 40 inches of cargo loading depth, which can handle a hoofer type golf bag, or two large rollie luggage bags. Flip the seats and there’s 72 inches for a full six feet of cargo depth.
Civic Sport sported a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder that produces 158-hp and 135 lb/ft of torque. When coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission, it earned EPA mileage figures of 25 city, 36-highway mpg. With the manual trans, acceleration was a linear application of power. There’s also an optional 1.5L, inline turbo four cylinder that puts out 180-hp and 177-lb/ft of torque. It’s rated at 28/38 mpg. A bit more power and a bit better fuel economy.
With a turning diameter of 37.4 feet, Civic is easy to park in tight spots. Shod with 18-inch Goodyear tires, Civic rides like a larger car and similar to Honda’s Accord. Only major road imperfections transfer into the cabin, but are nicely dampened.
Handling wise, body lean in sharp turns is nicely controlled and exudes an almost sporty sensation. This is a compact sedan that can be driven aggressively if needed.
While the test car did not have an MSRP on the window sticker (Monroney), comparable Civics are listed for $22,980 with some dealers advertising them for $21.418.
To its credit, Civic comes with the governments’ highest 5-star safety scores. In fact, the Civic aced them all. It received an overall vehicle score of a full 5-stars; driver/passenger frontal crash, got 5-stars each; front/rear seat side crash earned 5-stars each and rollover rated 5-stars. Now that’s impressive.
So aside from all its new features and functions, Civics’ safety scores make it a compelling choice over the competition.