By on June 4, 2014

2014-Honda-Civic-Coupe-12-of-29-550x366

Once upon a time, the Honda Civic was like McDonalds: its wide-ranging menu had something to offer for everyone, in an easily-digestible and economical format. There was even a time when the Japanese compact was offered as a sedan, coupe, and a hatchback (and for a brief spell, it even offered some British go-fast goodness!).

The Civic used to be a fantastic thing.

Unfortunately, the ninth-generation Civic was a bad hamburger. When Honda served it up in 2012, they were treated to numerous complaints about the cheap interior, inexcusable road noise, and incompetent suspension. The outcry was so loud that Honda did something they’d never done before.

“Let us reheat that for you,” they said.

I’ll make one thing clear from the get-go: I didn’t get a chance to drive the Honda Civic Coupe in ’12 or ’13. Not that I’m overly sad about it. From the multitude of reviews available, it looks like I didn’t miss much.

However, I did own one of the last sporty-ish, mildly-hot Civics sold on our shores.

My 2000 Honda Civic Coupe, in Canadian Si trim (EX to you Yanks), was certainly no sports car. Yet, with a real trunk, upon which rested a fairly sharp spoiler, and a sleek-yet-subdued body, my silver Civic at least looked the part without being pretentious or trying too hard. Its SOHC VTEC-equipped 1.6-litre D-series four-cylinder gave a somewhat exciting growl above 6,000 revs. The shifter, too, felt very mechanical, providing a certain notchiness when throwing the lever into each gate.

Most of all, I felt connected with my old coupe. It got me back and forth to work each day before doing double-duty as an evening pizza delivery car. We spent a lot of time together and shared many great memories.

Unfortunately for me, and maybe Honda as well, I crawled into the new ninth-generation coupe with some possibly misplaced nostalgia.

2014 Honda Civic Coupe (15 of 29)

My tester was a mid-level EX trimmed coupe with only a single option – the continuously variable transmission, which is new for this year and replaces Honda’s venerable 5-speed automatic transmission. The gearless transmission, along with a big, green ECON button to the left of the steering wheel, dashed all hopes of connecting with the latest Civic.

2014 Honda Civic Coupe (11 of 29)

Powered by a 1.8-litre SOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder engine, the Civic is still motivated by aspirations of driving something faster on your way to the dragstrip. The engine has been slightly improved and now produces 143 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque (up from 140 hp and 128 lb-ft the year before), but you can still do better in the compact coupe segment. The Hyundai Elantra Coupe and Kia Forte Koup, equipped with identical 2.0-litre mills, get 173 hp and 154 lb-ft. If you desire more power, you may want to look across the street.

2014 Honda Civic Coupe (28 of 29)

The new fangled continuously variable transmission may keep engine revs at the peak of the power band, but it’s far from exciting, especially with ECON mode engaged. Fuel economy was the main reason for introducing the CVT, though a real-world average of 29 MPG is far from the official mixed EPA rating of 33 MPG. The difference means you’d pay an extra $184 per year at today’s US average regular gas price of $3.67 per gallon if you drive 12,000 miles per year.

Fuel economy aside, the CVT’s paddle shifters provide some entertainment for the Gran Turismo set, and even some fairly quick ‘shifts’, but those of us familiar with clutch pedals or traditional automatic paddles will be disappointed.

mark

In fact, the only connection made between myself and the Civic Coupe was with the headliner and my skull each time I sat in the car. The EX model tester came equipped with a power sunroof that takes away a serious amount of headroom for a 6’1″ human being. Even with the driver’s seat height adjustment all the way to the floor, my head made frequent contact with the Civic’s ceiling. My only way out of this situation was to go into “gangsta lean” mode, which, now that I think about it, explains the driving position of so many Civic Coupe drivers.

Elsewhere inside, the two-door did provide acceptable ergonomics. Materials were, again, acceptable, but the design did nothing for me in comparison to the knockout interiors in the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla. Infotainment wise, Honda is still well behind the curve, and that applies to more than just the Civic. Even the Acura MDX, lauded in some circles, has a horribly designed headunit.

2014 Honda Civic Coupe (23 of 29)

It wasn’t all bad, however, as the Civc did provide a good balance between ride and handling. Not all cars need to be sprung like race cars (I’m looking at you Hyundai and Kia) and, gladly, none of my head-on-ceiling contact in the Civic was suspension induced. Steering was slightly vague, though not bad by any margin.

Outside, the Civic Coupe still isn’t going to win any awards for earth-shattering design. While the emergency refresh available this year is certainly an improvement over the launch model, it’s still too close to the eighth-generation model to really be considered all-new. The painted pocket 16-inch wheels are a try-hard move to catch up to the Koreans, while the the overall shape screams “I’m mildly edgy!”

2014 Honda Civic Coupe (14 of 29)

Overall, it seems like Honda is now fully content with resting on their laurels, bringing in repeat customers who’ll never cross shop. Considering this version of the Civic is built solely for North America, maybe Honda just doesn’t want to drop a ton of money into a vehicle with limited marketability. Hell, the Civic isn’t even sold in Japan anymore; Europe gets their own version that’s actually appealing with a nice selection of engines.

However, back on our shores, the 2014 Honda Civic Coupe is a bad hamburger, slightly warmed over.

Mark Stevenson is a freelance automotive journalist based in Nova Scotia, Canada with a certain penchant for dead brands, on both two and four wheels. He’s a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), former member of Texas Automotive Writers Association (NAMBLA), and the human pet of two dogs – Nismo and Maloo

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

118 Comments on “Review: 2014 Honda Civic Coupe...”


  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    “former member of Texas Automotive Writers Association (NAMBLA)”

    I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    They’ll sell a billion of them regardless. Like you said, people will not cross-shop. Ever.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Honda buyer occasionally pretend to cross shop. I used to have Honda owners come in all the time when I worked at Hyundai. They’d say “well, I’m on my 8th Accord, but I decided THIS time to see what else is out there.” In my mind I was always thinking, sir/ma’am, just got get #9 already and leave me be.

      • 0 avatar
        doug-g

        Things can happen that will tick a person off badly enough that you lose a customer for life. In the case of Honda, this will usually occur at the dealership level. Ask VW. When their dealerships got so arrogant people fled in droves. VW sold over 500K cars back in the 70’s in the US and now they sell how many?

        Honda doesn’t build cars that excite anyone other than older people from Ohio and many of their dealers are getting “attitude”. The thing about Honda is that everything is fine so long as you’re one of sheep drinking their Kool-aid. Show any displeasure and the smiley, happy face goes away.

        • 0 avatar
          rpol35

          “Things can happen that will tick a person off badly enough that you lose a customer for life.”

          You are right! It’s called GM and many of those ticked off people regularly comment here at TTAC.

        • 0 avatar
          Detroit-Iron

          “Honda doesn’t build cars that excite anyone other than older people from Ohio”

          Jack?

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      My main gripe with non-Hondas is that…they’re not Hondas.

    • 0 avatar
      DrGastro997

      Very well said. Despite the difference in bhp and the cheaper-than-ever traits, there is still no comparison to the Hyundai or Kia brand.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    I had an 06 RSX Type S that was a blast. No desire to drive this dull little appliance, though I’d be curious to see an honest review of the new Si.

    • 0 avatar
      Thatkat09

      Dont blame the tool. Any car can be a blast if you drive it right(former owner of a 98 Buick Riviera).

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The eighth-gen Riviera is one of my favorite cars ever…especially the Supercharged ones (which yours must have been, because that was the only option for ’98 and ’99). If I ever get a Riviera Silver Arrow (last 200 ever made), I will be the happiest man ever.

        • 0 avatar
          Thatkat09

          I miss my Riviera. Poor thing couldnt keep itself together though. The previously owner abused the hell out of it. I did my best to fix her up but I was to late and had to trade her in when the HVAC system imploded in on itself. The 3800 is an amazing engine, if i ever find another Riviera in decent shape for sale, im going for it. Preferably with a bench seat, the rarest of Riviera options.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Oh yeah, some of them did have the bench seat and the column-mounted gear selector. I’ve only ever seen one.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Your right on point with the civic. Blah blah blah is basically the description of that elongated dash and boring interior. Crap even the corolla blows this interior away. And I would think the mpg could be a bit higher as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Thatkat09

        I really hate that im on the Civic defense force seeing as how ive been anti-civic a majority of my life but in what world could 30 city 39 highway be better? The current fuelly average is 33mpg so real world mpg is right where it should be.

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          My elantra gt gets 34.6 ragging the crap out if it everyday. If I drive the speed limit and make consecutive shifts I avg 41 mpg comb. I guess the manual gets better mpgs over the 6spd auto. Oh and it does not have that mole cricket/ Sam Cassell looking dash.

          • 0 avatar
            Thatkat09

            The Elantra is averaging about 30 on Fuelly for the 2011, 2012, 2013 model years. Im not denying that you get incredible mileage, but other people arent getting what your getting.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            The dealer was impressed with my mpg’s as well. Not a lot of 6 spd manuals on fuelly. I guess the auto gets worse fuel mileage.

        • 0 avatar
          Maniacmous

          Real world MPG can get better yet. I’ve got a ’14 Civic with the CVT, and in my area of Ohio (right on the WV/PA border with a bunch of hilly terrain), I’m averaging about 37 MPG a tank and not driving it kindly. Hand calculated MPG on a recent 500ish mile round trip was a shade over 41 (cruise set at 74). Can’t beat the MPG, even if it isn’t as fun or as nice as my old Lincoln was.

  • avatar
    rev0lver

    I used to know Mark a bit back in highschool. I had read his articles on here before without realizing it was the same Mark Stevenson. Good to see a home town boy make good!

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    I can’t tell you why I’d prefer one of these over an Elantra or Forte Koup (other than resale), but I do. Though really a manual 4-cyl Accord coupe isn’t that much more expensive and seems to be a better car. I’ve driven a few of these and the one thing I don’t like is the shifter – and I know they’re supposed to be one of the best things about a Honda. Maybe I’m just used to driving terrible American cars and can’t tell what a good shifter feels like.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I saw a brown coupe going down the road the other day, black wheels, it looked sharp. A base model with a manual might be a decent commuter, and something I’ll have to test when the Jetta finally blows.

    I like that Honda still uses a timing chain. But looking at that engine bay picture, I don’t like how the base of the wind shield is so far forward. That seriously cuts down on some wrenching room, and I won’t buy anything that’s a serious PITA to work on.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      “I won’t buy anything that’s a serious PITA to work on.”

      I fear that cuts out most of the passenger car market right now and leaves you with only trucks and truck-based SUV’s. Personally, I don’t mind small tight engine compartments. They just don’t seem to faze me.

      The engine bay above is laid out very similarly to the Acura RSX-S that I own. The key is that you have to give yourself room to get under it. A good jack and stands are absolutely essential. Once you get under it, that whole area behind the engine and under the windshield becomes readily accessible.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      The windshield is deciduous. Your arms get sunburned driving the civic in the Florida sunshine.

    • 0 avatar
      Giltibo

      Want to appreciate a Honda? Try to wrench in a Mazda! My wife drives a Mazda 5 and that thing is horrible! Takes 1/2 hour+ just to change a bloody cabin air filter (and a couple dozen swear words!). The simplest thing redefines PITA! I bought a service manual and you should see the horror, even for the simplest stuff (like changing a lightbulb).

      Mazda. Never again.
      The Mazda 5 is a sh*tbox that drinks as much fuel as a large V6 and performs like a 3-Cylinder tincan.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    I’m tempted to make a snide reference to 90s-era Fujitsu-Ten ergonomics and styling – whoops!

  • avatar
    Thatkat09

    The new Civic is safe, solid, fuel efficient, reliable and peppy. Warmed over hamburger or not, Its still a fantastic little car. So its not as engaging to drive as your old tin can that would probably be eviscerated in any major accident. Give me safe and solid over sporty any day of the week.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark Stevenson

      I love how you never once used the word “good”.

      • 0 avatar
        Thatkat09

        I used fantastic which is better than good.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          Two good friends own Civics of this newer generation. It really is a mediocre car compared to the new Accord, and especially compared to the new Mazda3, which two of my other friends (father and son) just bought. The latter father just ended a four year lease on a Golf TDI Sportwagen, and cannot believe how much nicer his stripper 3 is than that ponderous car.

          The point is, you can do a lot better than a Civic in today’s car market, and still avoid the dross of Hyundai/Kia while you’re at it, if you have any pretensions whatsoever to being a car enthusiast. Presumably, that’s why you’re here.

          • 0 avatar
            Thatkat09

            Hsving just driven a 2014 Honda Civic 400 miles, I came to the conclusion that its a great friken car. I dont care that the Mazda 3 is the second coming. As an auto enthusiast, im going to defend the Civic because there’s nothing wrong with it. Why is it so hard to get that across? Its not supposed to be sporty or do 0 to 60 in 7 seconds. Its a workhorse, I doubt the Mazda 3 will ever be able to handle the abuse a Civic goes through on a yearly basis. Thats something worth defending.

            Edit:
            Also my Last 5 cars were as followed: 1997 Geo Metro 1.3 5 speed, 2002 Saturn SC2 5 speed, 2007 Volvo S40 2.4i 5 speed, 1998 Buick Riviera 3.8 supercharged auto and last but not least my 2013 Kia Optima 2.4 auto. I drive around full grown adults on a daily basis, there arent many full sized offerings i could afford with a stick. Im very much an auto enthusiast, I know your not questioning it but I just wanted to show you my credentials.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        Great point, or Good point.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Yep, another American terrified to get out of bed in the morning.

      Hint: Life isn’t supposed to be safe. It’s supposed to be interesting.

      • 0 avatar
        Thatkat09

        Please spare me…
        I drove a Geo Metro around for years, my last car was a 98 Buick Riveria. Safety is a factor for me now because I drive my family around, I really dont care if i get hurt but i’ll do my hardest to keep them safe. So you can shove it.

      • 0 avatar
        Thatkat09

        Seriously, how friken rude. What the heck is wrong with buying a car based off a safety rating? So im concerned about the safety of my family, that makes me terrified to get out of bed in the morning? I guess you must feel the same way about Jack then ever since he crashed his Town Car.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Called the civic safe is pretty much a joke. Sure it can hit a wall head on. But they I would not call a civic safe. Those two words do not go hand and hand.

      • 0 avatar
        Thatkat09

        http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/honda/civic-4-door-sedan

        Looks pretty safe to me.

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          No way I would consider a civic safe. I can actually dent the quarter panels and hood with my thumb. Yes honda designed it score well in a crash test. Go drive an Elantra, Jetta, or Focus. They don’t feel like they will be blown off the road by a semi or gust of wind.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “I can actually dent the quarter panels and hood with my thumb.”

            Shi..yah.. I’d bet they’d probably just crumple in a crash! Jap crap.

          • 0 avatar
            Thatkat09

            Just tried that. Nope, Silly. You made that up. I see no dent. Feels just as solid as my Optima. Also the Civic and Elantra weigh about the same so a gust of wind will do the same thing to both.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I maybe the only one, but that 2 tier dash bothers me. Throw in a infotainment unit and I might forget to look at the road. How much more is the ILX?

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      You are definitely not the only one – no way could I look at that mess every day. Maybe it is so ugly so you only look outside all the time?

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      It’s a little weird, but it works fairly well in execution – sort of like a budget heads up display. I mean, I spend 2 years/72k kms with it, and it worked for me.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    I didn’t know that NAMBLA was short for Texas Automotive Writers Association.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Another review confirming what I knew when I passed up a brand-new ninth-gen for a CPO eigth: I made the right decision.

    The ninth-gen, in both of its forms, has a somewhat desperate “ME TOO!” look and feel to it, as if Honda tried to check all the boxes of all the bolder, more forward-thinking competition, but didn’t quite get there in any capacity.

    The eighth-gen may have been wild-looking eight years ago, but now it’s about as unassuming, confident, and dignified as the sixth-gen. It has aged remarkably well. I was even fully used to the two-tier dash within a week of operation.

    A 2009 Civic has nothing to prove, and it shows: it quietly goes about its business without CVTs, touchscreens, ECON buttons, piano-blackish trim, or DLO FAIL.

    • 0 avatar

      Just as Michael Karesh said when he reviewed the 2012. The previous wedge design was cleaner and just generally better. It has also aged much better. I completely agree.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I think interior space and aerodynamics were top priorities of the 9th gen, at the cost of the very well balanced 8th gen looks. Sit in one, the doors are incredibly thin looking, almost scalloped out to maximize shoulder room. In fact when lowering the window you will feel the door card move out slightly, an engineering compromise I’m sure. Likewise the front seatbacks are super thin to maximize rear legroom given the compact wheelbase. Despite that they are supremely comfortable (to me atleast). In short, if a roomy and airy cabin, sewing machine smooth engine, and excellent fuel economy and reliability are the top priorities (along with insane resale value), then the Civic is a top contender. If driving dynamics, low road noise, or looks take precedent, then maybe look elsewhere. Kind of sad because the Civic used to be the king of fun handling in mainstream compact sedans.

        I bought my 2012 for $15k in January 2013 used with 11k miles. Used prices where I am now for similar 2012 cars with 30+k miles are still in the 14-15k range. Newer 8th gens also fetch crazy prices, $12-14k for a clean 2011 with low miles. A friend of mine is dead set on buying a used late model Honda sedan and prices are shocking. Good for sellers/owners, bad for used car shoppers.

        • 0 avatar
          DrGastro997

          Agreed. I bought a Civic coupe back during high school and drove like it. It remains one of my favorite cars because it did so much. 200,000 miles without a single mechanical or electrical failure, zero problems. Dealers and private party buyers still wanted to buy it at 200K miles.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    It’s too bad you couldn’t get a stick shift. I’m wondering how much that would have helped driver engagement. The coupe is now the only way to get an EX stick shift on the Civic. That distinction also means that it has to be compared to the Focus and Mazda3, even though those are only available as sedans. If you want the higher trimline cars with a stick, those are the configurations you must consider for each.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark Stevenson

      When my head hits the ceiling, it’s game over, manual or not.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      9th gen stick shift is very smooth, with good heft to the shifter and typical Honda slick-ness. Clutch is super light and progressive, big improvement over the on/off switch of my father’s 2007 Fit. Definitely makes it a peppy little commuter, you can really extract the full potential of the R18, which is really a very good motor. Not all of the sound and top end fury of the old B series mills, but a very polished and refined unit.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    In a little bit of fairness, the current Civic is like the Accords of old, so no surprise that that the CVT version is a mild-child.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    It wasn’t just the ninth gen car that wasn’t all that good. Back in 2002, I was car shopping and the Civic was on my list, until I drove it. Do you remember generic products? There were all in while packages, with the contents listed in plain block letters (“Beer”, “Paper Towels”, etc) and a prominent bar code? That car should have been only available in white with a bar code, it was so generic and bland to drive.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I’ll give it this, the wheels look pretty cool.

    The split dashboard was a stupid idea. Why? Why mess with something that 99.9% of the population knows well and is familiar with?

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    I looked at these and I agree with Mr. Stevenson. Overpriced and mediocre with a side of tedious salespeople.

    • 0 avatar
      Thatkat09

      The Cruze LS is overpriced but it has the best color options so whatever. For what you get on the LX Civic though, its pretty darn competitive. When you load it up, thats when it get overpriced. But thats true with every compact.

  • avatar

    I find it interesting how recently this car was actually competitive. For example, two years ago my mother was looking for a reliable, efficient, well-optioned economy car (preferably hatchback) BUT, it had to be used, around the $12-$15k mark. We looked at EVERYTHING. Really, we did. She had no loyalty to Honda, but she still ended up in a 2008 Civic EX-L.

    What was interesting about the market? If she was shopping for the same thing now she would have way more choice that would much more closely match her list of desires.

    How quickly things change.

    • 0 avatar
      Thatkat09

      This is what i dont get. This car is competitive. The notion that its not is insane. Its not as exciting as a Mazda 3 or as roomy as a Jetta but it does everything competently. What more can you ask for? Your right though that the competition has stepped up its game and makes the Civic less appealing. Im really not getting the hate for the 9th gen refresh after driving one. It seemed very pleasant.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        That’s the problem:

        The competition provides similar and better cars at the same price or lower. Besides the Koreans though, Honda seems to be the only one who’s providing a coupe. And speaking of the Korean’s, they’ve figured out the market pretty damn well, something Honda after awhile took for granted. It’s taken Honda up to this point to figure out the American buyer want’s gadgets for little to nothing. LaneWatch, push button start, sunroof on the EX sedan for a little over 20K? Sounds good to me. Although the lack of any buttons when you option for the Navigation screen is insane.

        Too bad Honda doesn’t offer a Civic 5 door in the states.

        • 0 avatar
          Thatkat09

          I think my point is that although each member of the competition does something better than the civic, they also have short comings that the civic doesnt. Also my 2013 Kia Optimas left such a bad taste in my mouth that I really dont think I’ll be considering another Kia anytime soon, regardless of price. Although Im willing to accept that I got a bad apple.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    Honda has totally lost it in my book. I was paying the lease on my 2012 Accord last night and glanced at the statement. On the right was a box about 500 things to be thankful for. “Bacon” is listed. What, so Honda is anti-Semitic now? Or just plain stupid?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Doug,
      Wrongfully accused! Honda has long trumpeted the achievements of Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban, an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, and author. Why, it is rumored that Sir Francis’ dying words were “VTEC power forever!”

      AFAIK. I think Honda is just about the only carmaker that canNOT be accused of anti-semitism.

    • 0 avatar
      Thatkat09

      Thats silly, Im a Jewish vegetarian and that’s not offensive to me in the least. People really do love bacon and its something we have to accept.

  • avatar
    Thatkat09

    I really dont get the hate for the 9th gen post refresh Civic. I just recently drove one about 400 miles and it was a very pleasant little car. I really couldnt complain about anything, I was driving the sedan so head room wasn’t an issue and rear legroom was fine for an adult. Seems like a well rounded family car. The interior was fine, soft touch points where they should be. Averaged 31.3 which wasnt great but I hit alot of traffic so it gets a pass. I know Alex got 7.9 seconds to 60 but edmunds got 9.1 so im guessing its somewhere in between, whatever the case i never lacked for power like the 2013 2.4 Optima I daily drive. Anyway whoever buys one of these will probably love it just as much as the previous gen civics of yore.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @Thatkat09: I think the issue is that “pleasant little car” just doesn’t cut it anymore when you compare it to the competition. The Civic is at or near the bottom in most categories. No matter what your priority in buying a car, unless said priority is having one with an (straight, not curvy) H on the hood, there’s no compelling reason to pick one over any of the other offerings in the class.

      • 0 avatar
        Thatkat09

        “The Civic is at or near the bottom in most categories.”

        Is it though? It seems like the Civic is middle of the pack in most categories. Or if you go by Alex, near the top of the segment.

        Isnt it something like this:

        Dart, Sentra, Corolla, Cruze, Elantra, Civic, Jetta, Focus, Forte, Mazda 3

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          @Thatkat09: I think that in this segment, the cars are so vastly different that you can’t really rank them all together. Most offer a compelling reason to buy depending on how much weight/importanc you give to different qualities.

          looks: Mazda 3, Elantra, Forte, Corolla, Cruze, and Dart
          fuel economy: probably anything but a Cruze or Dart, with the Mazda, Sentra, and Corolla probably being the best
          fun to drive/dynamics: Focus and Mazda3
          refinement/upscale feel and features: Dart and Cruze
          features/$: korean twins
          space: Jetta
          infotainment: Corolla or Focus

          The only area where I see the Civic being near the top is in cost to own/reliability/depreciation, but it’s not gonna be any better than a Corolla in that regard, and the Corolla surpasses it in many other categories like style, fuel economy, interior, infotainment, etc with the Civic not doing anything better than the Corolla

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            Although it appears other aspects of the car aren’t so great, the Dart is the best looking car of that little group, by far, IMHO.

          • 0 avatar
            Thatkat09

            If you want a well rounded car that does everything competently but nothing extraordinary, get a Civic. Nothing wrong with a safe bet.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @Thatkat09: if that’s what someone came to me looking for, I would send them to a Corolla, which has better styling inside and out, better infotainment, and better fuel economy, an Elantra, which in my experience (have had many as rentals) gets great real world fuel economy, looks better, has a better warranty, and offers a better value, or a Sentra, which has more attractive looks, better fuel economy, and (I think, haven’t researched recently) is a better value proposition. I think you’re giving the Civic too much credit to say it does everything competently vs the competition.

          • 0 avatar
            Thatkat09

            @tjh8402
            I think your giving the Corolla, Elantra and Sentra far to much credit. The Corolla gets 28/37 in anything but Eco form, the base 4 speed gets 28/36, the Elantra gets 28/38 and the Sentra gets 30/39. None of them get better mileage than the Civic. The new Corolla keeps placing below the Civic in recent comparisons, the Sentra has bad driving dynamics and the Elantra is slow. Your making recommendations through your opinions, not fact.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @thatkat09: You are right in that these are all opinions. As much as we might like to make these judgements, there’s no way to objectively absolutely determine which is better than the other. The Mazda 2 is a favorite among enthusiasts, but of all the rental cars I’ve been given, that’s the only one I took back (after only 8 miles of driving) and asked to be switched into just about anything else (I have asked for a swap on a few others I knew I wouldn’t like such as a Versa or Yaris). I found it a miserable car with no redeeming qualities. OTOH, I love the Fiesta, a car that no magazine has rated above the Mazda. I pay attention to comparison tests and reviews, but in this case, I’m going based on extensive personal experience renting all the vehicles in question (I rent a car about one day a week and usually put around 400 miles on it in that day) except the civic, which I have test driven several times. I have found the Corolla, Sentra, and Elantra all to be comfortable, competent, adequately powerful options that offer real world fuel economy that exceeds their EPA ratings, whereas the author here found the Civic to be below (admittedly surprising since I normally expect Hondas to beat the EPA numbers). I didn’t say they were all superior to the Civic in all all regards, but that they offered enough areas where they exceeded it. I would never tell someone not to consider the Civic, it’s not a bad car, and if they drive it and like it better than the competition, more power to them. But if they’re asking me for my recommendations, the Civic is never a top contender.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            “The new Corolla keeps placing below the Civic in recent comparisons, the Sentra has bad driving dynamics and the Elantra is slow. Your making recommendations through your opinions, not fact.”

            And the Civic got spanked by the Forte in a Car and Driver, Motor Trend, and Motorweek.

            And those are facts, not opinions.

    • 0 avatar
      kuman

      Thatkat09, i agree on your opinions, after all the rage over the new civic, I decide to give it a try, went to a local dealer and test drive it.Here in southeast asia, civic was offered in 2.0 5spd and 1.8 5spd manual.

      I give the civic is bit louder on the inside compared to corollas, but civic drives miles better than the corollas, we dont have optimas here, nor hyundai elantra and mazda only sells cx5, mazda 2 and mazda 6. But we do have focus, we too have Peugeot 208 and Peugeot 308 and I have tested them too.

      I give focus the best feel to the peugeot 308, it simply the best car out there, it got 1.6 turbo. Its roomy, comfy, communicative, plain entertaining.

      However when it comes to the 2nd place, its atough call. Focus drives really nice, but its cramped, on bad n rough roads its just plain harsh

      The civic 2.0 is not as sporty to drive as the focus but its more spacious and smoother riding too. The 1.8 I admit is under powered even its a manual.

      Corollas… well it doesnt do anything but looks pretty in my book. I really dig its looks, but thats about it really.

      I really come to doubts all this civic hate stuff, come on man, if it’s your only car, and it’s really your own hard earned money, and your life depended on it, I’m pretty sure u too would pick some safe investment, middle ground of some sort.

      I guess thats what sells the civic. I really don’t see why to hate it.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    As I come from a partially Honda loving family (my grandfather had 2 Wagovan 4wds, one CRV and now a Fit and my younger brother has an Integra Type-R, and used to own an ’88 Accord Aerodeck) and own a Honda CRV, I probably am biased, but I have never considered myself a Honda ‘fanboi’.
    Apart from the Type R, most of their cars are pretty average at most things, although their late 80’s/early 90’s offerings were pretty hi-tech for their time for someone used to German cars.
    Not many of their cars are the best at anything, but they are never the worst at anything either (except maybe road noise?) They have never built a big engine, and they have made a lot of horrible seats. This generation Civic will most likely outnumber all its competitors though, and even more so as the years go by. A few blown auto-transmissions 10 years ago drown in a sea of reliable cars. (unless the roadsalt gets them)
    Which is the main reason I keep getting them as daily drivers, and work on older European cars on my spare time…Although I would buy a Crosstour with a V6 if we got them over here (used offcourse, so a few years from now)

  • avatar
    changsta

    I think that a lot of the people that are commenting on this review do not understand the demographic that is purchasing this type of vehicle. The Honda Civic is a top seller year after year because it gets good fuel mileage without the need for a special package (SFE, Cruze ECo etc), and actually achieves this in the real world, unlike Hyundai, Ford etc. It has a well deserved reputation for reliability, and is roomy (flat floor in the rear makes a world of difference for that third passenger. The quality of the interior is good on all Civics, not just high trim line versions. Sit in a base Corolla and tell me that the Corolla’s interior is a “knockout”. The domestics especially, have a bad habit of putting the good trim in only the top of the line models, and not the base or mid line levels. In other words, the models that people actually buy. If I was purchasing a compact today, I would still select a Civic. Its a great overall package. It doesn’t matter if it is not the sportiest. I had a 2007 Acura CSX a few years ago (pretty much a loaded Civic with different head and tail lights and a larger 4 banger), and in 115,000km, it had zero mechanical issues, just oil changes and wear and tear items. The manual transmission was a joy, and I miss the two tier dash. The readout for speed was right in my line of view. This was definitely a preferable setup for me compared to what is more common. I’m sure people will comment that most modern cars can do 115,000km with no issues, but that was not the case for me with my brand new Focus or Mazda5. They had significant issues (suspension bushings and control arms, stalling, broken sunroof mechanism, broken power window/lock motors, electrical issues, cracked serpentine belts, severe rusting etc) well before 115,000km, which the Acura did not. The Civic is class leading in the metrics that matter to real buyers. Maybe not for enthusiasts, but if you are one, you should be looking at a Civic Si or elsewhere.

  • avatar
    blppt

    I had an 09 or 10 Civic LX (can’t remember which MY) with the 5 speed automatic. No, it wasn’t a barn-burner, but it handled quite well for an econo-sedan with steel rims and narrow tires. And honestly—I had very little complaint with the 1.8 i-VTEC motor—it was quite peppy around town, and if it wasn’t for the stupidly tall o/d gear (with no O/D lockout!!!!) it would have been a decent highway cruiser as well. All in all, despite the interior not being anything special, and the stereo was terrible (i had the LX sedan, no tweeters), i preferred it overall to the loaded 08 Focus SES i traded in for that Civic. The Focus just wasn’t any fun to drive (how the mighty have fallen!).

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    that front bumper is hideous. this trend of overstyling front bumpers with cutouts and plastic inserts and whatever else is getting out of hand.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      +10
      That trend is especially silly when inflicted upon small utility cars like the Fit. Putting aggressive suckholes on the front and rear(!) of the 2015s insults an otherwise pristinely practical design. Glad we got the previous model.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Is this really any better than the Corolla?

    • 0 avatar
      Mark Stevenson

      Transmission in this is better than the Corolla (CVT) but I would have the Corolla over this. Bad comparison though as the Corolla isn’t available as a two-door.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Car and Driver just published a comparison of redesigned compacts and liked the Corolla’s CVT far more than the Civic’s. Both cars were bottom of the pack in the test, by a fair margin.

        • 0 avatar
          Thatkat09

          The Forte, Civic and Corolla all where within 4 points of each other. The Jetta and Mazda 3 bested the other 3 by a decent margin however. Infact the Jetta lost by 1 point, if they had driven the 2015 Jetta, it probably would have won the camparo since the interiors getting an upgrade. It really makes me want to try the new 1.8t, if its as good as everyones saying i can overlook a crummy interior.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    These things are TINY and they try to be evil looking. That’s not wise. It makes you want to put on your heaviest boots, run up their hood and stomp them into the ground.

  • avatar
    fiasco

    I saw the picture and thought it was going to be a Baruth review of his Accord after several months of ownership. That’s all I have to say about the size of the Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      The dealership where we bought a Fit Saturday had two, both black, parked at the very front of the lot on the grass adjacent to the main entrance, clearly wanting very much to be rid of them.

      They just seemed so low and puny that it made their aggressive looks hilarious. It’s hard to believe the 6’1″ guy had as much headroom as in that photo.

  • avatar
    I_Like_Pie

    They are selling new accord for right at 20k over the holiday weekend….Why anyone would buy a civic over a accord right now is beyond me.

  • avatar
    daiheadjai

    It isn’t that Hyundai springs their cars like race cars resulting in bad ride quality, it’s just that they spring their cars with bad suspension bits and tuning.
    If my experience with my wife’s Elantra is any indication, it is simply that they have bad suspension tuning (something JB agreed with in his review of the Elantra), particularly in the rear.
    Going over bumps is the wrong kind of exciting, particularly if the bumps occur midcorner.

    As for CVTs being good on gas, I drive my 6MT BRZ to work daily, and have been getting about 28.9MPG average with stock tires (about 27MPG in the winter with snow tires), and I get to have fun when I want to.
    Seems like the CVT isn’t really justifiable in light of those fuel economy numbers, given the sacrifice in fun.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark Stevenson

      IIRC, Hyundai suspensions fail on two levels.

      Their “normal” suspensions have too soft a spring and not enough damping to compensate, causing a lot of instances of full suspension travel and crashing into the bumpstop.

      The “sport” suspensions are just too aggressive, most notable in the 1st gen Kia Soul in top trims with larger wheels. They just aren’t comfortable.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I empathize for Honda – they’re cursed to be judged against both the competition and their old product. And yet, I don’t think they’ve changed as much as we seem to think they have. As it happens, I got to spend a couple minutes with a surprisingly well maintained ’97 Accord today (along with several 7th, 8th, and 9th gen Civics). The Accord’s almost knee-high beltline stood out compared to the modern cars, and the grades of plastics changed back and forth, with varying degrees of good and cheap (but solid) plastics scattered about. And, of course, the newer cars were a little quieter, the engines ran a little smoother. But, at the same time, the controls all had a consistent feel to them, and everything was logically laid out (weird as the 8th/9th gen Civic dash is, it’s sensible). There’s a general sense of goodness that’s stuck with them, even if Honda cheapened out this round.

    That said, I was surprised by just how poorly the current Civic handled compared to a Mazda3, being less agile, and more easily upset by bumps. I thought my ’10 had a rather decent ride/handling balance. Still, for stuff that the average consumer cares about, the Civic still has it. I’d hold out for the 10th generation (hopefully, they can work as hard as they did on the Accord), but it’s not exactly a four-wheeled abomination.

    • 0 avatar
      kuman

      I think its because the civic is now a global car, and Asian customers demands for softer riding small sedans.

      Here in southeast asia, civics is very desirable and in high demands is always criticised for having stiff suspension and overly sporty. Perhaps thats also explain why the focus never sell well here.

      Southeast Asian and Indian markets demands for civic to be softer riding and ever more spacious (especially at the back, since most civics are chauffeured) as the poor man’s accord.

      I’m guessing we are mostly to blame for that.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    15-25 years ago, 25 y/o buyers wanted coupes. Today’s 20-somethings [on average] either take a cab, train, bus in the city or get an SUV. Jeep Wranglers/Cherokees and maybe a CR-V.

    But if getting a car, 4 doors are it, and they do cross shop. But, Cruze and Focus get looked at, while their mom gets a Corolla. Civic coupes are last century, and one reason is the tight headroom.

    Honda is selling more sedans and more CR-V’s, and that is bringing in $, which is the point of owning a business. Can whine and moan about coupes fading, but times have changed, and they are going the way of wood paneled station wagons.

    Oh, and I am willing to bet the reviewer had an even tighter fit in a 2000 Civic, with sunroof.

  • avatar

    I own a 2013 Civic SI sedan. I previously owned a 2010 Ford Mustang an a 2004 Accord Coupe 6MT. I take issue with this review. It was not objective, it was personal opinion and as the writer states, has preconceived notions.

    I am also 6 ft 1in. My Civic has a sunroof, I have plenty of head clearance and I am not required to perform the gangsta lean, even though I only listen to gangsta rap.

    My overall impression is that it does everything well and will not become a bore on the freeway (hence skipping the twitchy ST). The cabin ergonomics work very well, the shifter is superb. My MPG in mixed driving is 33.4 MPG. My wife’s Charger sucks gas.

    After owning a VA road warrior for four years I could see little sense in driving a 19 mpg monster for the very rare macho match with a hoon. Here in SC the local and county police are short of funds and a ticket on a Mustang is not something you want.

    So my sewing machine goes about its business, gets admiration in the hood where I live, and allows me to pass with confidence. Yes it is not perfect, but a bad hamburger it is not.

    O

    • 0 avatar
      Mark Stevenson

      Two very, very different cars. I’m sure I could sit in the sedan but the roofline in the coupe, along with the sunroof, takes away some headroom. Also, Si vs EX (the one tested), you probably get a nicer interior and some other bits.

  • avatar
    mr.cranky

    I drive a 2009 Honda Civic.

    Honda pretty much ruined the design language by turning the Civic into a wanna-be Corolla/Camry clone.

    The “eagles beak” headlights at least told you that it was a Civic that you were staring at. Nowadays? Might as well be another BORE-yota.

    And yes, I drive a slushbox. So sue me. I love my car and I’m one of those car owners that get lost in the middle between 5 speed nirvana and Prius.

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    Sanjeev, Sanjay… You know, that guy: Please do a VV on this.

    Mandatory points to include:

    1) This coupé body style is hideous! If they really couldn’t be satisfied with the 4/5-door hatchback, they should simply have done a 2/3-door variant of it; and

    2) The current-generation Civic is a monstrosity, a hideously overwrought evolution of the previous one’s perfectly taut lines and volumes.

    OK, maybe you don’t need to do a VV on this — I already did it for you.

    • 0 avatar
      Thatkat09

      I know im the Civic defender in this comment section but I saw two Civic Sedans parked next to each in my parking garage today, a 2013+ and a last generation, and I really think the 2013+ looks more mature at the cost of a more bloated appearance. Something about the taillights just looks classy to me.I think the last gen civic is really starting to show its age, probably because theres so many of them and its been that way for almost a decade. The Coupe is very over-styled though, i’ll give you that. A cleaner bumper would do wonders for the front.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    I just had a 2014 Civic sedan as a rental. I’m 6’4″ and I couldn’t find comfortable position in the seat. I believe that seats are made for short people, as upper part of seat back curves toward the driver. That curve was digging into my back too low below my shoulder blades and made for a very uncomfortable drive. I also had 2014 Jetta and Focus as rentals and had not experienced such issues.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States