By on February 22, 2017

2017 Honda Civic LX Coupe

It wouldn’t have escaped your attention that there have been some bumpy years in #CivicNation. Honda acknowledged this itself, scuttling back to the drawing board for an “emergency refresh” in 2013 after the people with adenoids Consumer Reports pulled its Recommended rating.

What caused the problem? A misfire in focus groups? Bean counters? Aliens? Alien bean counters in focus groups? We may never know. What we do know is the 2017 Honda Civic is quite good, so let’s see how the coupe version stacks up in base LX trim against its higher-spec brothers.

Priced at a good steak dinner over $19,000, the Civic LX Coupe offers up a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine making a reasonable 158 horsepower. The snappy, new turbo option appears further up the trim-level food chain. VTEC, yo, appears on the standard mill. Do not choose the CVT; stick with the stick and its six speeds.

The Civic is, has, and always will be a popular choice for new drivers. Standard hill start assist will help prevent them from hammering the front bumper of the vehicle astern while a raft of airbags will keep them cushioned should they fail to keep matters shiny-side-up.

Automatic climate control pops up on the base LX Coupe, as do auto up/down windows and a tilt/telescope wheel. A capless fuel system assures young drivers of clean hands so they can SnapGram their stop at the gas station. Cruise control and air conditioning make for comfortable road trips.

All hues on the Civic LX color palette are delivered gratis; I weep for buyers who fail to select either Aegean Blue, Rallye Red, or Energy Green. Many manufacturers charge extra *ahem*Mazda*ahem* for something from the interesting side of the paint booth.

Optional 17-inch rims only serve to ruin the ride and balloon expenses when it comes time to replace tires. The standard 16-inch hoops look good while avoiding the Bizarro World style of the CR-V tri-spokes. Edge Guards and Frontal Masks sound like big fun until you realize they’re only for use on the car.

Nearly 30 years ago, the new-for-’88 Honda Civic LX was lauded for its refinement and handling, had 92 hp, and the passenger sideview mirror was an option. It cost around $8,500 (about $16,500 in today’s money), additional dealer markup notwithstanding, and that’s assuming you could find one. Makes the extra $3,000 for today’s LX Coupe, its newfound mojo, and all its extra kit look like the bargain of the century. We’ll gloss over the 700-pound weight gain.

Naturally, a lack of critical praise didn’t harm Civic sales back in 2012 and the car continued to sell near the top of its class, proving no one listens to us slovenly journalists anyways. We hope people are listening this time around because, despite Tim needing to rinse his eyes with bleach after driving the hatch, this Civic LX Coupe represents a good addition to the Ace of Base series.

Not every base model has aced it. The ones that have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

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45 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Civic LX Coupe...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This is an actually appealing Ace of Base.

    NO CHARGE FOR INTERESTING COLORS! Don’t let Honda corporate wander over to the various GM brand websites – they charge for almost everything that isn’t black, white, or gray.

    I am also happily surprised to see that the fuel filler door is on the drivers side.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I noticed that, particularly on the new 2017 LaCrosse.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “NO CHARGE FOR INTERESTING COLORS!”

      Oh, the cruel irony for me. This is one of the few cars for which the sheet metal is too tortured for me to want to show off in a real color; I’d be looking hard at dark gunmetal grey just to tone it down.

      Appealing car in just about every other respect, though.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      This is probably a pretty good call. My third car was a 1993 Honda Civic hatchback (mmanual), and I kept it for almost 10 years and nearly 300,000 miles. That was by far the best car I’ve ever owned. It was the most affordable to maintain, the second most fuel efficient, the most reliable…other than the usual consumption parts (tires, brakes, belts, etc) it needed nothing.

      And it was surprisingly fun to drive, too, even with a 1.5L 102 HP engine. The engine in the 2017 LX compares more than favorably to the 1.6L available that was available in 1993’s “sporty” Si trim, despite being a heavier car.

      I’d love something like this if I weren’t a spoiled, middle-aged man with a family and a preference for mid-sized sedans that have every technological and comfort features. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Had a 1993 Civic LX sedan, bought at 100K miles. Loved the style, the handling, the communicative but compliant ride quality, the seat comfort, interior quality. Honda did a lot right with that car.

        Did *not* like that 1.5 engine. It was coarse, loud and unrefined in every sense of the word. Road noise was painfully loud on the freeway as well. I think the first owner was cruel to it, there were numerous expensive issues by the time we ditched it at 175K miles.

        Drove a friend’s 1993 Corolla around that time, it was a Lexus in comparison but quite dull. Both were the undisputed quality kings in the class, but with very different personalities.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    Just did an AutoTrader search, expecting to find zero Civic LXs with 6-speeds in my city (Columbus).

    There are 13(!) Civic LXs with manual transmissions currently available in central Ohio. Four coupes, nine sedans.

    Hallelujah.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      There’s *one* here in Oklahoma City or anywhere near, at Battison Honda. It’s a 2017 EX-T sedan, and it’s so new, they haven’t yet put pictures up of it.

      http://www.battisonhonda.com/vehicle-details/new-2017-honda-civic-ex-t-oklahoma-city-ok-id-17258446

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      And they’re all at Roush. My guess is that if you checked the other 5 or 6 in and around Columbus you’d probably have your choice of 30 or 40.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    I have owned plenty of base trim cars over time. I’m generally a fairly basic car kind of guy, and I don’t need ventilated seats or navigation or remote start in my car. The Ace of Base segments on TTAC are one of my favorite things you guys put out.

    The problem with the Civic lineup in general, in my opinion, is that there are some unnecessary trim levels. The EX (sed), LX-P(cpe) and EX-L are a waste of time and add too much inventory complexity. IMHO, there are three trim levels that make total sense in Civicworld, the LX, the EX-T, and the Touring. The rest is fluff.

    The LX makes sense because as pointed out in this AOB, you get all the basics you need for well under 20 grand. If you don’t care about toys, you get a remarkably well equipped car for not much change.

    The EX, in my opinion (sedan, LX-P in coupe guise), is a waste of time. The premium to step up to the EX-T is very minimal, and you get a ton of return on that small investment.

    The EX-L is expensive enough that you may as well step up to the Touring at that point.

    If I ran Honda, the sedan and coupe range would be LX, ET-T, and Touring. I’m not holding my breath on getting that phone call, of course.

    I’m a fan of base cars like I mentioned, but in the particular case of the Civic, I think there is a very strong case to be made to opt for the EX-T car if you can swing it. You get a very nice amount of kit for a real world price of somewhere in the $21k range in the US. Enough toys to keep you interested, the better engine, etc. Good haggling and timing your purchase properly gets you pretty close to $20k if you’re in the right neck of the woods.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      The reason that Honda can have so many different trim levels is volume. If you’re selling enough volume then you can afford to keep breaking it out into smaller groups with collections of options. And if you try to build a Civic on their web site, you’re basically got a handful of options: transmission, color, and wheels. Everything else is pretty much available as a dealer-installed option. So when you’re picking a Civic trim level you’re pretty much taking it as it comes, rather than taking a foundation trim level and adding option packages to get what you want.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    “Many manufacturers charge extra *ahem*Mazda*ahem* for something from the interesting side of the paint booth.”

    You can say that again. Dang CX-5 Sport comes in black, gray, and dark gray, with a black interior.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The best feature of any Civic LX is that the “uplevel” touchscreen infotainment system isn’t available at any price. You get real knobs and buttons.

    And the CVT is more than passable with the base 2.0 engine.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      The touch screen system isn’t nearly as bad as it has been made out to be in reviews. Most reviewers don’t have the car long enough to acclimate to the system, and hence they find it annoying because it is different than what they are used to. Once you get used to it, it isn’t bad. Granted, I’d rather have knobs like the LX cars feature, but the steering wheel controls on the upper trims (wife owns an EX-T) are pretty good. You end up using them most of the time anyway even if you have knobs on the head unit.

      It’s about 75% a familiarization problem, and 25% poor design on Honda’s part. But if you only have the car for a few days, it seems like those percentages are flipped.

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    I might argue that the EX-T w/ manual is the better long term choice. Some of the extras are frippery, but it’s the lowest price you can pay to get the better engine.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I was just playing with the “build your own” on Honda’s website and on reflection I’d have to agree.

      EX-T with manual trans, more turbo fun without much more upfront cost.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The turbo is only “better,” if you drive long distances on the highway (if even there), or if your race your Civic for time rather than entertainment. A modern 2 liter NA 4 with vtech,yo!, is plenty for a Civic. And much less awkward than any turbo, up to and including a Benz 12, in dense urban gridlock.

      • 0 avatar
        syncro87

        The turbo isn’t at all awkward in city traffic. I just drove my wife’s EX-T to have the oil changed today, in such conditions.

        The NA engine isn’t bad at all. The turbo bests the 2.0 in hilly terrain, any time you have a few people in the car and the A/C running, and on the highway as you pointed out. But sure, the standard engine is good.

    • 0 avatar
      SnarkyRichard

      Yeah I agree on the EX-T mainly because no variable intermittent wipers available on the LX – a must have in a new car IMO . Silly to exclude that in this day and age where most base models have that and you can even get an aftermarket wiper delay for old air cooled VWs . The green in the pic doesn’t do justice to the color – google civic energy green and the color pictured looks like a dull olive green by comparison .

  • avatar
    ajla

    Has Honda’s paint quality improved at all recently? I see a lot of late model ones with large amounts of clear coat failure.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      ajla – I would guess that the answer would be probably not. Coatings is one of the areas where Honda has “economized” for many years. My old OEM coatings corporation, as did the other two major players, tried to make inroads over in East Liberty and Marysville several times over the years to no avail. One trial with them in the late ’90s resulted in much better paint/clear performance than what they had ever experienced but, as was always the case, the price was more than they were willing to pay. At least they seem to have moved beyond the quick and dirty phosphate wash of the bare metal prior to application of the primer/base coatings as their vehicles don’t corrode like Mazdas anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      The paint isn’t that great. Of course, you’ll find this to be the case with most economy cars these days.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I’m about to shock nearly everyone, so brace yo’ collectives yourselves.

    This is yet another Honda that is anti-Honda, and would nearly certainly make Honda’s founder, Soichiro Honda, roll in his grave and curse some of Honda’s current offerings (NSX, CR-V, and by the widest margin, this Civic), as having not only many off-putting interior elements, and especially exterior, designattributes, but ones that serve no othere purpose than to “one up” rivals such as Toyota and Hyundai in trying to differentiate their products – but in the worst of ways – through aesthetic “uniqueness,” versus enhanced efficiency, enhanced performance, enhanced reliability, etc.

    I’ll go further; this Civic represents post-1996 Honda at its worst. It’s akin to seeing Yuki hitting the stimulants, alcohol and tentacle porn way too hard, being sleep-deprived and pressured too hard to innovate, and voila, we see this truly, truly hideous, bulbous, overwrought monstrosity – which I’ve already nominated as TTACUACOTY (TTAC’s Ugly A$$ Car Of The Year).

    This is such a poor design effort, that it’s not only hideous, but recycled from approx 13 years ago by a Korean playa, as it strongly resembles a circa-2004 Hyundai Tiburon that got really obese, design-loaded with much junk in the trunk (or hatch).

    https://www.cars.com/research/hyundai-tiburon-2004/

  • avatar
    nels0300

    This would be such a cool car if it looked better.

    K20 VTEC engine, 6 speed manual, under $20K, yes please.

    But then Honda went and absolutely RUINED it with the looks. Just hideous.

    I’ve been a Honda guy forever, but screw this Civic. Don’t even care how it drives.

    In this segment, sign me up for that new Schreyer/Biermann Hyundai Elantra Sport.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Looks close enough to a 1st gen TT to me, and everyone seemed to love the design of that one when it came out….. I’m not generally a fan of the looks of any design that trades beltline for (increasingly receding?) hairline, but between crash standards and demands for low wind noise, it’s getting ever harder to avoid.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      I’ll take the better driving car all day long over the better looking car, all other things being equal. Haven’t driven the ES yet, though, so can’t assume the Civic drives better at this point. The Hyundais I’ve driven all fall short in steering feel. For some reason, Hyundai just can’t quite get electric power steering feel dialed in.

      Maybe I’m just getting old. Aesthetics matter less and less to me as far as cars go. A factor, but not a primary purchase factor for me.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        I cannot see the logic in buying a worse car because it looks better. The Hyundai doesn’t drive better. It isn’t known for being as reliable. It isn’t as nice inside. It isn’t the outrageous value the brand once represented. It has a reputation for dealers who squirm out of warranty work, so the long warranty isn’t as much of a bonus if you have to fight them to honor it. The resale value for the car is far worse than Civics, and since their prices new aren’t that far apart, that is a consideration as well.

        I admit, I am not crazy about the Civic’s styling this go-round, but that’s been the case before, and after awhile, it grows on you.

        What is present and accounted for is how well the car performs, and how reliable it *usually* is (I see many older Civics (about a decade or so) with bad automatic transaxles, but I see many more Hyundais with lower mileage and major issues).

  • avatar

    I loved my old ’07 LX Coupe, but if I were to go this route again (more than likely, I will), I would spring for the EX-T sedan. I prefer the looks of the four-door over the coupe for the 10th generation.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      We have one, it’s a very good car and a great value. EX-T sedan is the sweet spot in the Civic range in my opinion, cost vs. feature set. You can even get it with a stick shift if you so choose. The CVT car is actually really good, though. The transmission does a lot better with the turbo engine than it does with the NA engine in our prior gen Civic. Pretty much sucks in that car.

      MPG is really good with the EX-T. 40-ish is attainable without too much effort. Fairly quick car when you need it to be, for the class. Nice, low beltline results in old school Honda feel when cars weren’t pillboxes.

      Warts include tinny sheet metal, fragile paint, small trunk opening, large body panel gaps if you’re the OCD type. It is en vogue to gripe about the touch screen interface, too, these days, but it isn’t as bad as you’d believe by reading reviews of the car based on short term tests.

  • avatar
    1sowa

    Why is there no way to get both android auto and a stick in the same civic?

  • avatar

    91 Civics in my area, zero manuals. Sigh-

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    The proportions are wrong – it needs a longer hood, and more rear overhang. This just looks like a regular Civic with a chopped roof.

  • avatar
    thunderjet

    I still remember when my dad bought his 98 Accord there was a base model below the LX trim he ended up purchasing. What happened to that?

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      They used to have a DX model below the LX Accord. Crank windows, no air conditioning from the factory, manual locks, etc. I’m guessing that the market for such a car basically dried up. Few people want manual windows and no A/C these days. If I recall (memory hazy), dealers used to be able to add air conditioning with a kit if you really had to have it on the DX cars, but at that point you were probably just as well off to pony up for a higher trim level.

      The take rate for the DX model probably got so low, they just scrapped it and made the next level up the “base” car.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    One note about the capless fuel system from a current gen Civic owner, since it is mentioned in the article. It is sub-par. The assembly is flimsy, when you rest the pump handle in the filler hole, the filler inlet and the entire surrounding plastic part move around like they are not attached to anything very substantially.

    Also, if you use the automated fill setting on the pump, invariably some gas flies out of the filler hole when the auto shut off is triggered. Sometimes there is enough gas shooting out to where you worry about it running onto the paint, etc. I’ve had to get a paper towel and sop up gas a few times. Grr.

    I would gladly pay for a retrofit kit to convert the car back to a traditional cap setup. It’s annoying every time I get gas in the wife’s ’16 Civic.

  • avatar
    jimbo1126

    If I’m looking for a a coupe like this, no sunroof = no sale.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      Gee, I feel the opposite way. If it has a sunroof I don’t want it.

      Sunroofs cut into the headroom and they usually turn a car from being a tight fit into one that is too cramped.

      Besides, after about 5 years the rubber seal always dries out and contracts and then the sunroof leaks. I’ve never seen a sunroof in an older car that did not leak.

      No sunroofs for me.

  • avatar
    JREwing

    Yes, it’s gained 700 lbs. It’s also about the size of a late ’80’s Accord coupe, with considerably more power and technology. Compare its price to an ’88 Accord, and you’ll find the comparison more favorable.

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