Full 2007 Honda Civic Review
What's New for 2007
The performance-oriented Si trim level becomes available for the sedan body style in addition to the coupe.
Can the 2007 Honda Civic be all things to small-car buyers? This legendary nameplate comes in a wide range of configurations, from the green-themed Hybrid and natural-gas-fueled models to the adrenaline-pumping Si. If this car were human, therapists would probably be trying to treat it for multiple personality disorder.
Thankfully, all is well with the Honda Civic. The wide selection of styles only enhances the car's legendary strengths of fuel efficiency, intelligent design, safety, refinement and performance. Rather than have just one model trying to do it all, Honda offers different versions to suit just about every interested shopper.
The 2007 Civic follows up on a full redesign that took place last year. The redesign brought about a more contemporary look, added more distinctiveness between the coupe and sedan models, and introduced new features. There were also major improvements to the Hybrid and Si specialty models. For 2007, Honda hasn't changed the Civic much, though it did expand the availability of the Si trim. For the first time ever in the U.S., you can buy an Si sedan.
Will a Civic be the next car in your garage? Some of our editors find certain qualities in the Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Rabbit/GTI more appealing. We've also compared the Civic Hybrid to the Toyota Prius and found the Prius to be a better "hybrid." But overall, the 2007 Honda Civic is a very competent vehicle, with an excellent reputation for reliability and value. In light of this, it should come as no surprise that we've named it the winner of our 2007 Editors' Most Wanted award for best coupe and sedan under $20,000.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Honda Civic is a small car available as a sedan or coupe. Each is offered in three primary trim levels. The DX is meant for those on a tight budget and offers little more than power windows, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver seat. The more popular midgrade LX comes with 16-inch wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control and a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary input jack. The top-of-the-line EX adds alloy wheels, a moonroof, a 60/40-split rear seatback and a premium audio system with steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.
There are also three specialty models: the Civic Hybrid sedan, the Civic GX sedan and the Civic Si. The natural-gas GX is equipped similarly to the LX, while the Hybrid and Si have most of the EX's features. The Si also comes with a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels and special interior trim, while the Hybrid has automatic climate control but no moonroof. For the EX, Hybrid and Si, satellite radio and a navigation system are optional.
Powertrains and Performance
Civic DX, LX and EX models are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 140 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. That power is sent through the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic. The GX also has a 1.8-liter engine, but it's fueled by clean-burning compressed natural gas and makes 113 hp. It only has a cruising range of 200 miles, but with Honda's Phill device, you can refuel from the comfort of your own garage. For the Civic Si, Honda installs a 197-hp 2.0-liter engine and an exclusive six-speed manual transmission with a performance-enhancing limited-slip front differential.
The gasoline-fueled 1.8-liter engine delivers above-average fuel economy for the small car class; EPA ratings are 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway. The 2007 Civic Hybrid, meanwhile, uses a gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain to maximize fuel economy. Its 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine is paired to the latest version of Honda's IMA technology and a continuously variable transmission to deliver 110 hp and 49/51 mpg ratings.
All Civics come with front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Antilock brakes are also standard; EX and Si models have four-wheel discs, while the rest have rear drums. Stability control is an exclusive standard feature on the Si sedan only. In NHTSA crash testing, the 2007 Honda Civic sedan earned a perfect five stars for its protection of occupants in frontal impacts. Side-impact tests resulted in a four-star rating for front passengers and five stars for rear passengers. The IIHS gives the Civic its top rating of "Good" for the car's performance in frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Civic's large dash features an unusual layout. Honda has kept the analog tachometer in the traditional location and placed a digital speedometer and gas gauge at the base of the windshield. Though some drivers find the two-tier display distracting, others say it makes quick visual checks of speed easier. Otherwise, the Honda Civic continues to be one of the best small cars in terms of room and refinement. Its controls are easy to operate and materials are of high quality.
The mainstream Civic models are responsive in a way that Honda fans will instantly recognize. The Civic's suspension, steering and brakes all work together seamlessly, and it's clear that Honda's design ethos has regard for some mild sporting character. It's also a simple car to drive, with intuitive response to inputs and controls falling readily at hand. This is also true of the Civic Hybrid; other than being slower in acceleration, it has few vices. The natural-gas GX is the least sporting member of the Civic family, though its limited fuel range means it's best suited as a city car anyway. The Civic Si, meanwhile, is a fantastic performance bargain. Possessing nimble handling, spirited acceleration and an addictive engine note, the Si is one of the few cars available in any price range that makes you want to drive it just for the sake of driving.
Read our Honda Civic GX Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test
Read our Honda Civic Si Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test