2008 Honda Civic Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Honda Civic

Honda Civic Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 140 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/36 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Honda Civic

  • Comfortable, smartly designed and available in a wide array of configurations, the 2008 Honda Civic sets the bar for the small car segment.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Engine lineup that offers both fuel-efficiency and performance, roomy and refined interior, high crash test scores, available as a sedan or coupe.

  • Cons

    Controversial gauge cluster design, slow acceleration times of Hybrid and GX models.

  • What's New for 2008

    A new Mugen Si trim level debuts for the 2008 Honda Civic sedan. It's similar to the regular Si sedan but comes with more aggressive suspension tuning, special wheels and exterior body enhancements. The only other change for the Civic line this year is the new availability of leather seating for the new EX-L trim level.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (54 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


104k miles, 4 years later....

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic EX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A)

I have just rolled over to 104k. This was a certified pre-owned 20k car from the dealership when I purchased it 4 years ago. Overall, this car has been reliable, affordable, and relatively roomy. I've averaged 29-30mpg in the city/35 highway. This car is my daily driver. Longest drive was 16 hours one way (at 90k) and no problems. Next service appointment is for the water pump/belt- hopefully this goes smoothly.



1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Reliable, fast, great handling

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic EX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A)

Purchased used in 2010 with 8,000km. Now has 43,000km. Feels like it hasn't aged a single bit. No problems, extremely fast on highways and local roads, easy to zip between cars and get thru traffic easily. Independent suspension makes cornering easy. Ride is slightly bumpy, compared to full size sedans. Drove 10 hours straight from Toronto to Queens, averaging 90mph all the way, and the car gave no problems. Was a very fun drive winding along the mountains at high speed. Fuel efficiency decreases substantially at higher speeds. Sad to see others writing poor comments, they must have received the bad apples, because otherwise the car follows the tradition for exceptional quality for me.




Mpg exceeds epa range for

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic EX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A)

We bought the Civic EX with the 1.8 liter engine when fuel prices were approaching $4.00 per gallon. We recently averaged 39 mpg over a 2200 mile trip much of it through mountainous terrain. My best mileage was at 45 mpg over a newly paved interstate. The smoothness of the road helps in delivering good mileage. And driving at the posted interstate speed of 70 MPH does not diminish the mpg. The Civic averages about 28 mpg in town.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great car

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic EX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A)

Great Car!! Here are the cars I have owned in the past few years. (I change my cars about every 6 months). I have a friend in the car business so when a new deal comes up we sell my car and get a new pre-owned one. I have had a Lexus ES300, Infinity I30, Two Lincoln Continentals and my last car was an Acura RL. I no longer look for or want another car. My 2008 Civic EX is a keeper.




Great so far!

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic EX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A)

I just bought my Civic EX 3 days ago so this review is more so a beginning measurement. But so far I am loving it. To be honest I really wanted the 2010 Mazda3 but couldn't afford but after a few days in the Civic, I really have nothing to complain about. Maneuverability is excellent, surprising acceleration considering its a 4 cylinder. My only complaint is the speaker system could be a tad bit better and I can't see the hood so it makes parallel parking kinda hard but definitely not a deal breaker for me. If you are looking for a stylish, reliable small car then the Civic is the way to go!




Love this car

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic EX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A)

Bought this 2008 Honda EX for my daughter used and I have to say that I am very happy with it. It rides nice, great fuel economy and is really fun to drive. It has fantastic pick-up for a 4 cyl. vehicle. The only 2 complaints I have are that the seats could be a bit more comfortable and the factory radio sounds very "tinny" and we will replace that. I'm hoping she gets many good and reliable years of driving out of it!



Full 2008 Honda Civic Review

What's New for 2008

A new Mugen Si trim level debuts for the 2008 Honda Civic sedan. It's similar to the regular Si sedan but comes with more aggressive suspension tuning, special wheels and exterior body enhancements. The only other change for the Civic line this year is the new availability of leather seating for the new EX-L trim level.

Introduction

In 1973, Honda introduced the Civic to American shores. Small, fuel-efficient and reliable, the Civic was an ideal small car solution to rising gas prices and increased environmental awareness. Now, 35 years later, Americans are faced with similar issues, and again the Civic stands at the ready.

Of course, history hasn't quite repeated itself. The 2008 Honda Civic is considerably heavier and more luxurious than its pint-sized forbear. It's not even the company's smallest car anymore -- that role is handled by the Fit. But for the average small car shopper, the Civic remains the quintessential choice. We're quite fond of the current-generation Civic -- it was last redesigned in 2006 -- and it's one of America's best-selling cars.

There are plenty of reasons to choose the Civic. First among them is the car's wide array of configurations. The Civic is one of the few small car offerings to be sold as a sedan and a sportier-looking coupe. A fixed, minimal-options trim level architecture, ranging from the budget-oriented DX to the top-level EX, makes picking a Civic a relatively straightforward affair.

There are also the specialized Civic Si, Hybrid and GX models. In Si trim, the Civic is one of the most sporting small cars available for the money, while the Hybrid, thanks to its gasoline/electric powertrain, can deliver 40-plus mpg in real-world driving. The Civic GX is truly an oddity -- it runs on natural gas and can be fueled at home via a special "Phill" hook-up. The GX is the most expensive Civic, but in return it's America's cleanest mass-production car in terms of tailpipe emissions.

A new addition this year is the Honda Civic Mugen Si sedan. Built on the foundation of the Civic Si sedan and tuned by the prestigious racing and aftermarket performance company Mugen, this model comes with a track-tuned suspension, 18-inch forged alloy lightweight wheels with special tires, a full aerodynamic body kit with an adjustable rear wing spoiler, a rear diffuser and a sport-tuned exhaust system. Only 1,000 of these models will be sold, and they're priced in the very un-Civic-like territory of $30,000.

No matter what the trim, the Civic's traditional strengths in comfort, interior design and safety are all still firmly intact. The Civic also holds its value better than many other small cars and has a reputation for above-average reliability. Though we suggest doing a bit of comparison shopping -- the sporty Mazda 3, affordable Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Rabbit/Jetta are also very good choices -- the 2008 Honda Civic remains an ideal pick for a small sedan or coupe.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Honda Civic is a small car available as a sedan or coupe. For both, there are five main trim levels: DX, LX, EX, EX-L and Si. On the Civic sedan, Honda also offers the Hybrid, the GX and the Mugen Si. 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 steel wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control and a four-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary audio jack.

Going with a Civic EX gets you 16-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, six-speaker audio with steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a 60/40-split rear seatback with a rear armrest. This year's new Civic EX-L comes with leather upholstery and heated front seats. The Civic Si has most of the EX's features plus a high-output engine, sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, a premium audio system and special interior trim. High-performance summer tires are an option for the Si, and a navigation system is offered for the Si and EX/EX-L models. Hybrid models are equipped similarly to the EX and have automatic climate control and optional navigation. The GX has a feature list similar to the LX's.

The limited-production Civic Mugen Si sedan has a track-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels with more aggressive tires, performance exhaust and a specialized exterior body kit.

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 via 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; 2008 EPA estimates are 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway for an automatic-equipped Civic. The GX posts 24/36 numbers. The 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 40/45 mpg ratings.

Safety

All Civics come with front seat 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 trim only. In government crash testing, the 2008 Honda Civic 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 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 dash features an unusual layout. An analog tachometer is in the traditional location but the digital speedometer and gas gauge are 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, interior storage and refinement. Its controls are easy to operate and materials are of high quality. Regular Civic sedans have 12 cubic feet of trunk space; this drops to about 10 for the Hybrid and 6 for the GX due to the space taken up by the hardware of their respective powertrains.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Honda Civic's suspension, steering and brakes all work together seamlessly, and even the mainstream models can be described as being somewhat sporty to drive. The Civic Hybrid and natural-gas GX are unfortunately a bit slow, but neither model is meant for supreme acceleration anyway. That task is taken up by the Civic Si. Possessing nimble handling and a delightfully fizzy engine, 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.

Talk About The 2008 Civic

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 25
  • cty
/
  • 36
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs