2008 Honda Civic Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Honda Civic

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Honda Civic Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 197 hp @ 7800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 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 (4 total reviews)


Forget the lx/ex, get the

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic Si 2dr Coupe w/Summer Tires (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

Let me start by saying I currently also own an '07 civic coupe ex. Also owned an '07 civic hybrid. Traded in the hybrid for the Si after 9 months of driving boredom. Had a modified 350hp awd car prior, and thought I was over the performance bug. Well, the Si is quick enough to satisfy your desires for speed, without giving you much more than that. It's now the cheapest of the viable sport compact offerings, yet yields the best MPG, and lowest sticker price. Handling is also great and significantly better than the ex. The ex was just as much better than the civic hybrid. I put on lightweight wheels and tires and got noticeable improvement in acceleration. City/Hwy MPG has been around 25/30.




One of the best in

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic Si 2dr Coupe w/Summer Tires (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I love this car. I love it when the engine hits the 6000- 8200 rpm. It makes me want to Pound it everywhere I go, and I still get 24 mpg. The transmission is smooth. Some people complain about third gear but I haven't had any problems. I would like to have more power, but who doesn't. The one thing about this car you have to be in the right gear to get the most out of the engine. Not a perfect car but very fun to drive.




Wow - what a mistake

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic Si 2dr Coupe w/Summer Tires (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

After having waited for this car, and paying for the upgrades, i feel like my money went down the drain. Day 1, pick up the car, leave the dealership, and there is a popping noise from the suspension, the cd player was broken. Took the car in found that the suspension needed to be fixed, the front tires had to be replaced and the cd player among other items. A month into ownership, the car starts making all kinds of rattles, and loud noises when coming to a stop. Cat was replaced and many clips and molding in the car. Transmission started popping out of third gear, that is still being worked on. All in all, Honda has done over 9K of warranty work on the car already!




Wow, si vs ex...what a

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic Si 2dr Coupe w/Summer Tires (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I've owned a Civic EX 2007 model for 10k miles now, and just traded in another 07 Civic hybrid for the Si. Wow. This thing is like a whole different car than the EX. The car surges forward with throttle input where the EX has a delay and doesn't seem to have near the torque. The Si actually feels quicker than it is. The handling difference between the Si and Ex is even more pronounced. It sticks like glue and feels very "planted" throughout the corners. I absoultely love this car and recommend anyone who is looking at an EX to at least drive one of these if your budget will allow you to take a small jump in price to be able to buy one of these.



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

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs