2008 Honda Civic Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Honda Civic Sedan

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Honda Civic Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 110 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 40/45 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 (189 total reviews)


Engine block cracks in cold

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Honda Civic

We had negative temperatures this winter. After that my car was losing antifreeze, but couldn't find were it was going. After a few weeks we found out Honda has a "secret warranty" on the engine block cracking in cold weather in Honda Civics from 06-09 and maybe even 2010. That's what happened to my civic. Honda should pay for this if that's what's wrong. Honda make us jump through hoops to have them fix it. They still didn't fix it, and charged us $700 for just looking at it. Now, we are still fighting to get our money back. This is the biggest part of the engine. Antifreeze went in our oil and messed our engine up and had to buy another engine.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

1st honda and love it!

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Honda Civic

First honda, bought it used. A little hesitant with 90,000 miles, but after talking to honda mechanics they said its a baby. Love the ride, the handling, the great gas mileage. I'm a big guy, driving it till my daughter gets her license. Then I may step and get a accord for my self. The day after buying the civic, I bought my my wife the honda crv! Another great vehicle, I LOVE honda.




Pretty pleased except for ....

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Honda Civic

I am very pleased with this car, except for as many consumers have already posted is the tire wear and the road noise. I do experience some transmission shaking when I am driving from a complete stop. This happens right around 15-22 mph. But if you step on the gas it isn't noticeable. The MPG is great, I drive rather mello to max out my MPG's and I am getting low 30's consistently (30-34). The sun visor seems to break right at the hinge (2x), but over all this car has been good to me.



4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Good car but other than

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Honda Civic

I bought it new from the dealer and there is a water boiling sound from the engine and dealer wont do shit even though there is recall on same issue with other year. Gas mileage and the seating comfort is very poor. Trans shutters in from 1st to 2nd if you press the pedel slow. Overall I like it but I do not buy another Honda due to their dont care customer service attitude.




168,000 km (104,000 miles)

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Honda Civic

Had the car almost 5 years. Most recent mileage of 60/40 hwy city with a heavy foot netted the equivalent of 30 mpg or 7.72 L/100km. Not bad. Yes, there were two recalls during my warranty period and one warranty work. No big deal. I just brought it in during my oil changes at the beginning. Now I do all the fluid changes myself. Worries. One touch up stops about an inch from the top and comes back down. That was the warranty work. Just after the warranty it stopped again so I just hold the up button. Other concern is the transmission. At 25km accelerating slowly, there is a shutter. If I accelerate quickly, there is no shutter. Yes, I've been changing the transmission fluid. We'll see.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Suspension

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Honda Civic

After 15,000 miles my tires had warn down unevenly. I took into Tracy Dealership to point out hearing noise in back wheel. Told nothing wrong. At 18,000 miles noise worse so took to Stockton Honda and was told back right wheel bearing out. They replaced wrong side. Had to buy new tires. Took back to Tracy Honda and they replaced other back wheel bearing. Car still did not drive smooth. A lot of road noise. Traded in at Tracy Honda and would not give me blue book because wheel bearing problems. Even though I had a warranty for 100,000 miles they would not reimburse for having to buy new tires and did not give me a good trade in value. Will not buy a Honda again. Traded in for a Toyota Van.



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

  • 40
  • cty
/
  • 45
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs