Redesigned just a year ago, the Honda Civic has re-established its standing as a no-brainer choice for a small car. Think of it this way: Are you interested in impressive fuel economy and/or class-leading acceleration? Yep, the Civic's got that. What about a comfortable, roomy interior filled with upscale materials? Check. Do you want something livelier than the typical sedan? Well, Honda's got a sporty coupe, a new Civic hatchback, and the performance-focused Civic Si and Type R on the way, too. No matter how you look at it, the 2017 Honda Civic is one of the best cars in its class.
We also think you'll like the way the newest Civic drives. Around turns, you'll feel as if you have great control through the car's steering and grip; it's an entertaining car to drive and have some fun. Out on the highway, the Civic earns high marks, too, with a composed ride quality that doesn't get overly floaty or harsh. Honda has also packed in plenty of the latest technology, from smartphone integration to advanced driver aids that can help you avoid accidents.
Before going all-in on a new Civic, though, there are still some excellent competitors to consider. The 2017 Mazda 3 is also one of our favorites. Like the Civic, it offers a classy interior, excellent fuel economy and sporty driving characteristics. If in-car tech is one of your top priorities, the 2017 Ford Focus with its superior Sync 3 infotainment system is worth a look. And if you want to eschew all those and go with something inexpensive that's packed with value, take a look at the 2017 Kia Forte. Overall, though, the 2017 Honda Civic sits right at the top of our list. No search for a compact car will be complete without it.
Performance and MPG
The front-wheel-drive 2017 Honda Civic comes with a four-cylinder engine, but the exact type varies depending on the trim level you pick. The base engine for the sedan and the coupe is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 158 hp and 138 pound-feet of torque. It's paired to either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that functions like an automatic.
With the coupe, EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 32 mpg combined (28 city/39 highway) for the manual, while the CVT gets an estimated 34 mpg combined (30 city/39 highway). In the sedan, when the 2.0-liter engine is paired with the manual, it's rated at 32 mpg combined (28 city/40 highway) and with the CVT it's rated at 34 mpg combined (31 city/40 highway).
Optional for the coupe and sedan but standard for the hatchback is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder paired to either a CVT or a six-speed manual transmission. Horsepower and torque vary depending on the transmission pairing and trim level.
In the hatchback, when paired with the CVT in the LX, EX and EX-L, the 1.5-liter engine is rated at 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. With the manual transmission in the LX, horsepower remains the same, but torque goes up to 167 lb-ft. Go with the CVT in the Sport and Sport Touring and the 1.5-liter engine makes 180 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The Sport hatchback with the six-speed manual transmission is rated at 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque.
In Edmunds testing, a Civic Touring coupe with the 1.5-liter engine (and CVT) sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, while a Touring sedan with the same engine was able to do it in 6.7 seconds. Both times are very quick for a small car in this class.
Fuel economy for the turbocharged Civics is actually slightly better but also varies slightly depending on whether you go with the coupe, sedan or hatchback. There is a different EPA fuel economy estimate for each engine/transmission combo and for every body style (coupe/sedan/hatchback). Generally, though, EPA combined fuel economy estimates range from 30 to 36 mpg combined with the 1.5-liter engine.
Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Honda Civic includes stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. Starting with the EX trim, a right-side blind-spot camera (LaneWatch) is also standard, as is the HondaLink system, which also includes emergency crash notification.
Optional safety equipment for the Civic includes the Honda Sensing safety package, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane departure intervention, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
We've found the forward collision warning system to be a bit oversensitive in real-life driving; it frequently sets off the dashboard "Brake!" alarm in instances where other such systems aren't as prone to react. The adaptive cruise control also feels a bit too quick to react, putting on the brakes, too slow to speed back up again and generally not very good at maintaining a constant speed.
In Edmunds testing, a Civic Touring sedan came to a stop from 60 mph in 117 feet, a few feet shorter than average. A Touring coupe did the same simulated panic stop from 60 mph in just 113 feet, which is much shorter than class averages and closer to the performance of a sports car than a compact economy car.
In government safety testing, all three Civic models (the coupe, sedan and hatchback) received five stars (out of a possible five) for overall crash protection. The Civic coupe received four out of five stars for front-crash protection and five stars for side-crash protection. Both the hatchback and the sedan received five stars for front- and side-crash protection.
When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Civic, both the sedan and the coupe received top marks for safety. Both models received the IIHS' top score of Good for the small-overlap and moderate-overlap front-impact tests as well as a Good score for the side-impact, roof strength and head restraint/seat (whiplash protection) tests. Notably, the optional safety equipment on the Civic received the IIHS' top score of Superior for front-crash prevention.
Now in the second year of its most recent successful redesign, the 2017 Honda Civic has once again proven that it is a go-to choice among compact sedans. Not only does the Civic offer a roomy cabin, great highway comfort and lots of standard features, it also has class-leading acceleration and excellent EPA fuel economy ratings.
Contrary to what you'd expect in a small car, the 2017 Civic's interior is quite spacious, with plenty of room in the trunk to handle whatever you throw in it. The interior feels more upscale than most compact cars, with excellent cabin construction and high-quality materials, all of which are pleasing to the eye.
Just like the beautiful interior design and build quality, the 2017 Civic's ride quality and handling have also been well thought out. The Civic expertly rides that fine line between a composed ride and superb handling around corners. The steering feedback is great too, allowing for an enjoyable experience when you get it on a winding back road.
True to the brand?s reputation for value, the 2017 Civic returns excellent fuel economy. The six-speed manual and automatic versions of the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine provide an EPA estimated 32 mpg combined (28 mpg city/40 mpg highway) and 34 mpg combined (31 city/40 highway), respectively. The available 1.5-liter turbocharged engine provides more power and boasts even more impressive ratings, with the manual returning 35 mpg combined (31 city/42 highway) and the automatic 36 mpg combined (32 city/42 highway).
On the technology front, Honda has packed in great options, including smartphone integration and the Honda Sensing forward collision warning system. There are some tech quibbles, however. The adaptive cruise control is slow to respond and that forward collision warning system is slightly oversensitive, both of which can be frustrating for drivers. The touchscreen interface proves to be less intuitive than desired and can lag in response to input.
Despite a few minor technological drawbacks on the inside, the 2017 Honda Civic is a great car overall. It's at the top of its class when it comes to acceleration and fuel economy, and the interior comfort, ride and excellent overall build quality more than make up for any downsides the car may have. Any seasoned Honda buyer will consider this a no-brainer.
If you're considering the 2017 Honda Civic and the sedan isn't really your speed, Honda has some great options for you. There?s a sporty coupe, a new Civic hatchback and the performance-oriented Civic Si. And the racy, much anticipated Type R is on its way. Clearly, there is a Civic for everyone.
Aside from the different body styles, the Civic also comes in a few different trim levels depending on personal preference and budget. The LX is the base trim, continuing onward to the EX, EX-T, EX-L and Touring trims. The EX offers more features than the standard base trim, while the EX-L moves toward a more luxury package. Edmunds can help you find the perfect 2017 Honda Civic to suit your needs.
Since its launch in 1973, the Honda Civic has been one of the most popular compact cars sold in America. Its success can be attributed to its consistently high level of fit and finish and an impressive, long-standing reputation for reliability and low running costs. High fuel economy, environmental awareness and engaging performance have also played a large role in making the Honda Civic a top choice for many Americans.
The latest Honda Civic offers spacious seating, advanced safety features and phenomenal turbocharged engine, and represents one of the best choices for an affordable sedan, coupe or hatchback. For shoppers looking for a used Civic, the car's long production run and wide range of models should make it easy to find what you want.
Current Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is sold in many trim levels across its sedan, coupe and hatchback body styles. The base LX trim is consistent across all of them, however, so every Civic regardless of body style starts with automatic headlights, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a USB port. More expensive Civic trim levels add features such as LED headlights, leather upholstery, navigation, a 12-speaker audio system and a central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, With the exception of the Honda Sensing advanced safety package (standard on the Touring models and optional on lower trims), extra features are baked into the trim levels themselves; there are no stand-alone options.
Civic sedans and coupes in LX and EX trims are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder producing 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. Every hatchback and sedans and coupes in EX-T trim and higher come with a more powerful turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. With the six-speed manual transmission, it makes 174 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque. The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) reduces torque output to 162 lb-ft. The Sport hatchback is slightly more powerful; it bumps up to 180 hp, and manual-equipped models see torque rise to 177 lb-ft. Honda also offers a performance-oriented Civic Si (sedan or coupe) that has a 205-hp turbocharged engine.
In reviews, we've found the current Civic has a sharpness on the road that's been absent in recent years. Steering response is lively, and there's notably less body roll than in the previous Civic. That's also true for the Civic coupe, which has a slightly sportier suspension tune for crisper handling. At the same time, though, the Civic's ride is eminently comfortable, and there's less noise inside than Civic drivers have come to expect.
Used Honda Civic Models
The current Honda Civic represents the car's 10th generation, which debuted for the 2016 model year. This latest Civic is dramatically improved over the previous generation. Highlights include a roomier and higher-quality cabin, more expressive exterior and interior styling, a more compliant ride, improved performance, and more tech and safety features. The hatchback and Civic Si were not available for the first year, but otherwise this Civic hasn't received any notable changes.
The previous, ninth-generation Honda Civic was produced from 2012 to 2015. We're not overly fond of this generation's debut year. It was barely an upgrade over the car it replaced and was even worse in a few areas, while other cars in the segment made giant leaps forward. But Honda made a significant overhaul for 2013 to correct the first year's missteps. In addition to more attractive styling and a nicer interior, the 2013 model year also brought more standard features and retuned suspension and steering systems for better handling. Crashworthiness was also improved. The result was a car that once again stood among the class leaders.Â
This Civic was available as a coupe or sedan. Mainstream trim levels consisted of the DX, LX, EX and EX-L, with even the base model including an impressive array of items that included Bluetooth phone and audio, a rearview camera and Pandora radio functionality. The equipment only went up from there, eventually arriving at the leather-lined EX-L. There were also the Hybrid sedan, Natural Gas sedan, and Si coupe and sedan. A HF (high fuel efficiency) version was also available, with gas-saving features such as low-rolling-resistance tires and subtle aerodynamic tweaks.
The powertrain for the DX, LX, EX and EX-L versions was a 1.8-liter four-cylinder producing 140 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque (bumped to 143 hp and 129 lb-ft in 2014). It was matched to either a five-speed manual (not available on the EX-L) or a CVT. The Hybrid's 1.5-liter gasoline and electric motor was also matched to a CVT and produced a total of 110 hp and 127 lb-ft. The clean-burning Natural Gas model put out 110 hp and 106 lb-ft, while the Si sported a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 201 hp and 170 lb-ft (increased to 205 hp and 174 lb-ft in 2014) . The Si was only available with a six-speed manual.
In reviews of the time, we found the Civic was a pretty capable small car. Exterior styling was unadventurous but tasteful, boasting more visual pizzazz than this generation started with. The cabin had intuitive controls and a central multifunction display, and the materials and switchgear were in line with what most competitors offered. Its generous selection of engines and configurations helped it appeal to a wide variety of shoppers, while typical small Honda traits such as nimble handling and high fuel economy remained intact. However, many other new small cars also offered these traits, causing us to suggest that shoppers may want to consider other top competing models as well.
If you can, we recommend avoiding the 2012 Civic. Aside from the aforementioned changes to the '13 model, there are a few other changes to be aware of for this generation. The 2014 model received refreshed styling for the coupe, upgraded interior materials quality, more power for all but the natural gas and hybrid versions, and additional features including keyless ignition, a larger touchscreen display, enhanced smartphone integration and a blind-spot camera. The only significant addition for 2015, the final model year in this generation, was an SE model that slotted between the LX and EX sedans.
The eighth-generation Civic was produced from 2006 to 2011. We preferred it to the version that came after, and overall it should be a great pick for a used small car. For this generation, Honda offered the standard Civic in coupe and sedan body styles in four trim levels: DX, LX, EX and EX-L. These Civics had a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 140 hp; it was paired with a five-speed manual transmission, and a five-speed automatic was optional. Less common Civic variants include the Si (featuring a high-performance 2.0-liter engine matched to a six-speed manual), GX (with a 113-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that ran on clean-burning compressed natural gas) and Hybrid (with a 1.3-liter gas engine and an electric motor, making 110 hp combined).
Our editors found this Honda Civic to be a well-rounded car, and it should be a top pick for anybody shopping in this segment. Thanks to the wide array of configurations, it should also be easy to find a Civic that meets your needs. The only major downsides include elevated road noise and a controversial dash layout. The coupe was tuned to feel sportier than the sedan, but both are fun to drive, with quick steering and impressive handling. The 1.8-liter engine won't overwhelm anyone, but it provides enough power for comfortable everyday driving. The Hybrid gets fantastic fuel mileage, and the GX is impressively clean, but both suffer from slow acceleration.
Only minor updates occurred during this car's run. The Si sedan debuted for '07, while the following year saw a limited-edition Mugen Si model and the addition of a leather upholstery option. For '09, the LX-S and DX Value Package trims debuted along with a minor exterior refresh. For the final two years, the Civic continued on essentially unchanged.
Previous to the 2006-'11 model was the seventh-generation Honda Civic, which was sold from 2001 to '05. There were coupe and sedan body styles as well as a two-door hatchback. Honda offered its typical mainstream trims — DX, LX and EX — plus a few specialty trims such as VP, HX, SE and Hybrid. The hatchback came only in the Si trim. Most models had a 1.7-liter engine good for 115 hp, 117 hp (HX) or 127 hp (EX). The Civic Hybrid mated an 85-hp 1.3-liter four-cylinder gas engine to a 13-hp electric motor and offered the best fuel economy of the lineup. The Civic Si produced 160 hp from its 2.0-liter engine. At the time, we commented favorably about the car's fuel-efficient engines, roomy interior and top safety scores but were disappointed by the limited availability of antilock brakes.
Sold from 1996 to 2000, the sixth-generation Civic was in many ways a refinement of the style and technology found on the previous generation. Coupe, sedan and hatchback body styles were available. Sedans were offered in DX, LX and EX trim levels. Engine choices were a 1.6-liter good for 106 hp in the DX and LX or 127 hp in the VTEC-equipped EX. There was also a higher-fuel-economy coupe, the 115-hp HX. Honda didn't release an Si trim until 1999. Based on the coupe body style, the Si was powered by a high-performance 1.6-liter engine tuned to put out 160 hp.
Honda's VTEC technology first appeared in the fifth-generation Civic, which was sold from 1992 to '95. The Civic VX featured a fuel-efficient 92-hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder with VTEC-E. More powerful was the 125-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder VTEC engine found in the Civic Si and EX sedan trims. First sold only in hatchback and sedan body styles, the fifth-gen Honda Civic got two coupe trims in 1993, the DX and EX. The lower CX and DX trims each had a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 70 hp.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.