2009 Honda Civic Review

Pros & Cons

  • Wide-ranging engine lineup offers both fuel efficiency and performance, roomy and refined interior, strong crash test scores, available as a sedan or coupe.
  • Controversial gauge cluster design, Bluetooth and stability control only available on upper trims, slow acceleration times of Hybrid and GX models.
List Price Range
$2,900 - $11,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Comfortable, smartly designed and available in a wide array of configurations, the 2009 Honda Civic sets the bar for the small-car segment.

Vehicle overview

To borrow a line from Yogi Berra, it's déjà vu all over again.

Back in the mid-1970s, fuel prices jumped during the first gas crisis of that decade. Honda was there with a neat solution: the Civic, which it had introduced to Americans just a couple years earlier. With its petite yet space-efficient dimensions, 40 mpg fuel economy and reliable nature, the Civic was a big hit for Honda. Compared to the heavy, sluggish American small cars of the time -- automotive luminaries such as the Vega, Pinto and Gremlin -- the much smaller Civic had a light, sporty feel, a lot more room for passengers and fuel economy ratings about 50 percent higher.

More than three decades later, fuel prices have increased again and savvy consumers are again flocking to Honda dealers in search of Civics. But the 2009 Honda Civic is a far cry from that vehicular roller skate of the disco era. The latest Civic is larger and much more luxurious than its puny ancestor. In fact, it's no longer Honda's smallest car; that would be the Fit. And there are now a wide range of Civics, from the give-sports-cars-the-bird-on-a-twisty-road Civic Si to the give-oil-companies-the-bird Civic Hybrid and natural-gas-powered Civic GX.

The current Civic generation bowed for 2006, and we're quite fond of it. Some styling elements are rather odd, such as the minivan-like windshield, snub nose and the dual-tiered instrument panel that combines digital and analog gauges. But the high build quality, sporty driving dynamics, rock-solid reputation for reliability and impressive fuel efficiency more than make up for a few aesthetic quirks. Some may even think of such quirkiness as a plus.

No matter which Civic you choose, this Honda's traditional strengths in comfort, overall quality and safety are all still firmly intact. 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 2009 Honda Civic remains an ideal pick for a small sedan or coupe.

2009 Honda Civic models

The 2009 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 DX Value Package, the LX-S, the Hybrid and the GX.

The DX is meant for those on a very tight budget and offers little more than 15-inch steel wheels, power windows, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver seat. At least with this year's new DX Value Package, you get air-conditioning and a four-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary audio jack. The popular midgrade LX has the above features plus 16-inch wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, a folding rear seat and cruise control. The LX-S adds alloy wheels, a chrome exhaust outlet, a rear spoiler and front sport seats.

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

2009 Highlights

Marking the changes for the 2009 Honda Civic are a slight nose and tail job, new wheel designs, a pair of new trim levels (LX-S and DX Value Package) and a number of high-tech enhancements (including Bluetooth availability and a USB audio input).

Performance & mpg

Civic DX, LX and EX models are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 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. With an automatic transmission, the Civic sedan goes from zero to 60 mph in a class-typical 9.6 seconds.

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. The GX is also America's cleanest mass-production car in terms of tailpipe emissions.

The 2009 Civic Hybrid uses a gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain to maximize fuel economy. Its 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine makes 110 hp and is paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). 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 Civic Si goes from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds.

Nearly all Civic models boast above-average fuel efficiency. Civics fitted with the standard 1.8-liter engine and the automatic transmission earn an EPA estimate of 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. The GX posts a similar 24/36/28 mpg, although its smaller "gas" tank results in a shorter range. The Hybrid tops the Civic lineup with fuel mileage of 40 mpg city/45 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined. Civic Si models have a 21/29/24 mpg estimate.

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 comes on EX-L, Hybrid and Si trims but is unavailable on the others.

In government crash testing, the 2009 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 passenger protection and five stars for protection of 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.

Driving

The 2009 Honda Civic's suspension and steering work together seamlessly, giving the car a well-balanced, confident feel on city streets, back roads and highways alike. Even the mainstream models can be described as being somewhat sporty to drive. The Civic Hybrid and natural-gas GX are unfortunately quite 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.

Interior

The Civic's dash features an unusual, polarizing 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, its controls are well laid out and easy to operate, while materials are of high quality. The Honda Civic continues to be one of the best small cars in terms of room, interior storage and refinement. Regular Civic sedans have 12 cubic feet of trunk space, but it 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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Honda Civic.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Bought a car to flip. Learned to Love it!
Ryan,12/18/2015
LX 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl 5A)
I bought this car and owned it for a year only because I needed a truck. What a blast! The car came with two problems, which allowed for me to afford it at a discounted price. 1. Radio was crazy. changed stations by itself occasionally. Cost: $40 2. Clear coat was fading and flaking off of black paint. Cost: $0 because Honda extended their paint warranty to 7 years Unlimited miles for all affected models with this defect. WOW! I was so impressed with Honda, they repainted almost my entire car with almost no questions asked. It was so easy, and once I found the right dealer they put me in touch with customer service which went flawlessly. I can't stress enough how easy and streamlined their warranty process was. Not only is Honda great, the car was great. This was my first economy car and once gas was no object I piled the miles on, without care for my mpg's. Every drive I made exciting, because I could rely on my Honda even under hard use, and it was fun to use hard. While its not overly powerful, the motor loves to rev. The Transmission shifts well. The car is surprisingly easy to drift. E brake used on a regular basis! Steering was instant and crisp and there was 0 body roll, unless you loaded it to the brim. I definitely felt a connection to this car. Steering feel was excellent, even over 100 mph. I can't explain how much the engine just likes to go. Its not powerful, not fast, but its so reactive and fun to drive in the curves, and can cruise happily at 90 mph all day. My only gripe was the transmission. Don't get me wrong, it was a fine unit. If you ever wanted to drive and have fun you needed to manually shift it though. It was not so much a performance thing as some economy setting. I had to practically floor it to get a responsive down shift. Once the Honda decides its time, its lightning quick. But until then, your stuck out of the power band. Other then all that, the only creature comforts my car had was a base model radio (acceptable), AC (worked great), and the heater. The little aluminum block doesn't warm up unless you drive and work it in the winter, but once its up to temp....That heater is a FURNACE. I swear, it could burn you if you hold your hands too close for too long. Awesome heater. Car holds a surprising amount of cargo too. I filled so full it was practically a truck one time. Fold down seats. In summary, I really expected to hate this car, but after owning it for one year I would never have sold it had I not needed offroad capability and towing. (trust me I tried) I truly enjoyed driving it, which is really saying something for a boring economizer like a Honda Civic. I can see now why ricers like to ruin them. I brought the maintenance up to date, and the car was better off when I sold it after over 20k miles. Extremely low cost of ownership. I tried to drive the beans out of it but it just asked for more. Surprisingly tough for its size. I'd also like to add that I have drove later model Honda's that were not as peppy as my 2009 1.8.
Battery fails, Honda won't replace
socaldude2,05/25/2011
Please do your research before considering this car. I was hoping to keep this car for >5 years and get excellent milage and help save the planet. What initially was a great hybrid has turned quickly into a disaster. After 1 year, the battery stopped holding a charge. after 15 months, the check engine light came on. Honda performed an irreversible software upgrade that bascially minimizes the car's use of the hybrid battery (basically making it a non-hybrid car). My MPG has dropped 10 MPG!! The hybrid battery is now basically non-functional and Honda will not fix it despite being under warranty. There are many many simiar complaints (look online). I will never buy Honda again.
Honda does it again!
John B.,08/11/2009
I had a 1999 Honda Accord EX 4-door that I traded in on a new 2009 Honda Civic coupe EX. Was I ever blown away by how many changes had taken place in the past decade! The premium audio system in the civic sounds like a home theater set up. The exterior stylings are crisp and flashy and give the car an aggressive look which I like. Driving around town and on the highways is a blast. At first I was worried about the little car's ability to 'get up and go' especially with the highway speeds in my area. However it's shown to be more than capable of getting up to speed and the agile handling makes weaving around traffic a breeze. Overall this is the most fun little car I've ever driven! 10/10!
buy this car
Brian,08/16/2015
LX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
I have a 2009 civic sedan lx 5spd manual I purchased new ...336,005 miles later it has never had a single thing break (minus the a.c. somewhat recently). Mileage was always a calculated 40mpg up until it for real old and now I get 36mpg. I just had all major suspension components replaced because I hadn't ever replaced a single thing. Didn't need to...mechanic said all were in acceptable condition. I don't know what would possess ANYBODY to buy a GM, Chrysler or Ford when you can have Honda and Toyota quality. I will buy this exact same car again. Detroit cars are fine as long as you unload them before 80k and 4 years. Absolute junk beyond that. Honda is the way to go. Period. Update: 353k miles. No issues yet

Features & Specs

MPG
25 city / 36 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Gas
140 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
25 city / 36 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Gas
140 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
25 city / 36 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Gas
140 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
26 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
140 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all Used 2009 Honda Civic features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Acceptable
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2009 Honda Civic

Used 2009 Honda Civic Overview

The Used 2009 Honda Civic is offered in the following submodels: Civic Sedan, Civic Coupe, Civic Si, Civic Hybrid, Civic Natural Gas. Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A), EX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A), LX 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr Sedan w/Nav (1.8L 4cyl 5A), Si 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M), EX 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 2dr Coupe w/Nav (1.8L 4cyl 5A), LX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), Si 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), EX 4dr Sedan w/Nav (1.8L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A), LX 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl 5M), EX-L 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr Sedan w/Nav (1.8L 4cyl 5M), EX 2dr Coupe w/Nav (1.8L 4cyl 5A), EX-L 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl 5M), EX-L 2dr Coupe w/Nav (1.8L 4cyl 5M), EX 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl 5M), Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), EX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), Hybrid 4dr Sedan w/Lthr, Nav (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Hybrid 4dr Sedan w/Nav (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), LX-S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A), DX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A), Si 4dr Sedan w/High Performance Tires (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Si 2dr Coupe w/High Performance Tires (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Si 4dr Sedan w/Nav (2.0L 4cyl 6M), EX-L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), Si 2dr Coupe w/Nav (2.0L 4cyl 6M), DX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), Si 4dr Sedan w/Nav, High Performance Tires (2.0L 4cyl 6M), EX 2dr Coupe w/Nav (1.8L 4cyl 5M), Hybrid 4dr Sedan w/Lthr (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), EX 4dr Sedan w/Nav (1.8L 4cyl 5M), LX-S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), DX 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl 5M), DX 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl 5A), DX-VP 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), GX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A), DX-VP 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A), and Si 2dr Coupe w/Nav, High Performance Tires (2.0L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Honda Civic?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Honda Civic trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Honda Civic LX is priced between $4,500 and$11,598 with odometer readings between 31710 and153080 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Honda Civic EX is priced between $4,999 and$11,995 with odometer readings between 67057 and158631 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Honda Civic DX-VP is priced between $2,900 and$2,900 with odometer readings between 203732 and203732 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Honda Civic EX-L is priced between $7,494 and$7,494 with odometer readings between 81385 and81385 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid is priced between $3,450 and$3,450 with odometer readings between 267992 and267992 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Honda Civic Si is priced between $6,481 and$6,481 with odometer readings between 150679 and150679 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Honda Civics are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Honda Civic for sale near. There are currently 26 used and CPO 2009 Civics listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $2,900 and mileage as low as 31710 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Honda Civic.

Can't find a used 2009 Honda Civics you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda Civic for sale - 2 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $12,694.

Find a used Honda for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $21,445.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda Civic for sale - 3 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $8,003.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 5 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $13,823.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Honda Civic?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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