2020 Civic New Car Test Drive
The Honda Civic has been around, and successful, for nearly half a century. You read that right, this is its 46th year. Another way of looking at that is that the Civic has been around for nearly half the time that cars have existed.
The sedan and coupe were redesigned in 2016. The hatchback followed in 2017, and for 2018 there were no changes. Now, in 2019, there are new headlamps, and some of the chrome in front has been replaced by cleaner black trim. But a more significant change is that automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control have been made standard on all models. That raises the price by about $500, but last year those features cost about $1,000 as an optional package.
There are so many types of Civic that it's difficult to generally describe the performance, but it can be said that it's a calm car, not a sporty one (except for the Civic Si and Type R), and it feels more like a small luxury car than a compact. It offers fluid handling, a comfortable ride, interior room in the sedan and cargo capacity in the hatchback.
The Civic family includes a coupe, sedan and hatchback, in six trims from base LX to Sport to fully-loaded Touring. They use two engines: a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four cylinder, or a 174-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four.
The Civic Si pumps that turbo four up to 205 horsepower, and uses an adaptive suspension; it changes the character of the Civic, offering fun with the frugality, and throws in refinement as a bonus.
The Type R hatchback with its aero styling tosses a shrieking 306-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo-4 at buyers. Why? Because Honda can. Both the Si and Type R come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), but a 6-speed manual is available.
Honda says the best-selling Civic is the sedan with the more powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged engine making 174 horsepower, which comes in the three top sedan models, EX-L, EX-T, and Touring (it's standard in the hatchback). Fuel mileage for those models is exceptional, at 32 mpg city, 42 highway, and a satisfying 36 mpg combined. The aerodynamics apparently aren't quite as good on the hatchback and coupe, which get 34 mpg and 35 mpg, respectively.
Civics with the non-turbo 2.0-liter engine making 158 horsepower make 2 mpg less, at 30/40/34 mpg with the CVT.
Even Civic Si with its bump up to 205 horsepower doesn't take a big hit on fuel mileage, at 28/38/32 mpg as either the coupe or hatchback. The Civic Type R is the relatively thirsty one, although 25 mpg and 306 horsepower is still a winning formula.
The 2019 Civic hasn't been crash-tested yet, but the 2018 earned five stars overall for most models, with four stars for the Coupe in the frontal crash test for the passenger side. The IIHS rated the Civic's active safety technology that is standard in 2019 'Superior.'? .
At $20,345 to start, the 2019 Honda Civic LX sedan's price climbs to $21,145 when its standard 6-speed manual is swapped for a continuously variable transmission (CVT). A coupe version of the Civic LX-only available with a CVT-costs $21,545.
For $1,700 more, a new Civic Sport trim level swaps a 5.0-inch display for a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition, and a number of appearance upgrades. The Civic Sport is available in both sedan and coupe versions with either the 6-speed manual or the CVT, but it uses the same 158-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 as the Civic LX.
Upgrading to the Civic EX pushes the Civic's price another $1,000 to $24,095 for the coupe and $24,295. It loses the Sport's 18-inch wheels but gains a 174-hp 1.5-liter turbo-4, power driver's seat, moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and a right-side camera that monitors the vehicle's blind spots.
Previously, the Civic EX could be had with a 6-speed manual transmission, but that combination disappeared for 2019. On the bright side, the turbo-4 engine was previously optional on the Civic EX.
Leather seats are optional on the Civic EX sedan (turning it into the Civic EX-L) for $1,200.
The Civic Touring tops the lineup for $28,195 in sedan guise and $27,745 as a coupe. It builds on the EX-L with 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, navigation, and a few other features..