2014 – 2015 Honda Civic EX Review

Civic DX if you’re wondering why I’m taking a look at the Civic so soon after all we just took a look at one last year the reason is because the Civic was completely redesigned in 2012 got a significant refresh for 2013 and has yet again received another significant
refresh for the 2014 model year although

it is unusual for any car to receive so
many significant updates back to back it’s not that unexpected in the compact sedan category because there’s so many entries in this segment and it is so competitive because of the sheer number of competitors in this segment I’m only going to be talking about the 5 high-volume competitors that compete directly with this Honda Civic the Honda Civic is number 2 in the segment just behind the Toyota Corolla we then have the Chevy Cruze the Ford Focus the Hyundai Elantra as well as the Nissan Sentra up front not a whole Lots changed
for the Honda Civic Sedan that means we

still have this fairly conservative
Honda styling going on up front I think it’s overall fairly attractive but it’s not quite as attractive as the larger Honda Accord now the Civic Coupe gets an entirely different front and it’s relatively unique and it reminds me a great deal of what would happen if you merged a Honda and a Volkswagen together I think it’s an attractive and aggressive and also a little bit more grown-up look that’s going on right here in the sedan although we haven’t heard any rumors about this I do hope that hada considers installing that brand new front and on the coupe on certain versions of the sedan at least in the 2015 model year but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens the side profile of the Civic also remains
relatively unchanged for the 2014 model

year at least here on the sedan we do
get a few changes with the coupe and that’s mostly because the front end and the rear end are slightly different for the 2014 coupe we do get refreshed wheels that are more attractive than the outgoing 2013 wheels and right over here on this side view mirror we have Honda’s new Lane watch system that’s migrated down from the Accord onto this Honda Civic although the overall proportions of the Civic are a little bit more coupe-like than you’ll find in the Honda Accord Honda’s family-oriented mission is still very obvious when you take a look at the Civic so we have this relatively large greenhouse somewhat low Beltline compared to some of those other entries in the segment and this extra piece of glass right here in the rear door that helps rear passengers see out

of the back it also really improves
rearward visibility for the driver coupe-like profile continues back here with a fairly long rear glass as well as a fairly short trunk lid part of the reason for the 2013 emergency Civic refresh is right back here in the tail lamp modules because the 2012 model had talent modules that did not extend onto the trunk lid of the Civic and apparently owners and shoppers thought that that look just a little bit too cheap so for 2013 they extended this tail lamp module onto the trunk they also darked it out just a little bit and overall it’s much more attractive than the 2012 model now the 2014 model of the Civic Coupe gets an entirely different back end than the 2014 sedan I do think that that coupe styling is again a little bit more attractive and a little bit more aggressiveness sedans and I hope that
Honda manages to merge just a little bit

of that into the Civic over the coming
years we haven’t essentially hidden exhaust tip on the Civic but we have a little lower trim right here to help keep things looking just a little bit less economy in the back of the Civic most civics on dealer lots have this 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine under the hood it produces 143 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque in the Civic LX model this is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission by default but you can opt for a continuously variable transmission or CVT that CVT is standard on e ex models and above the civic CVT is very closely related to the Accords brand new CVT and it behaves somewhat differently than tota and Nissan cvts this particular transmission can change ratio is much faster than the Nissan or Toyota units and it feels just a little bit more engaging out on the road as before

there is a 1.8 liter natural gas

four-cylinder engine available it
produces 110 horsepower and 109 pound-feet of torque and it’s made it only to the same old 5-speed automatic that we got last year there is still a 1.5 liter hybrid model it produces 110 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque it’s made it to a CVT transmission as well Honda will still sell you the Civic Si if you need more power and that uses a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine produces 205 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque that particular engine is mated only to a 6-speed manual transmission there’s no automatic transmission si at this point before we move on I’d like to point out the hood in the Honda Civic because the hood will open in two different positions it will open in this nearly vertical position and a more traditional reclined position that makes it an awful lot easier to work under the hood of the Honda Civic this is something that Honda likes to do in their models and it’s something that’s

relatively unique to Honda and Mercedes

during your week with a Civic EXIF out front seat comfort to be very good we don’t have adjustable lumbar support in the Civic but it does have fairly aggressive lumbar support in its basic form you may or may not like that so you do want to spend a decent amount of time in these seats before you decide to buy the car like you should in any car we get a tilt telescoping steering column and we have a multi-way manually adjustable seat that’s just for height just for tilt of the seat back and you can go forward and backward with this lever on the seat bottom right there if you want a multi-way power seat that’s only available in the EXL and above the Civic’s rear seat comfort scores about an 8 out of 10 in this particular

category we have a decent amount of rear

legroom even though the Civic seems to score about the middle of the pack in terms of rear legroom in reality it seems to be towards the upper end of this particular segment some of that has to do with the way that various manufacturers record rear seat legroom there’s not a particular standard so you should Jam just about everybody that you can think of in a car when you’re test driving it don’t test drive your car alone take your family your friends whoever you think may be in the car regularly with you put them all in the car and see how well everybody fits with themselves because in the Civic we actually seem to have a little bit more legroom than those numbers would indicate if I move over to the right side of the Civic this front seat is all the way back in its track I have about an inch and a half of legroom left right there you will find a little bit more room in the Corolla as well as the Sentra especially the center because the center has a pretty large backseat rear seat passengers will find a fold-down center armrest with two cupholders as well as a 60/40 split folding rear seat back the rear folding seat back controls are in the trunk so you do have to open the trunk pull lever in order to fold down the seat flat when it comes to cargo hauling the civics trunk is just a little bit smaller than you’ll find in

some of the competition most notably the

Nissan Sentra the Nissan Sentra has an interesting trick up its sleeve this is the largest roller bag you can carry on a domestic flight and we can’t fit quite a number of these in the trunk in the Honda Civic in the center you can fit a decent number more because of how you can put them in the trunk you can actually put them in the center’s trunk in this upright pose right here and you can close the trunk lid which is not something you can do in the Honda Civic as a result you can fit about two to three more of these size roller bags in a Nissan Sentra than you can in the Honda Civic overall the Civic scores seven out of ten points in our exclusive trunk comfort index we lose a few points for having this trunk just a little bit smaller than the leading competitors in this compact category we lose some additional points or not having a trunk handle to help you close the trunk lid let’s take a quick spin around the interior before we go out on the road our e.x model has this standard moonroof as you can see right there we also have height adjustable seatbelts for the driver as well as the front passenger the 2013
refresh bought these improved door

panels with faux stitching going on and
2014 improves the fabric that you’ll find on the door as well as on the seat cushions the 2013 refresh also replaced the grass paper finished injection molded plastics with these soft touch index molded plastics on the dashboard also get the same faux stitching over here we get a reasonably sized glove box we weren’t able to stick a large tablet computer in here that is relatively large for this class the big change on the interior for 2014 is this brand-new seven-inch LCD infotainment system uses a touchscreen and operates very much like a tablet or smartphone that you may be used to if you want to know more about this brand new seven-inch LCD infotainment system then go ahead and click that link at the bottom of your screen to be taken over to our infotainment video for more on this particular system down here we have our singles on climate control that’s standard on the E X model and above below that we have a brand new HDMI input for that seven inch screen USB input right there the other side we have a power outlet between the climate

controls and these inputs down here we
have an additional little storage cubby you can fit a wallet or a cell phone or some other similarly sized item right in there have a very traditional shifter right there on the center console along with two very large cupholders one nice change for this year is that we also have an additional USB input right here in the center console cubbies that way you can hide your iPod or your phone or whatever it is you want to hide right there in the center console you can see from this angle that hada is still using their bi-level – concept if we move over to the driver side you can see what’s going on here hada chooses to put the speedometer as well as more critical information up there so it’s a little bit closer to the eyeline of the driver so it’s a little bit less distracting they put the tachometer right down here where you traditionally find most gauges in the car this particular LCD over here displays some limited infotainment information we also get a clock vehicle messages as well as fuel economy you can also turn that screen off right there moving over you can see we have an
instantaneous miles per gallon display

digital speedometer these little bars
here change depending on how economically you’re driving since we’re parked right now they’re blue it can also change to purple and green and then we have our digital fuel gauge right over there in the location where most cars gauges live we have our eco indicator tachometer cruise control indicator as well as the transmission range selector right over there LX and EX models get this injection molded year steering-wheel if you want a leather-wrapped steering wheel you have to move up to the EXL model which contains a leather seat package as well this particular button controls that multi-information display right up there the menu button is how you get to the vehicle menu options in that same readout this particular set of joystick buttons controls the radio and the dashboard source volume up/down track forward backward this joystick button arrangement over here is the cruise control cruise control on/off cancel set and resume and then down here you’ll find the voice command buttons as well
as phone hang up and pick up the first

thing you’ll notice about the 2014 Civic
out on the road is the performance we scored 0 to 60 in seven point six eight seconds in this Civic which is nearly a full second faster than the 2013 model year the reason for that is not because there’s any more power in the 2014 Civic the engine hasn’t changed at all it’s all down to the transmission I’m really a fan of CBTs and this 2014 Honda Civic is a perfect example of why the 2013 Honda Civic with its old 5-speed automatic felt like it never had the right ratio for me the competition with their 6-speed automatic definitely felt better but something like the new Nissan Sentra as well as the tota Corolla felt just a little bit better even though they had less power and it’s all down to the CVT now we have the Honda Civic with the same amount of power as last year which is a relatively good power figure for this compact sedan segment and now we also have a CVT which makes us now faster than most of those others entries in the segment and really all Honda did was just changed that transmission so going from a very middling entry in terms of performance to at the top end of this pack really is a huge difference in this Honda Civic but the news is even more important than just having a CVT under the hood because this CVT behaves differently the Nissan or tota CVT is it behaves very much like the one that you find under the hood of the Honda Accord because this CVT can change ratio is
much faster for some reason than the

Nissan or Toyota units now Honda really

hasn’t said why that is or exactly how they’ve managed this but the ratio changes in this transmission are much more like a traditional automatic so whereas a regular CVT in a Nissan Sentra or a Toyota Corolla doesn’t have that same passing feel as a regular automatic because it takes so long for the engine to go from whatever high ratio it’s at to a low ratio for you to pass that by the time it’s done that you’re passing maneuvers over and you did it kind of slow with this Honda Civics EDT it’s very much like a Honda Accord so I floor it and this engine prop goes right up to about 5,000 rpm or so and then you get the power for that passing maneuver as soon as you let off the power the engine drops very rapidly back down to about 1500 rpm or so because we’re going about 45 miles an hour that’s very much like a traditional automatic transmission in that shift behavior and very different than a traditional CVT all the traditional benefits of a CVT are still here even though we have that improved shift feel that means we got thirty four and a half miles per gallon over almost 500 miles a very mixed driving in this Honda Civic that’s two miles per gallon better than last year’s 5-speed automatic equipped model that’s just because this transmission doesn’t have to downshift quite as far what it does need to downshift so if you’re on the freeway you’re going up a slight incline that five-speed automatic would usually have
to shift down to fourth or sometimes

even third in order to go up over that

and sometimes that was just lower than the transmission really needed to go the CVT always has the right ratio for you the second thing is in mountain driving like we’re on right now because this transmission always has the right ratio yet again so it feels like the car has a little bit more power than you might think it’s definitely also what’s going on in the Sentra as well as the Corolla because the Sentra doesn’t really have a whole lot of power but that CDT more than makes up for it in mountain driving in terms of suspension tuning the LX e ex and EXL models of the Civic are tuned towards the softer side of the compact sedan segment if you want something a little bit firmer than you need to shop for something like a Mazda 3 or Honda Civic Si the civics handling abilities can be described as very middle-of-the-road very much like the suspension tuning so this is going to handle a little bit better out on the road it’s going to feel a little bit better out on the road than something like a Hyundai Elantra it’s not going to feel as engaging as a Civic Si or a Mazda 3 Honda has done a decent amount of work on sound deadening in this cabin so he scored 72 decibels at 50 miles an hour during my week with this car and that is a few decibels lower than the Toyota Corolla however it’s not as quiet as certain versions of the Mazda 3 out on the road the Civic scored very well
in my braking fade-resistance tests and

there’s a decent amount of steering feel

behind the wheel even though we have electric power steering in this car even though I think the spy level dashboard is a little bit peculiar looking it definitely serves the purpose that Honda designed it for by having that speedometer up high and a little bit closer to the road it does keep your eyes more on the it leads to little bit less driver distraction while driving the car I also appreciate having that multi-information display on the right of that speedometer so you can see the tracks and your fuel economy etcetera without having to look down at the screen in the dashboard the ex and EXL models get Honda’s lanewatch system move down from the Honda Accord there’s a camera mounted on the sideview mirror on the passenger side of the car and it’s looking backwards towards my blind spot I can activate the camera with either the turn signal or by pressing a button on the turn signal stalk and when I do I’m going to get a view of that camera on this seven-inch touchscreen right here in the dashboard well I still think the system is slightly gimmicky because I can get very much the same view by turning my head thusly I can see over there on my blind spot if I have my mirrors properly adjusted as well I could see if you had limited neck mobility this could be a very handy feature in terms of driving enjoyment the Honda Civic is a solid competitor in

the segment even though we now have this

CVT under the hood I think that the Honda Civic is more engaging than the 4 tank or the Elantra because the suspension is much better sorted in this Civic the Kia and the Hyundai they tend to get a little bit upset over rough pavement or uneven pavement sections or bumps in the road potholes that sort of thing and it’s not happening here in the Civic the Mazda 3 and the Ford Focus are easily the tops in this segment but the Honda Civic is a solid competitor pricing on the 2014 Civic is very middle-of-the-road in a typical Honda fashion there are very few options to choose from things start out with the LX model at eighteen thousand three hundred ninety dollars if you want to add the CVT transmission to that Alex it’ll be nineteen thousand 190 this e.x model that we’re testing here is expected to be the bulk of sales and it starts out at twenty one thousand ninety dollars the additional cash over the LX automatic transmission model buys the e X shopper automatic headlamps the lane watch system the seven-inch infotainment LCD system as well as automatic climate control and a few other little goodies on the inside stepping up to the EXL for twenty two thousand seven hundred forty dollars will buy you power seats leather and heated seats as well as fog lamps if you want navigation that’s only available in the EXL with navigation model and that’s twenty four thousand two hundred forty dollars in addition to the navigation system it also buys you XM satellite radio as well as HD radio an important thing to keep in mind when shopping for your Civic is that that regular EXL model without navigation can have the navigation software with the seven-inch infotainment system all you
need is an iPhone 5 at this current

moment as well as a $60
downloadable app for that iPhone and you will be able to do that Honda does tell us that they will have an Android as well as other apps available to integrate with the car eventually but at launch it’s going to be just the iPhone shoppers that will be able to add navigation to the e X as well as the EXL models for $60 as well as that data plan on your smartphone the Civic remains a compelling entry in this compact sedan segment however Honda’s reliability reputation and good resale value do come at a price because the Nissan Sentra the Chevy Cruze as well as the Hyundai Elantra are going to cost you a little bit less out the door I think that overall the Kia Forte still remains the best value for me in this segment and the Mazda 3 is by far the best subcompact and compact car available out there on the market both in the 4-door as well as the five-door versions however the real competition for the Civic doesn’t lie on other dealers Lots it actually lies right there on Honda’s own lot because the Honda Accord LX is only twenty two thousand seven hundred fifty-five dollars with the CVT that’s just sixteen hundred sixty-five dollars more than this Honda Civic in addition to the 16 hundred sixty five dollar larger price tag on that Accord you also will lose the moonroof that the Civic exs two speakers as well as the lane watch system however you do gain active noise cancellation to zone climate control bigger and more comfortable seats that are a little bit more adjustable and you also get better quality fabric and carpets on the inside in addition to that you also get one of my favorite mid-sized sedans while the Honda Civic ranks at the upper end of the compact sedan segment for me the Accord

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