Redesigned just a year ago, the 2017 Honda Civic has re-launched its standing as a no-brainer choice for a small car. Think of it this way: Are you keen about 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 coupe and new hatchback body styles on offer for 2017, plus the new performance-focused Si and Type R variants.
An excellent all-arounder, the newest Civic rides well no matter which version you pick. Out on the highway, the Civic gives 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. No matter how you look at it, the 2017 Honda Civic is one of the best vehicles in its class.
After a complete redesign just last year, the 2017 Honda Civic has come back with a few key additions. A hatchback variant has been added to the lineup, and the available turbocharged engine makes a bit more power in that model. Honda is also bringing out two performance-focused Civics this year: the popular Si, now with turbocharged power, and the even more powerful Civic Type R, which boasts a tire-roasting 306 horsepower.
Any 2017 Honda Civic powered by the superb turbocharged 1.5-liter engine will be a good choice by our standards. If you’re keen for the most equipment for your money, the EX-T trim makes for quite a good value. It includes available features for the Civic such as remote start and the LaneWatch blind-spot camera. A base Civic such as the LX is certainly appealing, and the standard 2.0-liter engine is fine, but the extra power and fuel economy gained with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine are worth its price.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Honda Civic is a compact vehicle offered as a sedan, coupe or hatchback. The sedan is available in six different trim levels: LX, EX, EX-T, EX-L, Touring and Si. There are also three hatchback-specific trims: Sport, Sport Touring and Type R.
Though it may be the base trim, the standard Civic LX comes with a loads of equipment for the money. Standard equipment includes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (158 horsepower, 138 pound-feet of torque), a six speed manual transmission (a continuously variable transmission is also offered), 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, full power accessories, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, cruise control, an expanded-view driver side mirror, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and manual front seats with driver height adjustment. Electronics features include a 5-inch central display screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth (phone and audio), and a four-speaker sound system with a USB port.
READ ALSO:2016 Honda Civic Sedan Pictures
For the hatchback, the Sport lands with the LX equipment plus a more powerful version of the turbocharged engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a center-outlet dual exhaust, aerodynamic bodywork, a rear center armrest with cupholders, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
The standard LX is nice enough, but if you’d like a bit more in-vehicle tech and a few more basic creature comforts, then step up to the EX. The EX builds off the base LX, but it adds the CVT as standard along with a sunroof, heated side mirrors, a rear center armrest with cupholders, an eight-speaker audio system with dual USB ports, Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot camera, dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry with remote start, and a 7-inch touchscreen interface with satellite radio, Pandora compatibility, HondaLink smartphone integration and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration (including app-based navigation).
Stepping up to the EX-T gets you one of the Civic’s best items, the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (174 hp, 167 lb-ft). It also comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard or an optional CVT (174 hp, 162 lb-ft). Thanks to impressive acceleration and big fuel economy numbers, the turbocharged four-cylinder is enough reason alone to buy an EX-T Civic or above, but the EX-T also adds foglights, dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats.
Right near the top of the heap is the EX-L, which gets the CVT and upgrades to leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an integrated navigation system.
The hatchback-only Sport Touring essentially builds off the regular Sport trim and adds different 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, automatic wipers, a four-way power passenger seat, heated rear seats and a 12-speaker audio system. Also standard is a Honda Sensing safety package that is inclusive of adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane departure intervention, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. You can get the Honda Sensing safety package as an option on the other Civic trim levels.
The Touring trim level (for the sedan) basically comes with the same equipment as the Sport Touring hatchback, but the stereo has 10 speakers instead of 12.
The Si is a midlevel performance version of the Civic that comes as a coupe or sedan, both with a more powerful version of the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (205 hp, 192 lb-ft). A six-speed manual is the only transmission available. Standard equipment is similar to what Honda has on the EX-T trim, but you also get a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers, bigger front brakes, a limited-slip front differential, a unique rear spoiler, Si branded seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, the 10-speaker stereo, and a unique instrument panel with faux carbon-fiber surfaces.
At the top of the performance ladder for the Civic is the hatchback-only Type R. It is produced much like the Sport Touring trim level, but it gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (306 hp, 285 lb-ft). Like the Si, it is only available with a six-speed manual transmission. Other additions include 20-inch wheels with high-performance tires, bigger front and rear brakes, a massive rear wing, a Type R-specific suspension with adaptive dampers, and special interior and exterior styling enhancements.
Each car typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our Full Test of the 2016 Honda Civic Touring Sedan (1.5L 4-cyl. turbo; CVT automatic).
The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, offered or standard on all but the base LX trim, is unusual in its sound and power delivery for a Honda engine, but it gives best-in-class power and fuel economy. It’s worth the extra money.driving
Some may not like the nontraditional aspect of the CVT, but with the 1.5-liter turbo-four it contributes to a best-in-class 0-to-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds. It feels quick in real-world driving thanks to ample, steady low-end power. In contrast, the 2.0-liter paired with the CVT is a bit sluggish.
The days of underpowered, quickly fading Honda brakes are over. When we tested the Civic’s emergency braking from 60 mph to a complete halt, it did it in a short 117 feet. In traffic, the brakes are firm and easily modulated, and the pedal has excellent feel.
There’s less feel and feedback in this Civic than with past Honda steering, but by current class standards, it is very good. The steering wheel feels precise and natural, with spot-on, consistent weighting.
Around turns, body roll is controlled and left-right transitions are operated nicely. It feels playful, and there’s a lot of freedom and control for the driver — its well-tuned stability system doesn’t quash the fun. Grippier tires would make it even better.
The Civic’s CVT simulates gears only in foot-to-floor acceleration (we didn’t feel it otherwise), and its Sport mode could hold revs better up and down hills. Honda Sensing’s collision warning system is hyperactive. Otherwise this vehicle is pretty easy to drive.
Previous Civic models were known for their loud cabins, firm rides and less-than-friendly seats for tall folks. No more with the newest Civic, which suddenly feels like a shrunken Accord. The improvements make it more well-rounded and as well-suited to long trips as short ones.
The available eight-way power driver seat gives a huge range of motion, making it very comfortable for a wide variety of driver heights. They are a bit firm, but they hold you in place well during cornering and they’re good over long distances.
Like a German ride, you feel every road imperfection in the Civic, but impacts are very well damped. Big undulations, especially mid-corner, are handled with impeccable control. Not one iota of float. It feels like a bigger, more refined car.
noise & vibration
The turbocharged engine has a very un-Honda-like growl to it, and the CVT creates a light drone when accelerating. Otherwise, wind and road noise is kept in check far better than the overly loud Hondas of the not-so-distant past.
Honda’s touchscreen interface can be annoying to use, and those of most competitors are better. Beyond that, the Civic delivers a large, versatile cabin for both people and their things. The front center console design is extremely clever.
ease of use
The 7-inch touchscreen on most trims is easily accessed (as all controls are), but it can be a bit maddening. There are confusing menus, too-small buttons and slow response times. Also, the transition between Apple/Android controls and the Honda system is convoluted.
getting in/getting out
The rear doors are wide and open wide, making it easy to climb in — or install a child seat. This most recent Civic sedan has more of a sloped roof than before, so be mindful of your head. We noticed no issues getting in or out up front. All of the doors are very light and open and close easily.
Thanks to highly adjustable seats, a standard tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and generally good seating position, it’s easy to find a comfortable place to sit inside the Civic.
The Civic’s large backseat means that even 6-foot-tall adults can sit in both the front and backseat with sufficient leg- and headroom. The available eight-way power driver seat aids front seat room tremendously. Even with the optional sunroof, there’s plenty of front headroom.
The newest Civic is a little less boxy than previous generations and the downward roof slant reduces rear quarter views slightly. Still a great view ahead, though. Big side mirrors and a standard rearview camera assist out, too.
The Honda Civic we tested in Touring trim actually looks/feels more expensive than it is and challenges even Acura quality. All trims have top-notch materials everywhere (plus cloth or stitched imitation leather on center console) and typically tight Honda construction.
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The 2017 Honda Civic has lots of space, and it uses it well. Everything is packaged in a way that you can keep plenty of small items in the cabin as well as several large suitcases in the trunk.
The clever, multilevel and configurable center console has movable cupholders (sadly not anti-tip) and a smartly designed area for smartphones. All four doors have large pockets for small item storage as well.
The sedan’s trunk measures a whopping 15.1 cubic feet. The opening for the trunk is wide (but not very tall), which makes it simple to load large items.
The Civic’s no-knob volume system is always frustrating, and smartphone integration is also disappointing. We’ve also spsotted reliability issues in our long-term test of the Civic’s HondaLink system. What’s more, the adaptive cruise control is a bit too quick to react in traffic.
Though the Civic’s system is relatively good at connecting to your phone, going back and forth between Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and the proprietary Honda system is rather difficult. This is a weak link in the Civic’s otherwise strong chain.
Available features such as lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control make the Civic a standout in its class. But the forward collision warning system is a bit oversensitive in real-life driving, and the adaptive cruise control also feels a bit too quick to react.