The Civic, long one of our top-scoring small cars, slipped substantially with this redesign, and no longer scored high enough to be recommended. Blame sits with so-so interior quality, a choppy ride and more pronounced road noise. Vague steering robs the Civic of its fun-to-drive feel. On the up side, the Civic provides decent rear-seat room and great fuel economy.
The HF version gets aerodynamic aids and low rolling-resistance tires for improved fuel economy, but loses points for long stopping distances. The tweaks boost HF mileage to 33 overall, an improvement over the 30 mpg we recorded with the LX and 29 with the EX. But the Hybrid is the mileage champ of the range with a thrifty 40 mpg. With the same low-rolling resistance tires as the Civic Hybrid, the HF records similar long stopping distance numbers. Opting for the higher-priced EX brings 16-inch tires that improve braking and emergency handling over the lower trim lines. Honda's pricing structure forces you to pay a premium for a sunroof to get that better performance, though.