Honda’s redesigned, 11th-generation Civic shines in handling, braking, and fuel economy, but it has a noisy cabin and an uncomfortable ride. Our tested Civic Sport also lacked heated seats, wireless phone charging, and blind spot warning, features found in some comparably priced rivals.
The standard 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine moves the Civic off the line with a strong initial burst, but acceleration is tame after that, clocking 9.7 seconds from 0 to 60 mph—slow for the segment. But it managed 33 mpg overall, an impressive figure that matches the Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla. The Civic comes mated to a continuously variable transmission that does its best to mimic a conventional automatic by way of simulated “shifts.” But full-throttle acceleration still results in the rubberbanding sensation—where the engine’s revs seem disproportionately high compared to the acceleration—that CVTs have long been knocked for. High-end EX and Touring trims offer a more powerful and quieter 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder with 180 hp that better masks the CVT’s quirks.