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2017 Honda Civic Overview
For 2016, Honda introduced the tenth-generation Civic, and so far it has been an unqualified success almost any way you look at it, including on the showroom floor. The 4-door sedan was the first to be introduced, but a coupe joined the lineup as well last year, and a hatchback version is scheduled to arrive for 2017. Performance-oriented Si and Type R models are planned as well, much to the delight of many driving enthusiasts.
Because last year’s car was so well received, the 2017 Honda Civic doesn’t mess with success and there won’t be significant changes. Trims include the EX, EX-L, EX-T, LX, and Touring, and all are now available with the high-tech Honda Sensing group of safety features. The Civic still faces stiff competition from cars like the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, and its perennial rival, the Toyota Corolla, but the Honda is still fresh enough of a design to compare favorably with all of them. It’s even a sharp-looking car, with angular lines and a roofline that tapers down to futuristic taillights. It almost looks like a hatchback or 4-door coupe rather than a sedan.
Under the hood, the 2017 Civic is still available with one of two engines. The base 2.0-liter VTEC 4-cylinder makes 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque, and it comes in the LX or EX cars. It comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, but most cars will get Honda’s continuously variable transmission (CVT), which has Sport and Econ driving modes. The other engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with an electrically-driven wastegate, which makes 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The Civic delivers impressive fuel economy regardless of configuration, but the 1.5-liter CVT takes the cake with 31 mpg city/42 highway. The 2.0-liter, however, will still do 24/40 with the manual and 31/41 with the CVT.
The tenth-generation Civic excels when it comes to handling and driving dynamics. Compared to the disappointing ninth-generation car it replaced, the new car is almost two inches wider, sits lower, weighs less, and is more rigid. Steering is variable-ratio power-assisted and the car can even apply the inside front brake in the middle of a corner in order to turn more sharply. The suspension is mostly familiar for Honda, with struts up front and a multi-link rear. The front struts also have hydraulic bushings, and EX-T, EX-L, and Touring trims also get rear hydraulic bushings in addition to larger, stickier tires.
On the inside, the 2017 Civic is particularly roomy, while a handy configurable center console allows the driver to use the area as a bin for mobile devices, a dual cup holder, or a key tray. The glove box is surprisingly large as well. Even the standard Civic comes with impressive features for the price, including climate control, cruise control, a 5-inch color LCD display, and a USB port. Stepping up the trim range also adds heated mirrors, remote start, a side-view camera, a 7-inch touchscreen, an additional USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, heated front seats, and dual-zone climate control. The range-topping Touring even swaps out the instrument cluster for an LCD screen that displays relevant vehicle information as well as a 450-watt audio system, which is much more banging than the base car's 160 watts.
The 2017 Civic is a top choice for safety as well, and the car has already been awarded Top Safety Pick+ status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It has also received 5 stars on all tests with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But the Civic is also available with all manner of cutting-edge technology to keep you from having a crash in the first place. Honda Sensing technology is available even on the lower-priced Civics, bringing automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, road-departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, and a collision-mitigation braking system. The rear-view camera can also be configured to show dynamic guidelines to help with parking.
Even in a crowded and competitive field, the tenth-generation Honda Civic is a standout and a top choice in styling, fuel economy, interior room, driving dynamics, and safety. And with the upcoming hatchback version and performance models, Civic buyers are now spoiled for choice--and that’s a good thing.
Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.
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