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2018 Honda Civic Overview
The classic Honda Civic is easily one of the most important cars on the market, so when Honda released a downgraded version in 2012, the company disappointed buys as competitor models moved towards more upscale, full-featured compact cars. Honda thus gave the 2013 model a hasty facelift, but this stop-gap measure merely brought back older features. Then, in 2016, the Civic received a long-overdue revamp; Honda completely redesigned the model from the ground up, rocketing the Civic back to the forefront of the compact segment. Therefore, for its 2018 Civic model, Honda has decided to leave well enough alone and only make minimal updates.
The latest Civic sedan has a more aggressive shape than others in its class, such as the Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze, Mazda Mazda3, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta, and Nissan Sentra. Its wedged shape, sharp creases, large front apertures, and multifaceted lights may be too bold for some, but despite this design, many shoppers still place the Civic high on their shopping list. There are five basic trims for the Civic: LX, EX, EX-T, EX-L, and Touring. Each trim offers increasingly upscale and complex features than the next, giving buyers plenty of options regardless of their budget.
Honda continues to offer buyers a choice between two engines in the Civic. The base engine is a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder with 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque, which comes with either a 6-speed manual or a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT). Buyers who opt for the EX-T, EX-L, and Touring trim levels get a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. However, the EX-T offers a choice between manual or CVT whereas the higher-end EX-L and Touring trims only come with the CVT.
Both engine types have head-of-class fuel economy regardless of configuration. The 2.0-liter achieves 29 city, 39 highway, and 32 combined MPG with the manual or 31, 40, and 34 with the CVT. The 1.5-liter with manual transmission exceeds the 2.0 at 31, 42, and 35 MPG, and its fuel economy performs at 32, 42, and 36 with the CVT.
The Civic’s interior impresses with its upscale, logical, and attractive design. Honda has eliminated the Civic’s controversial bi-level dashboard seen in the two previous models, replacing it with a conventional setup with a minimal, easy-to-read switchgear. The instrument cluster displays speed and other information on a clean and concise LCD screen. The Civic also includes a great array of standard features, such as an electronic parking-brake, standard automatic climate control, and a 5-inch color infotainment system with USB connectivity and Bluetooth. Buyers can also upgrade to a larger infotainment system with CarPlay and Android Auto and add features like push-button start, dual-zone climate control, heated seats, and LaneWatch, which uses a camera mounted on the right side-mirror to give the driver visibility in that area during lane changes, right-hand turns, or parallel parking.
Honda clearly prioritized safety when designing the current Civic as evidenced in its Top Safety Pick rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Civic receives top scores in all crash categories, and it includes safety features like a standard reversing camera and the Honda Sensing suite, which is available on every trim. The Suite bundles automatic emergency braking, collision warning/mitigation, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control for an IIHS rating of Superior in terms of frontal crash avoidance.
The Civic has traditionally excelled among its competitors, and the 2018 model is no exception. With an attractive blend of style, technology, fuel-economy, and safety, anyone looking for a car in the compact segment would be hard-pressed to ignore it.
Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.
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