2017 Honda Civic

Starting MSRP: $18,740 - $26,600

Estimated MPG: 28 city / 40 hwy

2017 Honda Civic Review

If you’re in the market for a small car, it’s hard to go wrong with the 2017 Honda Civic. Sprightly handling and a responsive turbocharged engine provide an enjoyable driving experience, while good fuel economy and a strong list of standard features make the Civic a practical choice among compact cars.

By Jim Sharifi
Last Updated 05/19/2017

The Honda Civic sees some notable updates for 2017. The Civic sedan and coupe are joined by a new hatchback body style, and a six-speed manual transmission is now offered with the available turbocharged engine. The Civic Si also returns to the lineup, offering unique styling cues, more power and suspension upgrades that improve this compact car’s fun factor.

The Civic sedan seats five and is offered in LX, EX, EX-T, EX-L, Touring and Si trims. A four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission are standard, while a more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are available. Civic coupes offer the same powertrain choices, and are available in LX, LX-P, EX-T, EX-L, Touring and Si trims.

The new Civic Hatchback has the same transmission choices, but comes exclusively with the turbo-four that’s optional on coupes and sedans. It’s offered in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L and Sport Touring trims.

Exterior

Exterior
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The Civic has always been a functional entry within the compact car segment, but the 2016 model’s redesign brought a welcome dose of athletic styling to Honda’s small car. All models feature a broad front fascia with a tall upper grille that’s available in chrome or black chrome trim. Slim headlights illuminate the road ahead, and provide a menacing gaze when the Civic is viewed head on. The Civic sedan’s fastback profile helps facilitate a sense of motion, which becomes even more dramatic on coupe and hatchback models.

The Civic sedan comes standard with automatic projector-beam headlamps and taillights with LED accents. Sixteen-inch steel wheels are standard, while higher trims bring in 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as upgrades like a moonroof, fog lights, LED headlights and a deck-lid spoiler.

Alloy wheels are standard on coupe and hatchback models, with sizes that range from 16 to 18 inches. The Civic Hatchback is available with a few unique styling cues, specifically on Sport and Sport Touring trims. These include an underbody spoiler kit and a racy-looking dual-exhaust system with outlets that are centered under the rear bumper.

Interior

Interior
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While the Civic’s exterior may be the first thing buyers notice, the welcoming confines of its cabin certainly do not disappoint. Build quality is impeccable, and the materials used throughout are outstanding for the compact car class. The Civic’s interior features a modern design, straightforward climate controls and a center console that offers plenty of storage space.

The front seats offer ample head- and legroom, even in models equipped with the available moonroof. Legroom is tighter in the rear row, but most adults should find the space acceptable on shorter drives. Cargo space is impressive for the class, with 15.1 cubic feet of room in the Civic sedan’s trunk and up to 12.1 cubic feet of space in the Civic Coupe. The Civic Hatchback has up to 25.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and folding those seats down opens up 46.2 cubic feet of room for cargo.

Full power accessories, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column and cloth upholstery are among the Civic sedan’s standard interior features. Higher trims bring in options like power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Performance

Performance
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The base Civic sedan and coupe come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a CVT is available.

A turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is optional on the coupe and sedan and standard in the Civic Hatchback. In most applications it produces 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Models with a six-speed manual transmission have a slightly higher torque rating of 167 pound-feet, while the Civic Hatchback’s Sport and Sport Touring trims come with a dual-exhaust system that bumps engine output to 180 horsepower.

The Civic Si also comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, but in this model it’s paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and makes 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque.

The base Civic sedan earns an EPA-estimated 28/40 mpg city/highway with the six-speed manual, or 31/40 mpg with the CVT. Sedans with the turbocharged engine and CVT deliver the best fuel economy in the lineup at 32/42 mpg city/highway.

We’ve long been fans of the performance offered by competitors like the Mazda3, but Honda truly has a winning combination on its hands, at least with models like our test Sport Touring Hatchback. While the Civic may be practical and affordable transportation, it’s also exceptionally fun to drive.

The 1.5-liter engine was a willing companion in our tests, offering good power in both city and highway driving. That engine is mated to a particularly impressive CVT. While CVTs typically bolster fuel efficiency, they have been known to sap the fun out of the driving experience. That’s not the case here, as our Civic’s transmission was exceptionally smooth, alert and responsive.

The Civic’s handling doesn’t disappoint either. A small footprint makes most small cars easy to maneuver, but the Civic Hatchback also handles twists and turns with ease. The ride is relatively quiet and comfortable, too, and firm brakes and direct steering reinforce this model’s sporty driving dynamics.

Technology

Technology
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The Civic sedan offers a competitive set of standard tech features, including Bluetooth, a USB port and a four-speaker audio system with a 5-inch display. The EX sedan brings in Pandora smartphone app integration, hands-free text messaging, satellite radio, HD radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, an eight-speaker audio system and a 7-inch touch-screen display. Navigation and a premium audio system with 10 speakers (12 in the Civic Hatchback) are also available.

Our test car’s infotainment system impressed with quick response times and user-friendly on-screen menus. We used Apple CarPlay extensively during our week of testing, and it quickly mirrored our smartphone and provided trouble-free access to Apple Maps, music apps like Pandora and more.

Like the 2017 Honda Accord and Pilot, the Civic’s touch-screen display lacks the conventional knobs that are often used for tuning and volume adjustments. That may be a detractor for some buyers, but relying on the steering wheel-mounted audio controls compensates for the issue.

Safety

Safety
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Every 2017 Civic comes with a rearview camera, and a number of driver assistance features are optional. These include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. The Honda LaneWatch camera system is standard on EX and higher trims, providing views of the passenger-side blind spot when the right turn signal is activated.

Regardless of body style, the 2017 Honda Civic earned a top five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its overall performance in crash tests.

All models also performed well in tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), receiving top scores of Good in all crashworthiness categories. Models tested with the available forward collision warning system also earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The base Civic sedan starts at $18,740, excluding an $875 destination charge. Coupes and hatchbacks start at $19,150 and $19,700, respectively. With the exception of Si models, a Civic Sport Touring Hatchback represents the top of the range, carrying a suggested price of $28,300.

While the Civic hatchback has a slightly higher starting price, we’re big fans of its sporty styling and additional utility. It also comes standard with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which requires upgrading to the EX-T trim level on other models.

We think most buyers will appreciate the value offered by the Civic EX Hatchback. That model carries a suggested price of $22,800 and comes standard features many shoppers will want, including the CVT, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, a moonroof and Honda LaneWatch.

Overall

Overall
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Compact car buyers will find a lot to like about the 2017 Honda Civic. Its attractive design is bolstered by stellar interior quality, and an impressive suite of tech features can be found once you’re behind the wheel. Great fuel economy and affordable pricing should appeal to frugal car buyers, and a responsive turbocharged engine and nimble handling will satisfy those who need practical transportation, but want to keep the driving experience fun. The Civic also brings the latest safety features to the masses, with numerous driver assistance features offered on every model in the lineup.