The Honda Civic has been on sale in the US since 1973 and throughout its 10 generations, it has become America's best-selling car by retail sales. True, the Toyota Camry sells more units per year than the Civic, but that's because Toyota sells to fleets -- Honda doesn't. The Civic entered its current generation for the 2016 model year and for 2019, it receives a lightly freshened exterior, minor interior enhancements, more standard driver-assistance technologies and a new Sport trim.
Honda offers a choice of two engines and two transmissions with the Civic. Lower trims get a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that can channel its 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque through either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. Upper trims get a 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder. Paired exclusively with a CVT, that engine makes 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The power figures of both of those engines are greater than average for the compact sedan segment.
At 25 miles per gallon city and 36 mpg highway, base Civics with the six-speed manual and the 2.0-liter engine get slightly below-average fuel economy. That same engine with the CVT boosts fuel economy as high as 30/38 mpg, which starts getting competitive with the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta's 30/40 mpg. The most efficient Civics with the 1.5-liter engine and the CVT can achieve 32/42 mpg, which is near the top of the class.
The Honda Civic offers plenty of space for up to five passengers. With 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, the Civic's cargo capacity is also near the top of the class, matching the Nissan Sentra's 15.1 cubic feet and clobbering the Toyota Corolla's 13 cubic feet. The Chevrolet Cruze and Volkswagen Jetta, for comparison's sake, offer 14.8 and 14.1 cubic feet. All Civic sedans are equipped with a 60/40 split folding rear seat, except for the base LX version, which features a one-piece folding rear seat.
A 7-inch TFT instrument cluster display is now standard across the board. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto paired with a reworked 7-inch touchscreen (now with a volume knob) are offered on all but the base trim.
All Civics now come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance features, which bundles full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, collision-mitigation braking, lane-keep assist and automatic high-beams. Standard driver-assistance systems like this make the Civic more competitive with the Toyota Corolla, which also offers a standard suite of adaptive driver safety systems. Most other cars in this class make you pay extra for features like that.
The 2019 Honda Civic is offered in five trims with base prices ranging from $19,450 to $27,300 plus $895 for destination. Other than the standard Honda Sensing, the LX model is rather basic with features such as 16-inch steel wheels, power windows, power door locks, auto climate control and a four-speaker sound system with Bluetooth streaming.
The new $21,150 Sport trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, keyless access, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, push-button start, an eight-speaker audio system and the 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Stepping up to the $23,400 EX gets you 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, heated front seats with an eight-way power driver's seat, dual-zone auto climate control plus HD and satellite radio. The $24,600 EX-L adds leather seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a HomeLink transceiver.
Finally the $27,300 Touring model moves back up to 18-inch wheels and features LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, chrome door handles, a navigation system, four-way power passenger seat, heated rear seats and a 10-speaker audio system.
To call the 10th-generation Honda Civic a hit would be an understatement. It's been America's retail car sales leader ever since the first Honda Civic in 2016, largely thanks to its great packaging, nicely crafted interior and chic style. Now, for 2019, small styling and tech updates arrive to improve upon this already solid package.
The 2019 Civic's shapely sheet metal is largely unchanged. The only real tweaks include a restyled lower front fascia and grille, the latter of which adopts a gloss-black finish where chrome had lived before, and I think this minor update really works on the Honda's front end. Chrome is instead added to the bottom of the rear fascia.
There are a couple of new wheel designs for 2019, with my top-of-the-line Touring model test car getting slick, 18-inch rollers with gray-painted spoke insets. The Molten Lava Pearl paint job pictured here is also a new addition to the color palette, and overall, the Civic looks fresh as ever, ready to battle the newly redesigned Mazda3, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta.
The Good The 2019 Honda Civic is attractive, comfortable, fuel-efficient and an entertaining drive.
The Bad The infotainment system lags when switching between menus and the car lacks device charging ports.
The Bottom Line The 2019 Honda Civic is an even stronger compact sedan than before.
There are lots of vehicles to choose from, but these new cars, trucks and SUVs are hot deals for Independence Day.
Automakers are ready to serve up some stellar deals on new cars, trucks and SUVs this Independence Day.
The 1995 version of Honda's well-respected minivan is strikingly different from the one on sale today.
Arguably, Honda's Civic is the best small car you can buy today, and it was pretty much the same story a quarter-century ago.
Today's Honda Civic is about the same size as an Accord from 1995, though it's more powerful. Here's how other popular nameplates have changed since then.
Americans have turned to used cars amid the pandemic, and they're scooping up Honda, Volkswagen and Toyota models among others.
The Ford Ranger unseats the Jeep Cherokee as the most American vehicle you can buy.
The Civic might be bread and butter in the US, but in Japan, its time has come and gone. Again.