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.
Thecontinues to set the bar for compact sedans. Extremely well-rounded and just plain easy to like, the Civic offers a whole lot of car for not a lot of money. And in the case of this Civic Sport, I'm talking less than $25,000.
Slotting just above the base Civic LX, the Sport starts at $24,095 including $995 for destination. This specific test car has a few exterior accessories from the Honda Performance Development catalog, including some underbody trim, a decklid spoiler and black badges, all of which add $1,562 to the Civic's bottom line. Me? I'd leave 'em on the table -- especially that huge, tacky HPD badge to the right of the license plate.
Even without the HPD add-ons, the Civic Sport is an attractive little four-door. While base Civics get 16-inch wheels and the midrange EX has 17s, the Sport has gloss black 18-inch alloys with 235/40-series all-season tires. LED headlights and taillights are standard, and the Sport has gloss-black mirror caps and a chrome exhaust tip, making it look pretty upscale, despite being the second-cheapest trim in the Civic range. I know a lot of people call the new Civic's design boring, but I think it'll age really well.
The Good ~ Handsomely styled inside and out ~ Competent on-road manners ~ Plenty of standard driver-assistance tech ~ Priced under $25,000
The Bad ~ 2.0-liter engine is sluggish. ~ Least-efficient Civic in the lineup ~ Rudimentary infotainment tech
The Bottom Line The 2022 Honda Civic continues to be a benchmark for compact sedans, and there's plenty to like about this inexpensive Sport trim.
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