2009 Honda Civic LX-S

Updated for 2009, the changes to the Honda Civic's facade aren't immediately obvious unless viewed next to a 2008 or older model. Sci-fi good looks and fantastic fuel economy remain intact for this new generation.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

New front end

A more aggressive three-opening lower air dam and a simplified grill distinguishes 2009 Civics from their elder brethren.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

16-inch alloy wheels

The Civic LX-S steps up to 16-inch alloy wheels and a subtle rear decklid spoiler.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Rear end

The Civic is classified as a ULEV2 CARB emission rating. We were able to get 37 combined mpg out of our tester, surpassing the EPA rating of 36 highway and 25 city mpg.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

1.8-liter engine

Every Civic Sedan, with the exception of the high-performance Si model, is powered by a 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter iVTEC engine. Lacking much low-end torque, the Civic's engine has to be revved to the upper reaches of its powerband to benefit from its 128 pound-feet of torque.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Trunk

Underneath the decklid, the Civic's 12-cubic-foot trunk offers a decent amount of space for grocery getting.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Fold down seats

In LX-S trim, you get a single, folding rear seatback. In EX trim, you get a 60/40 split. Even with the seats down, you don't approach the max storage volume of a Honda Fit with it's seats stowed (57.3 cubic feet).

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Futuristic interior

The Civic's futuristic interior is made of high quality plastics, enhanced by a neat matte finish and well designed controls.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Tachometer

The Civic's dashboard features a two-tiered design. The lower tier features this large tachometer, the odometer, and an array of warning lights.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Speedometer

The top tier puts the speedometer, fuel and temperature gauges closer the the driver's field of view to reduce eye movement while driving.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Steering wheel controls

The steering wheel features controls for the cruise control. In EX and higher models, there are also controls for audio and navigation, if so equipped.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Center stack

The stereo system in the Civic is extremely integrated into the dashboard, which makes it difficult to replace with an aftermarket unit. Fortunately, the sound quality from this four-speaker system is pretty good, thanks to the well-crafted interior's lack of buzzing and rattling.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Single-line display

The stock stereo features a single-line display. Available sources are CD, AM/FM radio, and line-input.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

MP3 playback

Despite being a single-line display, we were able to navigate MP3 CD folders rather quickly and easily.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Five-speed automatic transmission

Our Civic LX-S was equipped with the five-speed manual transmission. During spirited driving, the gearbox had a bad habit of being in too high of a gear to make power, but for commuting it performed just fine.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Auxiliary input

The auxiliary input is hidden down at the bottom of the dashboard, beneath this 12v power outlet.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
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