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Roadshow Video Reviews
2009 Honda Civic LX-SIn these tough times, you can still count on Honda to deliver an affordable and fuel-efficient car. But just not a lot of tech.
>> How many ways can Honda slice the Civic? They've got the DX, the LX, the EX sub models therein. Here's one of the new ones, the LXS. Let's find out what makes it that and where all the technology went. ^M00:00:13 [ Music ] ^M00:00:20 >> Now again since the LSX is basically an LX which is one notch above the stripper DX, don't expect to be blown away by tech in this cabin. Let's go to the head unit. There it is, incredibly proprietary so you'd better like it because that's not all that easy to swap out with something else. You've got AM-FM, single slot CD, Aux jack. No HD radio is available, no Bluetooth on this car either, four-speaker stereo system, 160 watts, but when you get a basic system like this, my first question is it better sound good and the aux jack better be friendly. Let me show you what I mean. First of all, it's kind of hard to show you in video but the sound is good, it's quite good for a basic four-speaker system that has no fancy branding on it. I was pleased. Aux jack--sometimes you get into a car that has an aux jack and the sensitivity is off. It either needs too much volume to be loud, too much volume out of your portable, or you can distort it. I've seen cars go both ways. Let's check this one out. So I'm gonna get the volume up here to I don't know, 13, 14 and then I'm gonna turn on my MP3 player; so that's at full volume coming out of my MP3 player. What I'm listening for is that it doesn't distort the front end input that aux jack is going in to and it doesn't. That's good because it's dummy proof. Go to the dealer when you buy this car and you can do a few options. One is a subwoofer; the other one is an 8-disc CD changer, that's a weird number. You see 6's, you see 12's, but this car you can get an 8. Now other parts that make an LXS S are sport bits. First of all these seats, it looks like they're taken out of a Civic SI more or less. They're kind of grippy, they've got this mouse fur over this webbing material for a grittier look, perforated leather wheel, 16-inch Alloy wheels, not wheel covers, little spoiler in the back. This transmission is not one of those cues--it's the optional automatic. You can get a manual transmission base, save a few bucks and I've always been very impressed by Honda's cabin on the Civic. This was a radical redesign a few years ago and it still looks fresh; it still looks distinct; and it still feels like good quality materials. Even though you've got lot of hard plastic, the finish on it is good and this long depth that they've done they take advantage of with that display, this display, and a nice sweep that makes a little car feel roomier than it is. ^M00:02:39 [ Music ] ^M00:02:44 >> The garden variety 1.8 liter Honda 4 is smooth as it should be but its 140 horses seem a little muted. Maybe it's the five-speed automatic. In fact the Honda Fit feels peppier, and it only has a 1500 motor that delivers 117 horse. Now the Civic has crept up in price class over the years but it least it feels like it inside and it's solidly placed on the road and tight as a drum. But my eye keeps wandering over to the stereo, worrying, what will I do when I want to swap that out for a better unit? The dash kits are easy to find but an aftermarket rig really mars the stylized look of the dash. If you care about all of this, you should at least consider a Civic Ex with a better factory radio. Okay let's price our Honda CV LXS--about 18, 6 delivered, major tech toys include that 8-disc changer I mentioned--about 600 bucks. There's a remote start with a cool LCD screen on the key fob for status information--I'd say around 500; 370 for the subwoofer. If you want the automatic by the way that's 800 more in the MSRP. If you want things like a sunroof or navigation or Bluetooth, you don't want an LX; you gotta go upstairs to an EX trim level.