Despite the Honda Civic's long history, which dates back to the early 1970s, it wasn't until 1993 that the Japanese automaker expanded the model lineup to include a coupe version. (Of course, that was just a few years after it eliminated the station wagon, a variant we still miss.)
Just like the current Civic sedan, the latest Civic coupe was new for 2016, but trailed the sedan into Honda's showrooms by a few months. This two-door version of one of Canada's best-known cars is back for 2018 with no changes.
The Civic coupe skips the sedan's entry-level DX trim to go straight to the LX, powered by a 1.8L four-cylinder making 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission that is a great fit with the engine's free-revving nature, and can be optioned with a continuously variable automatic (CVT).
The next step is a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder good for 174 hp and 162 lb-ft. Despite its small displacement, this engine is eager to spin the Civic's front wheels (especially with the manual available in the EX-T model), and its extra torque is a surprisingly satisfying match for the CVT that's optional in EX-T and is the only transmission available in a Touring trim.
Finally, the sporty Si model also gets the turbo mill, but tuned for 205 hp and 192 lb-ft and matched exclusively with the six-speed. This is a fun combination that recalls the Mini Cooper S before it got bloated.
Save for in the Si model and its aggressive tuning, the turbo engine's small size makes it more efficient than the 2.0L regardless of transmission.
As is every member of the Civic family, the coupe's appearance can be an acquired taste especially when viewed from the rear, where its profile gives the impression of a hatchback and not the relatively small trunk opening that's actually there.
Whether you find the look polarizing or not, the Civic coupe looks the part of a proper sporty small car, even if it's not particularly powerful at its sub-$20,000 starting price. Even still, we almost prefer the less-powerful engine for how it evokes memories of Civics from generations past.
Standard kit includes a multi-angle backup camera, heated front seats, air conditioning, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, 180-watt stereo, cruise control, 16-inch wheels and a six-way manual driver's seat.
EX-T trim brings dual-zone automatic climate control, passive keyless entry, 17-inch wheels, sunroof, fog lights and the LaneWatch blind spot display.
Both LX and EX-T can be optioned with the Honda Sensing active safety suite, but it comes bundled with the automatic transmission.
Touring trim gets navigation, leather seating, upgraded stereo, LED headlights, wireless smartphone charging and rain-sensing wipers.
The Si eschews active safety in favour of driver involvement, so there's no way to get active safety and a stickshift.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed