A 2016 redesign brought the Honda Civic into its 10th generation, and fittingly for such a milestone, the changes were significant enough to vault this car to the top of its class for interior comfort, refinement and performance.
Three years on, the Civic remains one of the most nicely sorted compact cars on the market.
We'll get into specific details about what's new for 2019 in the articles for the different body styles, which are, once again, sedan, coupe and hatchback. But among the most notable updates is the addition of a volume knob for the infotainment system, making the Civic the latest Honda model to get this ergonomic improvement.
Civic's basics are unchanged. Sedan and coupe models start with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine making 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. It can be matched with either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic (CVT).
Optional in sedan and coupe models and standard in the hatchback is a 1.5L turbo four-cylinder good for 174 hp and 162 lb-ft. It comes only with the automatic in the sedan and coupe, but hatchbacks match it with the six-speed stick. In the hatch, Sport and Sport Touring trims get a bit more power: 180 hp/177 lb-ft with the six-speed and 180 hp/162 lb-ft with the CVT.
Sedan and coupe can be had in an Si trim that takes the 1.5L turbo to 205 hp/192 lb-ft and only comes with the manual shift transmission.
Finally, hatchback buyers can move up to the Type R, whose 2.0L turbo four-cylinder (borrowed from the Accord and Acura RDX models and tuned for more punch) gets 306 hp and 295 lb-ft and a special six-speed stick with a rev-matching downshift function.
While the 1.5L turbo is a performance gem even in its most basic form, the 2.0L in the entry-level sedan and coupe trims is a lot of fun to wind out with the slick manual transmission. It's not a particularly quick car, but it does make for an engaging daily driver that reminds us of Civic models of the 1990s and early 2000s.
In the hatchback, the 1.5L/6MT combo boasts more low-end torque than its specs suggest. It's very easy to squawk the tires from a stop and then simply keep accelerating on a wave of torque. The Si amps those characteristics up to 10; it's a trim we particularly enjoy in the four-door, as it turns that car into a budget-priced sport sedan.
The Type R is best approached with caution: its extroverted styling is a clue to the performance that lets it keep up with cars like the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf R. It's our least favourite version of the new Civic to look at, but if you like getting places quickly, it's the best Honda for the purpose.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed