2019 Honda Civic Touring sedan evaluation: All grown up
“The Civic is likely one of the greatest compact sedans round, and a extra full automotive than ever earlier than.”
Optionally available 7-inch display with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
5 star security score
Bigger engine solely out there with CVT
Everybody has to develop up finally.
Remarkably for a nameplate that’s been round because the 1970s, the Honda Civic is synonymous with youth. Low-cost and easy, the Civic is a standard selection for somebody’s first automotive. The rambunctious character of older Civics additionally made them an incredible introduction to the enjoyable aspect of driving. Civic-driving youngsters have historically moved as much as an Accord or CR-V as soon as they earned a bit more cash and began households. However now the Civic is attempting to develop up with its homeowners.
The 2019 Honda Civic Touring sedan is extra than simply low-cost transportation for brand new drivers. It faces powerful competitors – such because the lately redesigned Mazda three, Toyota Corolla, and Volkswagen Jetta – for an ever-shrinking variety of gross sales as consumers proceed flocking to high-riding crossovers. For Honda’s evergreen compact automotive, the carefree days of youth are over.
As typical for a contemporary compact automotive, the Civic has gained dimension and toys. The Touring mannequin’s $28,330 base value – a $7,850 premium over the entry-level Civic LX – consists of options like leather-based seats, 18-inch wheels, and a navigation system. So optioned, the 2019 Civic Touring is nicely outfitted to catch the eyes of consumers seeking to improve from a well-worn older mannequin to one thing fancier. However extra stuff doesn’t mechanically make a automotive higher. Does the Civic nonetheless have what made it nice within the first place, or was it in an excessive amount of of a rush to develop up?
Trendy and (largely) sensible
Like a latest school graduate at a job interview, the Civic tries to make a robust first impression. Earlier generations had pretty plain styling, making them nice canvases for personalization. Honda took a unique route when it launched the current-generation Civic for the 2016 mannequin 12 months.
The Civic sedan (Honda additionally provides coupe and hatchback physique kinds) has a low, smooth roof line, an imposing grille that appears prefer it was designed for post-apocalyptic fight, and taillights that wrap themselves across the rear edges of the bodywork. Given the necessity to stand out from a big crowd of compact automobiles, and lure consumers away from crossovers, the extra extroverted look of the current-generation Civic is smart. The Mazda three and Toyota Corolla additionally rely closely on exterior styling as a differentiator. Honda made some small styling modifications for 2019, together with a reworked entrance fascia and extra chrome trim, however the Civic sedan doesn’t look dramatically totally different.
A trendy exterior typically comes on the value of inside area, however the 2019 Civic sedan doesn’t endure a lot. Measurements are according to different compact sedans, though the Civic’s low roofline appears to have had an influence on headroom, which is beneath common for the section. Uber drivers take observe: whereas the Civic’s 37.four inches of rear legroom is nearly as good because it will get for a compact sedan (our Touring tester additionally had heated rear seats), the Volkswagen Jetta matches it, with extra headroom for taller passengers. The Civic does have extra trunk area than the Jetta, however not as a lot because the Kia Forte or Nissan Sentra. Notably absent from this comparability is the Corolla, as Toyota didn’t have a full set of measurements out there at press time.
A trendy exterior typically comes on the value of inside area, however the 2019 Civic sedan doesn’t endure a lot.
The inside is way more conservative than the outside, which isn’t a foul factor. Every little thing is the place it must be, and materials high quality is pretty good for a automotive on this value vary. For 2019, Honda even redesigned the cupholders to incorporate totally different dimension choices. Our one criticism was with the steering wheel, which appeared unnecessarily massive, and made it laborious to discover a snug driving place.
Little issues make a giant distinction
The general inside structure didn’t change a lot for 2019, however the tech did. A brand new 7.Zero-inch touchscreen (suitable with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) is backed by analog shortcut buttons, in addition to an honest-to-goodness quantity knob. A element as small as a single knob might not look like a giant deal, however automakers have but to invent a greater technique to alter audio quantity whereas driving. Kudos to Honda for realizing that.
The display itself was straightforward to make use of. We appreciated having laborious buttons for key menus, which is a less-distracting strategy than forcing the motive force to faucet icons on the display itself. Graphics have been plain however efficient, and we did discover that the display in our take a look at automotive was a bit gradual besides up when beginning the automotive. One other draw back is that the 7.Zero-inch display isn’t out there on the bottom LX trim degree, which doesn’t get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto both.
A extra mature driving expertise
Driving dynamics have historically set the Civic aside from different compact automobiles. Honda hasn’t at all times gotten the formulation proper however, as a rule, the Japanese automaker’s rev-happy engines and suspension-tuning experience have elevated the Civic above a mere driving equipment. So how does the 2019 Civic sedan measure up?
Our take a look at automotive had the elective 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is obtainable solely with a repeatedly variable transmission (CVT). With 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, it’s a major improve over the 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of the naturally-aspirated 2.Zero-liter four-cylinder engine in lower-level Civic fashions. That engine is obtainable with a CVT or a six-speed guide. Honda additionally provides a sportier Si model of the Civic sedan with an upgraded model of the 1.5-liter turbo 4 making 205 hp and 192 lb-ft, in addition to a guide transmission.
The steering is exact, and the chassis effortlessly takes a set in corners.
With the Si entrenched because the sportiest Civic sedan, our Touring tester adopts a extra relaxed tempo. Civics of outdated impressed with vigorous steering, or engines that appeared keen to rev till they exploded, however what impressed most concerning the 2019 Civic sedan was its refinement. It’s only a good place to be, with a fairly cabin and a snug experience – even on roads as cratered because the floor of the Moon. Amongst compact sedans, solely the Volkswagen Jetta comes shut.
That doesn’t imply the Civic has misplaced its outdated strikes, although. Make no mistake, this nonetheless an incredible automotive to drive. The steering is exact, and the chassis effortlessly takes a set in corners. The turbocharged engine offers greater than sufficient thrust, though it comes on in a much less frenetic means than Honda’s outdated naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engines. The Mazda three additionally feels a bit sharper, and faster to reply when cornering. However we expect Honda struck an excellent steadiness with the Civic. The driving dynamics are an ideal match for the Civic’s refined manners. This automotive is enjoyable if you need it to be, and civilized if you want it to be. If you’d like slightly extra aggression, purchase the Civic Si. Or, higher but, the Civic Kind R hatchback.
The sensible stuff
Civic Touring sedans like our take a look at automotive are rated at 33 mpg mixed (30 mpg metropolis, 38 mpg freeway) by the EPA. That’s a bit decrease than the 36 mpg mixed (32 mpg metropolis, 42 mpg freeway) of the EX and EX-L fashions, which use the identical engine and transmission. The EX and EX-L are probably the most gas environment friendly Civic sedans. They narrowly beat the gasoline Toyota Corolla in fuel mileage, and even come near the 37 mpg mixed of the Chevy Cruze diesel. Toyota provides a Corolla Hybrid, however Honda has the Civic-based Perception hybrid.
Honda has probably the most complete packages of driver aids within the compact-car section. Normal on the 2019 Civic, Honda Sensing consists of adaptive cruise management, autonomous emergency braking, ahead collision warning, lane hold help, automated excessive beams, and lane departure warning with highway departure mitigation. Solely the Toyota Corolla provides an analogous array of options as customary gear. Adaptive cruise management is an elective further on most different compact sedans.
Civic EX and better trim ranges additionally get the Honda-exclusive LaneWatch system, which makes use of a digital camera mounted on the passenger’s aspect exterior mirror to nearly eradicate the motive force’s right-side blind spot. It’s a helpful characteristic, though Honda plans to discontinue it in favor of easier (and cheaper) blind-spot monitoring methods.
Talking of security, the 2019 Honda Civic sedan obtained a five-star total score from the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA). The sedan additionally obtained the highest “good” rating in all Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) crash exams, in addition to the utmost “superior” score for front-crash prevention tech. However the headlights obtained a “poor” rating, even after Honda modified the LED items on Touring fashions for 2019 to create a wider and longer beam.
Honda provides a three-year, 36,000-mile, fundamental guarantee and a five-year, 60,000-mile, powertrain guarantee. That’s about common for this section, however Hyundai and Kia supply longer phrases. Honda has an incredible total popularity for reliability, and the current-generation Civic sedan obtained an above-average reliability rating from Shopper Studies.
How DT would configure this automotive
As outfitted, our Touring take a look at automotive provided rather a lot for the cash. However a few of its options, such because the 18-inch wheels, leather-based upholstery, heated rear seats, and embedded navigation, aren’t actually necessities. So we’d step all the way down to the Civic EX. For about $three,000 lower than the Touring, the EX nonetheless will get the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, the 7.Zero-inch touchscreen, heated entrance seats, LaneWatch, and Honda Sensing. That’s the stuff that actually counts. We’d additionally advise any consumers to significantly take into account the Civic Si sedan, which might be had for across the identical value because the EX, however options extra energy, sportier suspension tuning, and a guide transmission.
The 2019 Honda Civic sedan has a unique feeling to Civic of outdated, however Honda nonetheless stored the essence of what made these automobiles nice. The 2019 Civic feels extra mature, protecting its fun-to-drive character, however including consolation and refinement to the combination. The Civic has lengthy been many consumers’ default selection, and this 10th-generation mannequin reminds us why that’s the case.
Do you have to get one?
Sure. The Civic stays probably the greatest compact sedans round, and it’s a extra full automotive than ever earlier than. Rising up isn’t so dangerous.