Review: 2009 Honda Civic and Civic Si
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2006 to 2011.
Honda sells the Civic in several different forms. The range breaks down into the Civic sedan and coupe, the Civic Si sedan and coupe, the Civic GX sedan, and the Civic hybrid sedan. (Click here for information on the Civic hybrid.)
The Civic coupe and sedan are powered by a 140-hp, 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission, with the option of a five-speed automatic. The Si coupe and sedan have a rev-happy 197-hp, 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission, as well as a sport-tuned suspension and a limited-slip differential. The GX sedan uses a specially tuned 113-hp, 1.8-liter engine that runs on natural gas, which has the benefit of being a lot cheaper than gasoline.
All Civics return good gas mileage. The 1.8-liter gets 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with the manual and 25/36 with the auto; the 2.0-liter is good for 21/29. The Civic GX returns an EPA-rated 24/36 mpg.
Although the Civic's styling can't be faulted for its boldness, not everyone is a fan of the interior, particularly the massive space between the dashboard and windshield.
What's New for 2009
Highlights and Recommendations
A base Civic costs about 16 grand, for which one gets a stripper. There are power windows, but amenities such as a radio and air conditioning aren't included, and it rides on 15-inch wheels. Our choice is the LX, which adds cruise control, power door locks and mirrors, an AM/FM radio with a CD player and four speakers, 16-inch wheels with covers, a folding rear seat, air conditioning, and remote entry. (The LX coupe has a six-speaker audio system.)
For sybarites who want the luxury features of a more expensive car but can't afford the gasoline bills, the EX has alloy wheels, audio controls on the steering wheel, a one-touch power sunroof, and an available voice-activated navigation system that includes XM satellite radio. The EX-L loads it up further with leather-trimmed heated seats and heated exterior mirrors. Fully loaded, an EX-L coupe can break the $24,000 mark, quite expensive for this class of car. For fun seekers, buy an Si sedan or coupe for a reasonable $22,000.