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2014 Honda Civic Review

April 25, 2014
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Even if it had already received several upgrades last year, the Honda Civic gets more for 2014. The standard-equipment list of all models consists of more items. And the coupe is made sportier and more fuel efficient as it gets a new CVT. Today’s Civic has gotten more competitive and is considered as one of the best small cars to buy under $20,000. Learn more about the Civic’s big family which spans from gasoline-run to hybrid models.

NEW FOR THE 2014 CIVIC

  • coupe’s restyled, sportier appearance
  • refreshed interior of all models
  • more powerful engines
  • continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • keyless ignition, blind spot camera, smartphone integration and touchscreen for audio system

UNDER THE HOOD

The base engine for the front-wheel-drive 2014 Honda Civic is a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 143 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. All LX models and EX coupes can get either a 5-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The latter is standard on all other models.

The Natural Gas model also has a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine. But instead of gasoline, it uses natural gas, pumping the engine to put out 110 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. This goes with only a 5-speed manual transmission.

Powering the Civic Hybrid is a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor which comes with a lithium-ion battery pack. The system makes 110 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque.

The sport Si is motivated by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 205 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. It is matched with only a 6-speed manual transmission.

The EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2014 Civic are as follows.

City/Hwy/Combined MPG
1.8-liter 4-cyl, 5-spd manual 28/36/31
1.8-liter 4-cyl, 5-spd manual (natural gas) 27/38/31
1.8-liter 4-cyl, CVT 30/39/33
1.8-liter 4-cyl, CVT (HF) 31/41/35
1.5-liter 4-cyl, CVT 44/47/45
2.4-liter 4-cyl, 6-spd manual 22/31/25

 

ON THE ROAD

The 2014 Civic’s steering is precise and nicely weighted. Handling is confident. The ride is comfortable, composed and quiet—a significant improvement that older Civics practically didn’t have. There’s no wonder why today’s Civic is now considered as one of the best cars to drive in the segment.

The base 1.8-liter four is just adequate for the Civic. But it is still able to satisfy with its impressive fuel economy and refined character. The new CVT downshifts smoothly and quickly, making up for the base engine’s lack of oomph.

Meanwhile, acceleration is slow in the Natural Gas and Hybrid models. They receive only 110 horsepower from their respective engines. But we need to keep in mind that fuel economy is the priority in these models.

Finally, the high-performance Civic Si is the most fun to drive in the lineup. Steering is quick and the suspension is refined. It is spirited on curvy roads and around towns.

INSIDE THE 2014 CIVIC

Modern features abound inside the 2014 Civic. Some of those that come standard are rearview camera, Bluetooth, LaneWatch, automatic climate control, HondaLink, and intelligent instrument cluster with LCD screen. The quality of materials is good and the layout of controls seems appropriate. But some reviewers found some of the controls frustrating to use, noting that something like a tuning knob or a sliding volume control could have helped.

The seats are roomy all around. Rear passengers, even taller ones, would not feel uncomfortable. The coupe, however, offers less legroom and headroom as is typical of two-doors.

The trunks in both the sedan and coupe are not that competitive. The former measures 12.5 cubic feet while the latter offers 11.7 cubic feet of space. The Civic Hybrid has less cargo space, just 10.7 cubic feet, because of the battery pack.

KEY FEATURES

The 2014 Honda Civic family is big with two body styles and 7 trim levels.

The sedan and coupe can both be LX, EX, EX-L or Si. The LX’s standard features include 15-inch wheels, daytime running lights, i-MID with 5-inch LCD screen, rearview camera, cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering column, fold-down rear seatback, Eco Assist system, 6 airbags, remote entry, Bluetooth,  and 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with Pandora compatibility and USB interface.

The EX trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, lane keeping system, push button start, rear-seat center armrest, power sunroof, smart entry system, automatic headlights, 6-speaker audio system with 7-inch touchscreen, and next-gen HondaLink.

The EX-L gets 17-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-way power driver seat, leather seats, heated front seats, and fog lights.

The high-performance Si models are equipped with most of the aforementioned features and 18-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, smart entry system, fog lights, red-backlit gauges, sport seats, aluminum/leather shift knob, push button start, and LaneWatch.

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The Civic Natural Gas and HF have most of the standard features that go with the LX and EX models. The Hybrid model, on the other hand, gets forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and LED daytime running lights, among others.

Features like a voice-activated navigation system, HD radio, satellite radio and heated front seats are offered as options on some models.

Photo credit: thecarconnection.com, honda.com

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