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2008 Honda Civic

Overview
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2008 Honda Civic Review

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As Honda's best-known and best-loved car line, the 2008 Civic Sedan and Coupe continue to set the bar in the compact-car arena. Long considered the standard by which all other compacts are measured, the Civic is able to lure buyers thanks to its impressive fuel economy, unrivaled reliability and repair history and class-leading resale values. Once considered the Civic's only weak point, exterior styling is now one of the car's most appealing attributes. With its sharply raked windshield and low profile, the sleek Civic Coupe looks like nothing else on the road. The car's appeal to younger drivers has put Honda back into the good graces of the tuner and aftermarket crowd.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you appreciate world-class refinement (along with impressive mileage), and you're looking to spend anywhere from $15,000 to $23,000 for a new car, your test-drive schedule might not continue past the Honda dealer.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If the Civic's $15,000 starting price is the most you want to spend, you might be disappointed to find out the base model doesn't offer a factory-installed audio system, air conditioning, power locks, center console or even map lights.

What's Significant About This Car?

The Civic EX-L Sedan and Coupe introduce leather seating to the Civic line, while the Mugen Si Sedan debuts with a performance suspension, forged aluminum wheels and a sport tuned exhaust.

Driving the Civic

Driving Impressions We drove the Civic in both coupe and sedan form and found them both notable for what you don't hear or feel---the ride is smooth and quiet, while cornering and...

acceleration are easy and nearly effortless. The whole experience is more in line with what you'd expect from a bigger or pricier vehicle. The refined 140-horsepower engine never overwhelms you with power, but even when you run the tachometer up to its redline you don't feel like you're bullying the car. The coupe version gets a slightly sportier suspension to go with its decidedly sportier posture, but we found it to be still comfortable after hour-plus drives. Whether you're in the driver's seat or one of the Civic's other seating positions, the 2008 Honda Civic is a perfectly enjoyable way to travel.

Audio Options
Listen to MP3s on CD. Listen to MP3s on a memory card. Listen to MP3s on an iPod. Listen to XM Satellite Radio. Listen through a 350-watt system with a subwoofer (coupe only). When you're feeling nostalgic, you can even listen to AM and FM radio broadcasts.

Two-Tier Instrument Panel
While some non-traditional instrument panel layouts come across as gimmicky, the Civic's two-tier execution seems to make all the sense in the world.

2008 Honda Civic Details
Interior

In addition to offering more in-cabin technology than we've come to expect, the 2008 Honda Civic also features the most visually futuristic interior of any vehicle on the market. Take a seat behind the wheel and your first impression is dominated by a uniquely sculpted steering wheel and an unconventional two-tier instrument panel. Technological highlights include an available navigation system and a broad array of digital audio options. Third, fourth and fifth passengers would be happier in the sedan's backseat than in the coupe's, because the sedan features about four more inches of legroom and two more inches of headroom than the cozy coupe. The fit, finish and design found inside the Civic are first-rate.

Exterior

Although the 2008 Honda Civic Coupe and Sedan are both distinguished by a low-profile front end, short hood and long, laid-back windshield, the two models have never been more different. The taller sedan rides on a longer wheelbase than the sleeker, sportier coupe that also includes a decklid spoiler as standard equipment. Smaller gaps between the tires and body contribute to each model having a stance with better proportions and more balance. Beneath the sheet metal, the Civic features an advanced body structure designed to better absorb and distribute collision forces, especially in impacts involving taller sport utility vehicles and the like.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Notable standard equipment on the base Civic Sedan and Coupe models includes power windows, a four-way adjustable steering column, height-adjustable driver's seat, fold-down rear seatback and an impressive list of safety equipment such as front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, active head restraints, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and more. Notable as not included on the base DX trim level are an audio system, air conditioning and power locks/mirrors.

Optional Equipment

The Civic's list of optional equipment is highlighted by a navigation system with voice-recognition software. An advanced 350-watt AM/FM/XM/CD sound system with subwoofer is available on the Si Sedan and EX, EX-L and Si Coupe, but there are several iterations of a 160-watt CD sound system---and all audio systems have MP3/WMA CD playback capability. In addition to an auxiliary input jack for MP3 players, Honda offers an accessory adapter that lets you control an Apple iPod through the car's audio controls. Getting the navigation system also gives you the ability to play music stored on a variety of digital media cards. More familiar options are included within the various trim levels and include an automatic transmission, one-touch power moonroof, power door locks with keyless remote, power mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control and steering wheel-mounted cruise/audio/navigation controls.

Under the Hood

Bridging the gap between the 197-horsepower high-output engine in the Civic Si and the 45-miles per gallon powerplant in the Civic Hybrid, the Civic sedan and coupe feature a 140-horsepower unit that delivers impressive city/highway mileage of up to 25/36-miles per gallon. A five-speed manual is standard, but a five-speed automatic mitigates the performance penalty normally associated with combining a small four-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. Performance fans who can't work a manual gearbox are shut out of the Si, as no automatic is offered.

1.8-liter in-line 4
140 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
128 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/34 (manual), 25/36 (automatic)

2.0-liter in-line 4
197 horsepower @ 7800 rpm
139 lb.-ft. of torque @ 6100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Honda Civic Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1843 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

The best car I ever owned, reliable

By on Sunday, May 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great mechanics"

Cons: "noise, ver little but noticable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This has been one of the best cars that I have ever owned, it is economical, reliable and comfortable."

Best Car I've ever owned

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 305,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "economical, practical and roomy for a small car"

Cons: "low to ground, road noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car ran through everything, rain, snow, dericho, wind, you name it. Of course a few things wore out, but what doesn't. Normal maintenance and oil changes and a little tlc goes a loooong way."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Great value.

By on Sunday, April 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Price, handling, gas mileage, dependability."

Cons: "Seat comfort, acceleration, intermittent wipers."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I like this car. It's dependable, gets very good gas mileage, and handles nicely. If you want a more luxurious car, don't get this, as it doesn't exactly caress you with comfort or thrill you with quick acceleration. But for the money, it's great. Really only two things I wish it had: lighted vanity mirrors on the sun visors, and variable speed intermittent wipers."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

i love my civic

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "gd gas mileage"

Cons: "interior to small"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought my car in 2008, and from the beginning I just loved it... a little uncomfortable, but everything else its just nice"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,555

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, looks, gas mileage, great to drive"

Cons: "Location of emergency brake"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Traded a 2011 Mazda 3 which I found too tight and sporty for my needs. Got more options on the Civic, much more comfortable and great to drive. Love the moon roof and the interior room, super comfy drivers seat, especially compared to the Mazda. Looking forward to many years of reliability with this car."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Very disappointed!

By on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Looked good."

Cons: "Only averaged 32 MPG."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I had heard such great things about Honda. Unfortunately, this car did not live up to its reputation. The car was supposed to get between 48-50 MPG. My Honda, after almost 5 years, has averaged 32 MPG, which would not be bad if I hadn't paid an additional $2,000 for a hybrid. There was a class action suit against Honda because of this car. The only good thing I can say about this car is that it looked good when I bought it."

5 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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