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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 1754 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

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

Not bad, but unreliable in snow.

By on Sunday, July 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Good price, decent mileage"

Cons: "Unreliable in snow, won't go up hills."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"This car is very difficult to drive in the winter. It skids easily and is not able to get up a hill in the snow. Even when I bought new tires, this problem persisted. I've owned Hondas since 1991, but this model has been a disappointment."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Totally Awesome

By on Wednesday, July 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Resale, gas mileage, reliability, fun to drive"

Cons: "No complaints"

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

"We purchased this car new in 2008. We had a ton of negative equity & wanted to finally unbury ourselves. We wanted a car that would last a 72 month term. Well, we just made the last payment & the car has 95,000 miles. I traded in my truck (2007 Silverado) on a 2014 Honda Accord Sport on 6/29/2014 and gave it to my wife. Because of the reliability of the Civic, I just visited the Honda service department & asked what needs maintenance........I changed the fluids & was told its next service is due at 160,000 miles!!!!' I will be driving this Civic 125/day & wouldn't hesitate driving it across country. I just priced it on Kelley Blue book & it's still worth $12,000. I have never wrote a car review before, but had to on this one. I now will be experiencing 36mpg vs. 15mpg in the truck.....do the math & you'll see the 2014 Honda Sport was FREE !"

great car for the size and price tag

By on Tuesday, July 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great car for the price"

Cons: "sun visor on the driver's side came off"

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

"I never have been a small car person, but when the gas prices went up so much I had to buy a small car that gets good mileage to drive the 43 miles each way to work. The Honda Civic is a great little car for that, with getting 37 mpg. Mechanically, the only thing I have done is replace the blower motor for the AC, and that was a $96 part and a guy at work put it in for me in ten minutes."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

5 years and counting starts everytime!

By on Friday, June 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Save money, good resale, smart design all the way."

Cons: "Not a race car. One on every block, also pro"

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

"I love this car. It gets the job done and looks good but not flashy. Also cops never see us because there are too many of us. Like a zebra in a heard you can zip around and corner."

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Can't go wrong w/a Honda. Outstanding Reliability

By on Sunday, June 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,900

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Reliable, economical, sporty."

Cons: "Not much trunk space-but does open into back seat"

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

2009 Honda Civic LX with custom chrome wheels

"One, non-smoker owner (Grandma's car). All Honda recommended maintenance records available, custom chrome wheels, tinted windows, tow hitch. Excellent condition in and out. Had minor fender bender and repairs were done by a certified Honda recommended body shop."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

2009 Honda Civic LX with custom chrome wheels

Solid Performer, Honda Quality & Reliability.....!

By on Friday, June 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Reliable, Strong Resale Value, Solid Fuel Economy"

Cons: "Road Noise, Must Get EXL Trim to have heated seats"

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

Pre-delivery.

"This is our 3rd Civic EX sedan, and its also the nicest thus far. We trade every 5-yrs, with my wife getting the new sedan, I getting her used, and trading my 10-yr old sedan in against the new sedan. We also have an Accord EXL Sedan that is only driven for family trips, out of area trips, and weekend use as our Civic's are our daily sedan's. The only issue with the 2009 Ex Sedan is the road noise from the OEM Goodyear Eagle RSA tires that came on the civic. When I took it over earlier this year, I put 4-new michelins on that are the same as whats on our Accord. Big difference. Other than that, the '09 Civic EX sedan its a great vehicle and the MCR for 2009 adds some flair to the nose & tail. We always wait for the MCR(mid cycle refresh)before we buy our new model as it usually will save us money by getting new stock items that were options originally plus a refreshed look."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Pre-delivery.

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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

Buying this car?