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2009 Honda Civic

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2009 Honda Civic Review

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As Honda's best-known and best-loved car line, the 2009 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 $16,000 to $24,000 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 $16,000 starting price is the most you want to spend, you might be disappointed to find out the least-expensive DX model doesn't include a factory-installed audio system, air conditioning, power locks, center console or even map lights.

What's New for 2009

The entire Civic lineup benefits from a freshening of the front and rear ends, new alloy wheel designs and new colors. Two new trims are added to the DX and LX sedan lines. The DX-VP adds air conditioning and an AM/FM/CD audio system, while the LX-S gains alloy wheels, a sportier interior and a rear spoiler. EX-L models now feature electronic stability control as well as Bluetooth connectivity with the optional navigation system.

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 2009 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.

2009 Honda Civic Details
2009 Honda Civic photo Interior

In addition to offering more in-cabin technology than we've come to expect, the 2009 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 2009 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. Small 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. The DX-VP adds to the base DX trim an AM/FM/CD stereo and air conditioning, but still lacks power locks/mirrors.

Optional Equipment

The Civic's list of optional equipment is highlighted by a navigation system with voice-recognition software and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity. 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 and, on LX and higher trims, an auxiliary audio input jack. 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, leather seating, 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

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2009 Honda Civic Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1873 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

It won't leave you stranded, but...

By on Friday, August 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Handling-steering-cornering and controls"

Cons: "Cheap interior parts, noisy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"No problems whatsoever with the engine, transmission, brakes, etc. However, Honda has issues with some of the parts used to make the car: Replaced the cruise control button as it failed to work. (the CC worked if you held the button down, but it wouldn't stay put!) The driver side sun visor; had to replace it 5 times already and they are not cheap! (well actually, they are) Driver side power window had to be repaired, cost $449! Had to replace the driver side door lock, it left me stranded outside the car with the engine running, couldn't get into the car! Had to replace the driver side inner-door panel as it started peeling, looked terrible. Had to replace the shift knob, it cracked and fell apart The plastic back of the passenger side seat fell off, and barely stays on now. The brake handle and button on the end were losing paint, looked terrible and were replaced. Regarding the driving experience, the handling is really incredible and fun, it brakes great even with rear drum brakes, and I get 32-33 mpg with the 5-speed manual. However, it is very noisy especially on roads in need of resurfacing. Probably best for a young person. Oh, I very much like the climate and radio controls and digital speedometer."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great, dependable car. Would buy again.

By on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "great price, reliable, durable, roomy"

Cons: "bad in snow"

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

"I bought it new in 2006... the only things I've had to have serviced were: caliper was sticking ( corroded from New England weather ) and replacement of control arm bushings for the front wheels. I'm on my third set of tires (third set put on last year), have replaced the headlights once, the spark plugs 3 times, and oil regularly (every ~7500mi). The amount of room in the car is deceiving, I've fit 9 2x8x10 foot boards in the car and still was able to close the trunk. If all Hondas are as good as this one, I would definitely buy one again. It really is a fantastic car, and I hope to get 300K miles on it before replacing it."

awesome car

By on Saturday, August 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 168,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great gas milage and very reliable, rides smooth"

Cons: "I have none"

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

"The only thing I've had to replace in 168,000 miles besides the basics of tires, brakes, battery is the starter. I've followed the maintenance plan and my car has been so reliable. The car also gets great gas mileage. This car can go another 100,000"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Not worth the money.

By on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Good gas mileage, dashboard setup- easy to use."

Cons: "Noisy&bump, obstructed views,Bumper integrity poor"

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

"I have been driving different Honda's for the last 25 years. I've been driving this 2008 Civic for 5 years and it is Not the Quality that Honda usually distributes. The car is very Noisy & bumpy on the road. The side windows have obstructed views & impair your vision. The Integrity & craftsmanship of the Front Bumpers are very poor. One lil bump & the Bumper clips break; then the Bumper is continuously popping out of the sides. Have had the Bumper repaired Numerous times. The only Pros - good gas mileage, dashboard setup-easy to use. Easy to read Speedometer."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great for commute and running errands

By on Monday, August 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Zippy, fun to drive, reliable"

Cons: "Road noise, ease of entering info into navigation"

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

"Love our 2009 Civic after 41,500 miles. Very zippy for the engine size. Our only complaint is road noise at highway speeds. VERY reliable with routine maintenance, responsive handling and easy to park. We got the EX-L package with navigation. Use the navigation all of the time. We formerly owned multiple Toyota products(2 Camry, 4 Corolla, and 2 Lexus), but we love the Honda styling,price and gas mileage. Would definitely buy other Honda products."

Disappointing quality and experience

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Zero"

Cons: "cheaply made. boring to drive. poor customer serv"

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

"I bought the car new in 2007 and had issues with it pulling to the right from day one. I didn't test drive it much because I figured, hey, it's a Honda and they've made Civics for years and they're reliable. But... no. Recalled for several issues including paint, engine block cracks, rear control arms. The rear control arm caused uneven and rapid tire wear for 6 years before it was acknowledged and replaced. I complained about it after 10 months but they ignored requests to fix it or to replace the tires. The water pump went out at 35k miles which is insane. Many alignments a year were needed because of the control arm issue. Honda ignored the issue and wouldn't cover any tire replacements even though there was a class action lawsuit. They've sent me marketing materials since the first month I bought the car trying to get me to trade it in etc... super annoying. So I decided to buy a different brad a few months ago and I'm glad I did. Completely different experience and I'm happy to say that I'll never buy a Honda again."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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