By KBB.com Editors
After a spate of makeovers and upgrades last year, Honda continues to improve the Civic by making the coupe a bit sportier, and improving fuel economy with the addition of a new continuously variable transmission (CVT). Where the Civic's dominance of the small-car field was once unquestioned, it now faces formidable competition from the likes of the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze and Toyota Corolla. To compete, Honda gives the Civic a generous standard-equipment list, adept handling and outstanding fuel economy. The Civic continues to sell well and it remains our choice as one of the 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000 for 2014, which means its resale figures will continue to hold up nicely. The Civic lineup also offers a broad array of choices, from the fuel-efficient hybrid to a low-emissions, natural-gas model.
With its reputation for reliability, safety, comfort and excellent resale still intact, the 2014 Honda Civic remains one of the best small-car values around. Be it the standard sedan, sporty coupe, racy Si trim, frugal hybrid or ultra-clean CNG model, there is a Civic to meet almost any demand.
If you're looking for the added utility only a 5-door hatchback can offer, you won't find it in the 2014 Honda Civic. Those looking for turbocharged power or high-end audio options (like Bose speakers) will also be disappointed. Best look to the VW GTI, Nissan Juke or Mazda3.
The 2014 Honda Civic Coupe receives a new front end and a more sporty appearance. A new touch-screen display audio system with Apple's Siri Eyes Free mode is available, but only for EX and higher trims. Also new for 2014: a CVT automatic transmission, LaneWatch blind-spot display, SmartEntry with push-button start, and a slight boost in horsepower for the performance-oriented Si models.
Driving Impressions Although it's classified as a compact economy car, the 2014 Honda Civic is a surprisingly adept performer, capable of hugging the asphalt with all the grip one would expect of...... an agile sports car. Credit goes to the next-generation ACE II body structure that adds strength while reducing weight. The Civic's steering feel is spot-on, nicely weighted and never loose or vague. We love Honda's manual setup as well, with its effortless clutch and tight gearbox – one drive will make you think twice before inevitably checking the CVT automatic box. Most impressive is the Civic's civilized ride and quiet cabin, two attributes usually sacrificed in the name of improved performance. The Civic is one of those rare cars that actually feels like a part of you when driving; its overall driving dynamics is a key reason we consider it one of the best small-car buys today.
LANEWATCH BLIND-SPOT DISPLAY
Standard in the EX and EX-L, this blind-spot warning system employs a tiny camera on the passenger-side mirror that activates when the turn signal is engaged. An image of the right lane is projected onto the display screen, revealing an area four times larger than is covered by the side mirror.
7-INCH DISPLAY AUDIO
Honda has been playing catch-up when it comes to in-car infotainment, but with its new Display Audio touch screen, that gap is now gone. The new system can be paired with an iPhone via Siri Eyes, deliver news, social media and apps connection with HondaLink, and access Pandora, SMS texting and HD digital traffic alerts (when equipped with Navigation).
While its unusual dash layout might not convey the more upscale ambiance of new and newly relevant nameplates like the Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus and Chevy Cruze, the 2014 Honda Civic continues to be one of the best compact cars in terms of interior space, storage and outward visibility. Its ergonomics is nearly flawless, and most of the controls are a cinch to operate. Soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and upper door trim replace the bland look and hard plastics that gave the previous cabin a low-budget feel.Exterior
After completely remaking the sedan's exterior last year, the Honda design team focused its attention for 2014 on the coupe, giving it all-new front and rear styling. The new look is defined by a taller trunk lid, larger fog-light bezels and a new grille with a wide black grille bar and prominent Honda logo. New wheels accentuate the Civic coupe's sporty nature. While these modest cosmetic alterations might escape the eye of the casual observer, it's hard to argue against sticking to a styling strategy that has helped keep the Civic at or near the top of the sales charts for many years running.
Every 2014 Honda Civic includes a 5-inch full-color multi-information display, rearview camera with guidelines, Bluetooth, integrated Pandora Internet radio, and a USB port. Opting for the mid-tier EX trim nets a power moonroof, 16-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitor, keyless entry with push-button start and automatic climate control, while the range-topping EX-L includes such niceties as leather upholstery, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Civic's wide array of active and passive safety features is included as standard issue across the line. Civic Hybrid variants up the ante with a Forward Collision Warning system.
Optional features for the 2014 Honda Civic are acquired by stepping up to higher trim levels. Among the most prominent features are a touch-screen navigation system with FM traffic information, auto-on/off headlights, a multi-angle rearview camera, and a 160-watt, 6-speaker premium audio system.
With no direct injection or turbocharging and only 143 horsepower the 2014 Honda Civic has one of the simplest powertrains of the newest compact sedans. It does, however, gain a new CVT automatic (replacing last year's 5-speed unit) giving it exceptional fuel economy and plenty of power. The mileage-maxing HF trim features the same powertrain, but adds two highway miles per gallon with a lower ride height, aerodynamic body pieces and low-rolling-resistance tires. The Civic Si, in sedan and coupe form, delivers 205 horsepower through a 6-speed manual transmission.
143 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
129 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/36 mpg (manual), 30/39 mpg (automatic), 31/41 mpg (Civic HF with CVT automatic)
205 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
174 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg
1.5-liter inline-4 + electric motor
110 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
127 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 44/44 mpg
1.8-liter inline-4 CNG
110 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
106 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA
The entry-level 2014 Honda Civic LX carries a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of just over $19,000. Opting for the hybrid model tacks an additional $6,000 to the bottom line, but includes a higher level of standard equipment. A fully loaded EX-L sedan with navigation comes in at a very respectable $25,030. Competitors such as the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus and Mazda3 start in the $17,000 range, though none can match the Civic's comprehensive roster of standard features. Be sure to check our Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page to see what others in your area are actually paying for the 2014 Honda Civic. Down the road, we expect the 2014 Honda Civic to maintain the strongest 5-year residual values in the segment.