Small Car Best Buy of 2018
The Very Best in Class
When the current-generation model was introduced for 2016, the Honda Civic graduated from category benchmark to segment game-changer. No compact car was roomier, tech-savvier and more feature-filled than the newest Civic, a fact that remains as true today as it was then. And few small cars can touch the Civic's stellar reputation for resale value and reliability. Those are just some of the reasons Honda's venerable small car is now a four-time recipient of our annual Small Car Best Buy Award.
Sporty, Safe and Sophisticated
There are plenty of cars out there that try to be everything for everyone: fun to drive but comfortable, safe but exciting, reasonably priced but well-equipped, powerful but fuel efficient. The Civic is one of those rare cars that succeeds. It has considerable poise, serving up a compliant ride on the highway with some sportiness on curvy roads. Whether you get the standard 158-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine or the 1.5-liter 174-horsepower turbocharged powerplant, you'll have a rewarding drive. The car we tested came with the smooth and capable optional engine, which is backed by one of the best continuously variable automatic transmissions in the industry. Braking is firm and responsive, providing an added feeling of confidence for the driver. Everything about driving the 2018 Honda Civic feels natural and pleasantly predictable.
There is no shortage of standard and optional safety equipment on the Civic, either. The Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist and safety features is included on all but the base Civic LX, combining forward-collision warning, collision-mitigation braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow. That array of safety features is better than you can find in many midsize sedans.
The Civic's interior also reflects this Honda's class-above presence. The quality of the materials is excellent, the design is attractive and there are thoughtful touches throughout. The seats are supportive and firm, yet comfortable on long drives. That also applies to the rear seats, where our 6-foot, 5-inch tester could easily sit with, as he put it, "midsize-sedan-quality legroom and knee room" and “just enough headroom for the tall-torsoed." While the car we tested was a topline Civic Touring with front and rear heated seats, niceties like USB and Bluetooth phone connectivity and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel come standard, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are included on every model except the base LX. Beyond the lack of a proper volume knob, there's not much to criticize about the Civic's cabin.
Plenty of Choices for All
The Civic sedan lineup comprises five trim levels, two engines and two transmissions to choose from. If coupes are more your speed, the Civic also comes in 2-door form. If you’re a fan of 5-door versatility, look to the Civic hatchback. And, not one to shy away from the Civic's reputation for performance and hot-hatch attitude, Honda offers two different performance models: the 205-horsepower Civic Si in sedan or coupe form, and the 306-horsepower Civic Type R hatchback.
Strong Value Today and Tomorrow
The 2018 Honda Civic sedan starts at less than $20,000, but even if you were eyeing the Civic Touring, you can get into one for less than $28,000 -- and those are sticker prices. The Civic will also save you money at the gas station, as the popular 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, backed by the CVT, nets fuel economy as good as 32 mpg around town and 42 mpg on the highway (36 mpg combined), which is a touch better than with the standard engine. That's right -- with the 1.5-liter engine, you get more power and better fuel economy.
The Civic, with impressively low 5-Year Cost to Own numbers, won't cost an arm and a leg in the long run. It's also known for rock-solid reliability. And, when it's time to sell, its historically strong resale value will get you more money back from your initial investment. Those are just some of the reasons it's a Kelley Blue Book Best Buy year after year.
Video Tour: 2018 Honda Civic
More 2018 Honda Civic
If you want to know more about this perennial award-winner, read our 2018 Honda Civic full review. Ready to take the next step? Build and price your own Civic to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more. And if you want to see what other compact cars are out there, take a look at our Compact Car Buyer's Guide.
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