New 2018 Honda Civic Type R Hatchback New 2018
Honda Civic Type R Hatchback

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

A perennial best-seller, the roomy and fuel-efficient 2018 Honda Civic has become the benchmark for the compact class, which includes the Toyota Corolla, Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, VW Golf and Jetta, Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte. The new Civic is offered as a sedan, coupe or hatchback, and its available turbocharged engines produce as much as 306 horsepower. It’s also rated a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The new Honda Civic is offered in seven trim levels including the base Civic LX, which starts around $21,000 for a hatchback, the Civic Si performance model and the legendary Civic Type R (reviewed here), which battles the Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R for hot-hatch supremacy. With its variety of models, excellent-yet-efficient driving manners, and an enviable history of reliability and resale value, it's little wonder the Civic was crowned KBB.com's 2017 Best Buy Award overall winner.

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You'll Like This Car If...

Stylish and filled with the latest tech and safety features, the 2018 Honda Civic is perfect for anyone looking for a spacious, fuel-efficient and reliable commuter car that’s fun to drive. Enthusiasts will like the 205-horsepower Civic Si Coupe or Sedan, and the 306-horsepower Civic Type R Hatchback is destined to become a legend.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite its numerous body styles and powertrains, the Civic does not serve all. If you need all-wheel drive, look to a Subaru Impreza. For a diesel sedan or hatchback, turn to the Chevy Cruze. And if a hybrid is what you’re looking for, check out the Toyota Prius, Kia Niro and Hyundai Ionic.

What's New for 2018

Last year Honda added the hatchback body style as well as the 306-horsepower high-performance Type R to the Civic’s extensive lineup. There are no changes or updates for 2018.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Honda says its vast and longtime involvement in auto racing improves its street cars. Although it’s hard to draw a direct line from the Honda that won the 2017 Indy 500 to the new Civic, although both cars are turbocharged, a big part of the Civic's winning formula is the way it combines practicality, efficiency and everyday comfort with modest to maximum dashes of sportiness. The Civic is highly satisfying to drive, even a base model with the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and 6-speed manual transmission. The smaller but more powerful turbocharged 1.5-liter offers good if not blistering acceleration and nary a hint of turbo lag. Most buyers will choose the automatic transmission, and the Civic's CVT (continuously variable transmission) is among the best at mimicking a traditional one. A standard Civic can't quite match a Mazda3 in cornering dynamics, but it's still among the best in its class, as is its steering feel.

Favorite Features

HONDA SENSING
This comprehensive suite of optional safety features and driving aids costs only $1,000. It’s an incredible value. The package includes adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, road-departure mitigation, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist and the Collision Mitigation Braking System, which can automatically apply the brakes if a frontal collision appears imminent.

HONDA LANEWATCH
Standard on EX, EX-L and the top Sport Touring trim levels, this clever system adds a camera to the passenger-side mirror to eliminate your blind spot. Every time you turn on the Civic’s right turn signal, the camera provides a live shot of the Civic’s flank on the interior touch screen.

Vehicle Details

Interior

The 2018 Civic’s interior is full of premium materials and top-notch plastics. Ergonomics is a volume knob shy of perfection, as using the new Honda Civic’s touch screen to crank up the Taylor Swift can be frustrating and distracting. This is a problem Honda has already addressed in other models. The large, easy-to-read screen also serves as the control center for audio, Apple CarPlay and the optional navigation system. The Civic boasts some of the best interior volume among compact cars. Rear-seat legroom is impressive in the sedan, but beware of the wide sills when entering and exiting. At 15.1 cubic feet, the Civic sedan's trunk is huge. Hatchback Civics boast 25.7 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and some 20 additional cubic feet with them down.

Exterior

Honda took chances with the design of the 2018 Honda Civic and they have paid off. The Civic’s shape is daring and innovative, with an aggressive front end, a long, low and wide stance and unique C-shaped taillights. The Civic Sedan and Coupe feature elegant sloping rooflines, while the Civic hatchback stands out with its bulbous rear end, high-mounted spoiler and the gaping fake vents on either side of its rear bumper. Sport and Sport Touring hatchbacks can be spied via their center-mounted dual-exhaust outlets, while the new Si boasts its own edgier exterior cosmetics. The Type R gets a hood scoop, three exhaust pipes and a gargantuan rear spoiler.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2018 Honda Civic is offered in an array of trims that range from base LX to top Touring variants as well as the enthusiast-oriented Si and Type R halo models. The least expensive Civic LX sedan includes automatic climate control, rearview camera, folding rear seat, and a 4-speaker AM/FM audio system with USB port, Bluetooth connectivity and 5-inch screen. We think most buyers will prefer stepping up to at least an EX model, which includes an automatic transmission (optional on LX models), remote engine start, moonroof, 60/40-split folding rear seat and upgraded infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen that is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.

Notable Optional Equipment

Climbing to the Civic EX-T in the sedan or coupe, or any Civic hatchback, brings the smaller but more powerful turbocharged engine as standard. Other features vary with trim level, including leather interior, heated front and rear seats, navigation system, Honda's LaneWatch camera-based blind-spot monitoring system, power driver's seat, and dual-zone automatic climate control. One package we recommend for any Civic (as long as it has the required automatic transmission) is the Honda Sensing system. This suite of active safety features and driving aids described in "Favorite Things" is well worth the extra $1,000.

Under the Hood

Two engines and two transmissions are used in the high-volume members of the 2018 Honda Civic. Base sedans and coupes use a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder available with a 6-speed manual transmission or an excellent continuously variable automatic transmission. Higher trims and all 2018 Civic hatchbacks employ a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that is more powerful and efficient. This engine can also be connected to a 6-speed manual transmission. Sport and Sport Touring Hatchbacks get a power bump. The Civic Si pairs its 205-horsepower/1.5-liter turbo engine with a 6-speed manual as does the Type R with its 306-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. All 2018 Civics remain front-wheel drive, but while the baseline models burn regular unleaded gasoline, the Si and Type R require premium to exploit their full performance potential.

2.0-liter inline-4
158 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
138 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/40 mpg (manual, sedan), 28/39 mpg (manual, coupe), 31/40 mpg (automatic, sedan), 30/39 mpg (automatic, coupe)

1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4
174 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (automatic & manual; sedan, coupe & hatchback)
177 horsepower @ 1,900-5,000 rpm (manual hatchback Sport, Sport Touring)
180 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (automatic & manual hatchback Sport, Sport Touring)
162 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700-5,500 rpm (automatic; sedan, coupe & hatchback)
167 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-5,500 rpm (manual; sedan, coupe & hatchback)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/42 mpg (manual, sedan), 30/41 mpg (manual, coupe), 30/39 mpg (manual; Hatchback & Hatchback Sport), 32/42 mpg (automatic, sedan), 31/40 mpg (automatic, coupe & hatchback), 30/39 mpg (automatic, Hatchback Sport)

1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Si)
205 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
192 lb-ft @2,100-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/38 mpg (manual transmission only)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Type R)
306 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 mpg (manual transmission only)

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Pricing Notes

The least expensive new Civic is an LX sedan with a manual transmission. Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $19,500. Civic coupes cost a few hundred dollars more, and the new hatchback Civic starts under $21,000. Top-line Civic models can reach the upper $20K range. While the Civic's starting prices aren't the lowest (the Ford Focus, Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra and Mazda3 start less), they are in line with the Toyota Corolla. Both the Civic Si coupe and sedan share a $23,900 MSRP, with their sole option being a $200 set of “summer” performance tires (a fantastic value) and a wheel upgrade. The Type R starts around $35,000. Check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Honda Civic. As for the Civic's resale value, Hondas in general hold their value exceptionally well, and the Civic is no exception.

Bonus Content: Check out how the Honda Civic compares to its primary competitors
Honda Civic vs Honda Accord
Honda Civic vs Honda Fit
Honda Civic vs Hyundai Elantra
Honda Civic vs Mazda Mazda3
Honda Civic vs Toyota Corolla
Honda Civic vs Volkswagen Jetta

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