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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.
Favorite Features

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

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2008 Honda Civic Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1725 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

least expensive vehicle we've ever owned

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "extremely well built and reliable"

Cons: "gutless acceleration"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"purchased new at the beginning of the new model (2006 new body style)- totally reliable and other than routine maintenance, this car is the least expensive car we've ever owned. Gas mileage from spring through fall was always 47-49 mpg while winter in MN dropped it to 39-42 mpg. Never had a burned out light bulb and every electronic & mechanical system continues to work flawlessly. It's got a comfortable ride (many 2K - 4K driving trips across country) but it's not so great in the mountains as should be expected with a 1.2 liter engine. Giving it to our daughter & her husband on the expected arrival of another grandchild."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Car has been a lemon since purchased new.

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 132,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
3/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

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

"Vehicle was purchased for safety. Car has terrible suspension and is dangerous on bumpy roads. HVAC has been repaired twice and still works on intermittently (including defrosters). Has had new wheel bearings at 23K and 52K, upgraded the suspension (without handling results), HVAC repairs, and car hits parking blocks and destroys front bumper (husband can't seem to be careful pulling into spaces). It is difficult to clean due to long dash. Defrosters, when working, do not clear windows well. Difficult to get in or out without bumping your head."

never needs major repair

By on Friday, March 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"We have never needed repairs other than regular maintinance. Great milage. Super power. Great looking."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Solid, reliable car with nice design

By on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love Hondas. This is my second Honda, and although I regret leasing it (ended up being underwater with the value of the car since I accrued a lot of miles plus I didn't negotiate the payoff amount which is already way higher than the value of the car), the car itself is great. I like all the controls on the interior, and the exterior has a nice, modern style. My color is urban titanium. The front windshield fogs up easily, and I notice it's hard to find a comfortable medium temp if it's hot or cold outside as turning on the ac or heat acts quickly and then you're either too hot or too cold. Being a civic, it doesn't have much getty-up either. But it makes up for that lack of acceleration with good gas mileage. Also, it's really difficult to park with this car because when you look in the mirrors it appears you're way closer than you actually are. Just a heads up. It's a solid car though and it should go forever. Haven't had any major issues, just had oil changes and new tires."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Well maintained one owner V good shape

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun, good mileage, cute color"

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

"One owner, bought new and maintained regularly at Honda dealer, no accidents, exterior has a couple minor scratches, interior good, good tires, has been a reliable car that gets good mileage."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

This car is exactly what I'm paying for.

By on Monday, March 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price, torque, stereo, clutch, visibility, fun."

Cons: "Rough ride (I like it), people dog Civics"

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

"This car holds it's value well, it's a manual of course, but the iVTEC kicks in at JUST the right time to pass people, without looking like a terrible person. The ride and suspension is incredibly stiff but I prefer It that way, it gives sense to the road and you don't have to worry about hitting a speed bump too fast and bottoming out. The stereo system is astounding and requires no extra work, just to tweak with the settings. The exhaust has a nice growl to it but it's not going to deafen the nearest cars. The look is okay at best from the outside but from the inside this machine looks 5 years heads of its time. I lied to someone and told them it was a 2014 and without question they believed it. Not to mention when you do drive it like a normal human being the car gets amazing mileage without making you go slower than EVERYONE else on the road. Overall, due to how enjoyable the EX trim is, this is the most relaxing and enjoyable car I've owned to date. I've also had; 2001 PT cruiser 5 speed touring edition 1992 300zx TT 5 speed 2007 Pacifica touring edition 2000 coupe Grand Prix GT 1996 3000gt vr-4 2000 mountaineer By far, the 2006 EX civic is my favorite."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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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

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