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2015 Honda Civic

Overview
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2015 Honda Civic Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 9.3

The 2015 Honda Civic adds a new Special Edition model, slotting between the base LX and more lavish EX models. It includes higher-end items like Honda's LaneWatch right-side-view camera, automatic climate control, and the EX's Display Audio. The Civic SE comes in sedan only, and just with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) introduced last year. It gives Civic buyers another option, bolstering Honda's compact against the likes of the most formidable competition it's ever faced. Be it the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, or longtime rival Toyota Corolla, the compact car market is tougher than ever. With its broad array of choices and fuel-efficient powertrains, however, the Civic remains a strong contender.

You'll Like This Car If...

For 2015, the Honda Civic remains the act to beat, thanks to its strong reliability, safety, comfort and resale value. Whether you're looking for a practical sedan, a sporty coupe, a frugal hybrid, or an ultra-clean compressed natural gas (CNG) model, there is a Civic to meet almost any demand.

You May Not Like This Car If...

About the only way you can't order a Civic is in hatchback form. Compact car shoppers looking for high-end options like turbocharged power, a premium audio system, or things like dynamic cruise control or a head-up display should instead check out the Mazda Mazda3 or Volkswagen GTI.

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Honda Civic sedan adds a new trim level, slotting between the base LX and mid-level EX. This Special Edition model (SE) adds features like Honda's LaneWatch, automatic climate control, and an upgraded Display Audio system with HondaLink and additional tweeter speakers.

Driving the Civic
Driving Impressions

The Honda Civic isn't unique in that it tries to be all things to all buyers. However, the fact that it comes so close to achieving that goal is pretty...

... remarkable. Want an inexpensive, fuel-sipping commuter? Then the Civic's solid road manners and excellent fuel economy are just what the doctor ordered. Want something that'll give you a little more driving pleasure, then surprise, the Civic manages that just as well. With sharp steering, solid brakes, and a stiff structure, the Civic can hang with the best of them, making you think that it's really a compact sport sedan. The continuously variable automatic transmission introduced last year is one of the best in any class, and even though the engine gets loud at high revs, it's a complaint that's hardly unique to the Civic. Of course, you could just skip it altogether and get the excellent manual transmission.

LANEWATCH BLIND-SPOT DISPLAY
The EX, EX-L and new Honda Civic SE get standard LaneWatch, a cool camera mounted under the passenger side mirror that displays what's next to you on the center display screen, either when you use the right turn signal, or use the button on the tip of the signal stalk.

7-INCH DISPLAY AUDIO
The 2015 Honda Civic's Display Audio touch-screen system pairs easily with an iPhone, and includes Siri EyesFree, allowing drivers to use their Apple smartphone's voice commands even easier. The included HondaLink can deliver news, social media and apps connection like Pandora, while models with navigation can get traffic alerts.

2015 Honda Civic Details
Interior

The Civic's split-level dash isn't new anymore, but it's still a love-it-or-hate-it proposition. Unconventional dash aside, the Civic still offers up excellent interior space, interior storage and outward visibility. Honda has provided cubby holes and storage spaces just about everywhere, and everything is easy to find, too. Regardless of what you think about its design, the dash displays everything you need to know clearly and up-front, while the rest of the controls are easy to reach and use. Soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and upper door trim help give the Civic's interior a more upscale feel.

Exterior
2015 Honda Civic photo

The Honda Civic has come a long way since this generation's 2012 introduction, with updates that turned what was a bland, uninspiring coupe and sedan into something with considerably more visual pizzazz. Sedans offer an upscale appearance, with a chrome grille, chrome accents on the trunk lid, and other touches. The coupe takes on a sportier appearance, with a sleek nose, big fog-light openings, and a slick profile. Civic Si models add bigger wheels and even sportier body work, while Hybrid models sport a unique grille and wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base 2015 Honda Civic LX comes standard with Bluetooth, integrated Pandora Internet radio, a USB port, and a 5-inch full-color multi-information display that includes a rearview camera. The new Civic SE model adds Honda's LaneWatch side-view monitor, automatic climate control, an upgraded audio system, and 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, while the mid-level EX adds a power moonroof, 16-inch alloy wheels, and keyless entry with push-button start. The range-topping EX-L adds leather upholstery, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Civic Si models offer a much more powerful engine, while the Civic Hybrid includes a Forward Collision Warning system.

Optional Equipment

Honda doesn't offer option packages, instead bundling desirable features into separate trim levels. For example, leather upholstery is a separate trim level – Civic EX-L – while the touch-screen navigation system is another trim level above that: Civic EX-L with Navigation. Other available trim levels include the Civic HX, which offers a specially tuned engine and transmission to optimize fuel economy, and the Civic Hybrid for even better fuel efficiency – both of which are available in sedan form. The sporty Civic Si comes as a coupe or sedan with a sport-tuned suspension, a powerful engine and a 6-speed manual transmission.

Under the Hood

We appreciate the simplicity of the Honda Civic's drivetrain setup. The main engine is a 1.8-liter 143-horsepower 4-cylinder, connected to either a continuously variable automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual in some models. Despite the lack of turbochargers or other high-tech gizmos, the 1.8 offers excellent fuel economy and plenty of power. For better fuel economy you can step up to the Civic Hybrid, which sandwiches an electric motor between the 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and its CVT for a little extra electrical assist, even though it's not capable of running solely on electrical power like a Toyota Prius. The Civic Si adds a 2.4-liter 205-horsepower 4-cylinder and a 6-speed manual transmission. Available in select markets, the Civic GX runs on compressed natural gas.

1.8-liter inline-4
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)

2.4-liter inline-4
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

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