By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 9.5
Just one year after introducing the all-new 10th-generation Civic sedan and coupe, Honda isn't resting on its laurels. Instead, it's doubling down on this best-selling compact car. The 2017 Honda Civic lineup expands with a stylish and practical hatchback, and Honda is broadening its appeal to driving enthusiasts with the availability of manual transmissions for the up-level turbocharged engine. All these factors help the Honda Civic maintain its benchmark status as it fights competitors ranging from longtime archrival the Toyota Corolla to newer nameplates like the Chevy Cruze and Kia Forte. With its variety of models, excellent yet efficient driving manners and enviable history of reliability and resale value, it's little wonder the Honda Civic was crowned KBB.com's 2016 overall Best Buy Award winner.
Whether you're a student looking for an inexpensive, efficient and reliable commuter car or an enthusiast seeking a turbocharged, manual-transmission hatchback, there's a 2017 Civic to meet your needs. Throw in stylish design and the latest tech and safety features, and you have a real winner.
KBB Expert Ratings
Just one year after debuting all-new versions of the Civic sedan and coupe, the Civic hatchback arrives for 2017. Across the lineup, models with the 1.5-liter turbo engine can be had with a manual transmission. Need more reason to salivate? Performance-oriented Honda Civic Si and Type R models wait in the wings.
A big part of the 2017 Honda Civic's winning formula is the way it combines practicality, efficiency and everyday comfort with dashes of sportiness. Like a vein of caramel running...
... through an already-delicious ice cream, the 2017 Civic adeptly blends dollops of zeal with overall suppleness. Even a base model with the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and 6-speed manual transmission is highly satisfying. The smaller but more powerful turbocharged 1.5-liter used in higher trims of the sedan and coupe and all versions of the new Civic hatch offers good if not blistering acceleration and nary a hint of turbo lag. Most buyers will prefer an 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.
This suite of safety features and driving aids 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.
With the Civic hatchback joining the existing sedan and coupe, Honda has created a trifecta of sorts for its compact car. Throw in two transmission and engine choices, and its appeal only broadens. Even that powertrain aspect will grow as performance-oriented Civic models are introduced down the line.
This latest-generation Civic is longer than the previous model, and it now boasts some of the best interior volume among compact cars, an interior enveloped in premium materials and top-notch plastics. The available navigation system runs through a large, easy-to-read screen, which also serves as the control center for audio, CarPlay and climate control. 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.
With three distinct versions of the 2017 Civic come three distinct shapes. Sedan and coupe models are arguably the most beautiful, though the new hatchback stands out. Ironically, the sedans and coupes could be mistaken for fastbacks with their elegantly sloping rear roofs. The fresh Civic hatchback -- a configuration we haven't seen in nearly two decades for the U.S. market -- features a nubbed tail and rather bulbous rear end. It also stands out with a high-mounted spoiler and gaping fake vents on each side of the rear bumper. Sport and Sport Touring hatchbacks can be spied via their center-mounted dual-exhaust outlets.
The 2017 Honda Civic is offered in an array of trims that range from LX on the low end to Touring variants at the top. 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.
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.
For now, two engines and two transmissions are used in the 2017 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 2017 Civic hatchbacks employ a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that is more powerful and efficient. In a move that "Save the Manuals" fans will cheer, this engine can now be connected to a 6-speed manual transmission. Sport and Sport Touring Hatchbacks also get a power bump. All 2017 Civics remain front-wheel drive and use regular unleaded gasoline. In the near future the lineup will offer performance variants with a return of the Civic Si and a Civic Type R (the latter long forbidden in the U.S.).
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 turbo 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)
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
With the Civic's expanding lineup come a range of prices, though all three current versions -- sedan, coupe and new Civic hatchback -- follow a similar climb as you step up trim levels. 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 $19,575. Civic coupes start at $19,985, and the new hatchback Civic bows at $20,535. 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. Be sure to 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.