Honda's new Civic sedan uses the same engine options as its predecessor. The base 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine is carried over, but with a new catalyst and idle-stop system. Power outputs are the same as before, though, at 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine boasts the same upgrades as the N/A engine, but power has been increased this time around to 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. This is enough to counteract the increase in weight, which will likely mean the Civic's acceleration figures will be similar to that of the last-gen models.
The Honda Civic Sedan's performance is as expected; according to independent tests, the turbo model can complete the 0-60 mph sprint in the mid-seven-second range. We will say that the two Honda Civic engine options are adequately powerful and will continue to serve the model well going forward. Unlike rivals like Mazda and Subaru that boast AWD availability, the Civic drivetrain remains FWD.
Two available powertrains have been carried over from before, with the LX and Sport making do with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-pot. Its outputs remain identical to before at 158 hp and 138 lb-ft, despite some mechanical changes, and like before, the Civic is a strictly FWD machine. There's no manual transmission on offer, with power routed instead via a CVT - Honda dubs the base one an M-CVT - with paddles available on the Sport trim.
On the EX and Touring, the news is that the turbocharged 1.5-liter gets more power for the new model with 180 hp and 177 lb-ft. They also get a different CVT transmission dubbed the LL-CVT, with the Touring getting a pair of steering-mounted paddle shifters. The CVT transmissions have been updated as well. Honda says both units will downshift earlier during braking, while the transmission on the Honda Civic with the turbo has modified torque-converter performance.
We spent our test time in the Touring trim of the new Honda Civic, out on the best roads southeastern Michigan has to offer. We enjoyed the extra torque, though the extra 6 hp on the Honda Civic compared to its predecessor was a little harder to pick out. Its continuously variable transmission feels like it's tuned in a sportier fashion than before, even without hitting the new Sport button.
Once you've resigned yourself to the fact that there's no manual transmission here, the best thing you can do is learn to use the CVT properly. We've found that if you put your foot down about three-quarters of the way, the revs climb slowly, the speed builds quickly, and then you can just let off when you get to your desired speed. It's not as fun as a manual, or an automatic with paddle shifters, or just an automatic, but you can make the best of it. And there is something to be said about going from 0 to 60 mph without a lull in torque for a shift.
No matter the transmission, Sport mode does liven things up, though it only changes the powertrain response, not the chassis or steering. The revs start out high and only get higher, hanging right around 6,000 rpm to get that entire fleet of 180 horses in a full stampede. If you flatten the pedal at a medium speed, it does make faux gear changes, and it sounds okay, though we wouldn't want to see one of those with the cheap, buzzy mufflers. At expressway speeds, in Sport, it feels very quick with the revs hanging high.
|Honda Civic Sedan Trims||Honda Civic Sedan Engines||Honda Civic Sedan Horsepower||Honda Civic Sedan Transmissions||Honda Civic Sedan Drivetrains||Honda Civic Sedan MPG/MPGE|
|LX Sedan||2.0L Inline-4 Gas||158 hp @ 6500 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||FWD||35 MPG|
|Sport Sedan||2.0L Inline-4 Gas||158 hp @ 6500 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||FWD||33 MPG|
|EX Sedan||1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||180 hp @ 6000 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||FWD||36 MPG|
|Touring Sedan||1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||180 hp @ 6000 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||FWD||34 MPG|
The result of fine-tuning the existing engines has resulted in improved gas mileage. While the increases are marginal, the previous-generation Civic was already impressive in this particular segment.
According to the EPA, the entry-level 2.0 LX can achieve 31/40/35 mpg city/highway/combined, while the 2.0 Sport takes a slight dip to 30/37/33 mpg. The Turbo EX is capable of 33/42/36 mpg, while the sportier Touring comes with claimed figures of 31/38/34 mpg.
All models are equipped with a 12.4-gallon tank, which gives the most efficient model (Turbo EX) an estimated driving range of 446 miles.
|Honda Civic Sedan Trims||LX Sedan||Sport Sedan||EX Sedan||Touring Sedan|
|Honda Civic Sedan Tank size||14.8 gal.||14.8 gal.||14.8 gal.||14.4 gal.|
|Honda Civic Sedan Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||31/40||30/37||33/42||31/38|