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2014 Honda Civic : Current Models

For 2014, the Honda Civic sees a number of significant changes. Coupes get restyled front and rear ends, while all Civics see slightly upgraded interiors. All but the natural gas and hybrid versions get slightly more powerful engines, and the previous automatic transmission has been replaced by a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The LX coupes and the Si trims gain firmer suspension tuning. Finally, a few new upscale features debut, including keyless ignition, a larger touchscreen display, enhanced smartphone integration and a blind spot camera.

Keeping the Civic at the top of its game is a perennial priority at Honda. After hearing from reviewers and consumers that its redesigned 2012 Civic lagged behind other small sedan rivals in interior quality, features and cabin noise isolation, the company swiftly broke out its tool kit for a repair job. In a rare move for an automaker, Honda updated the Civic just one year later to fix these very issues. Now for 2014, Honda has kept its foot on the gas to ensure the Civic sedan and coupe stay on an upward trajectory.

Starting things off for the 2014 Honda Civic is a revised 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and a new, more efficient CVT that replaces the five-speed automatic transmission in most models. The resulting combo promises even better fuel economy, and indeed, if Honda's claim of a 35 mpg combined EPA estimate (for the HF model) is on target, the Civic is again a fuel economy leader among non-hybrid small cars. New upscale features are also part of the 2014 plan as you can now get a keyless ignition, a 7-inch touchscreen interface with enhanced smartphone integration and a blind-spot camera display. Honda hasn't forgotten about car buyers who enjoy driving, either: The LX coupe and Si coupe/sedan models receive firmer suspension calibrations to provide more responsive handling. Additionally, Honda says that the new CVT provides slightly quicker acceleration to go along with the increased fuel mileage.

Meanwhile, all the previous perks on this compact Honda remain, as the Civic continues to offer roomy seating, impressive crash test scores and a generous standard features list that, even on entry-level trims, includes Bluetooth, a rearview camera, an iPod interface and Pandora functionality. It's also quite easy to find a Civic you like given the availability of sedan and coupe body styles and the mix of trims that ranges from the green-oriented Hybrid and Natural Gas models to the sporty Si.

Regardless of which version appeals to you, the 2014 Honda Civic is an excellent choice for a small sedan or coupe. Still, there are very worthy rivals in the form of the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Mazda 3, which offer competitive value, feature content and interior quality. Civic Hybrid shoppers will find that the Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid are strong alternatives, and performance enthusiasts considering the Civic Si should also test-drive the entertaining and refined Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen GTI. Overall, though, we're very impressed with the Honda Civic.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Honda Civic is a compact car offered in coupe and sedan body styles.

The standard Civic coupe and sedan come in LX, midrange EX and top-of-the-line EX-L and EX-L Navi trims. The sedan is also available in a fuel-efficient HF trim.

Entry-level LX models come equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a one-piece fold-down rear seatback and cruise control. Electronic features include a 5-inch central display screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, SMS text messaging functionality and a four-speaker (six for the coupe) sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod/USB audio interface and Pandora radio functionality.

The fuel-efficient HF sedan starts out with standard features similar to those of the LX sedan, then adds a few upgrades designed to deliver maximum mpg. These include low-rolling-resistance tires and aerodynamic cast-aluminum wheels, wind-cheating underbody panels and a rear spoiler.

The EX model adds to or supplants those features with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rear disc brakes, keyless ignition/entry, a sunroof, a right-side blind spot camera, a 7-inch central touchscreen display, smartphone integration (HondaLink, which includes Aha radio and Apple-based Siri Eyes voice command functionality) and a 60/40-split-folding rear seatback. EX coupes get an upgraded seven-speaker sound system, while EX sedans step up to a six-speaker sound system. The EX-L model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, leather upholstery and heated front seats. The sedan version of the EX-L also includes an eight-way power driver seat. As you'd expect, the EX-L Navi adds a navigation system.

Complete equipment information on the 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid, Natural Gas and Si is forthcoming.

Powertrains and Performance
The front-wheel-drive 2014 Honda Civic is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 143 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. For the Civic LX sedan, Honda offers either a five-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT (in place of the conventional automatic transmission offered previously). For the EX, EX-L and HF sedans, the CVT is standard. For the coupe, manual transmission availability is extended to the EX.

With the CVT, Honda says the Civic LX, EX and EX-L will achieve an estimated 33 mpg combined (30 city/39 highway). The Civic HF is even better at 35 mpg combined (31 mpg city/41 mpg highway), according to Honda. With the manual, fuel economy drops a bit to 31 mpg combined (28/36).

Complete engine and performance information on the Civic Hybrid, Natural Gas and Si is forthcoming.

Safety
The 2014 Honda Civic comes standard with stability control, antilock brakes (four-wheel discs with the EX and Si), front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. EX/EX-L versions also include a right-side blind spot camera (LaneWatch). This year's updated HondaLink system also includes emergency crash notification.

In Edmunds brake testing, a 2013 Civic EX came to a stop from 60 mph in a longish 130 feet. A 2012 Civic Hybrid was a bit better with a stop of 124 feet.

In government crash tests, the Civic sedan received a top five-star rating overall, with four stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for total side crash safety. The coupe received four stars overall, with four stars for frontal and five stars for side crash categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Civic sedan and coupe its highest possible rating of "Good" in its small-overlap frontal offset, moderate-overlap frontal offset, side impact and roof strength tests. The Civic's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features
Inside, the 2014 Honda Civic maintains its familiar driver-oriented two-tier dash display, which includes a 5-inch monitor on the top tier that displays information for audio, hands-free phone use and various vehicle systems. Materials quality is solid, as nicely textured, premium-looking surfaces are found throughout.

Most of the cabin's controls are well-placed, and the keypads and menu buttons on the steering wheel are intuitive enough for anyone who's spent time with a smartphone. The Civic boasts even more tech amenities for smartphone users this year, thanks to the latest HondaLink system, which operates through the available 7-inch touchscreen to provide voice control (Siri Eyes) plus a variety of search, audio and social media functions. Currently it's only compatible with iPhones, but Honda says Android compatibility is in the works.

In the Honda Civic sedan, legroom and headroom for front passengers is competitive, while rear passengers benefit from more legroom than in rivals like the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus. The Civic offers 11.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the coupe and 12.5 cubic feet in the sedan, which is less capacity than in the Cruze and Focus sedans. The hybrid models sacrifice trunk space to the battery pack, leaving 10.7 cubic feet. The large fuel tank needed for the natural gas model curtails trunk space even further.

Driving Impressions
The Honda Civic has long been one of the better-driving cars in its class, and this tradition continues with the latest version's precise, well-weighted steering and confident handling. The Civic also offers one of the most comfortable and composed rides in the class. With last year's refinements, it's also pretty quiet at freeway speeds, something you couldn't say about older Civics.

Power from the gasoline-fueled 1.8-liter engine is merely adequate, but its strong fuel efficiency and typically refined character nevertheless make it a winner. We've yet to drive the 2014 Honda Civic with its new CVT, but if the larger Accord's CVT is any indication, you can expect quick responses and unobtrusive operation.

You can expect sluggish acceleration from the Natural Gas Civic, while the Civic Hybrid offers a far more refined driving experience than you'll get in Honda's Insight hybrid.

The Civic Si is certainly the most fun to drive. Refined suspension tuning, quick steering and the additional torque provided by the larger engine give the Si a sharp and playful attitude around town or on curving roads. However, it's outgunned by stronger competition in this class, as most rivals beat it in straight-line acceleration and handle as well or better.


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Sources : 2014 Honda Civic Photo | 2014 Honda Civic Article | 2014 Honda Civic Photo 2 | 2014 Honda Civic Engine Photo | 2014 Honda Civic Interior Photo

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