The Honda Civic is and has been for many, many years the best-selling car in Canada, and there are several very good reasons why – from overall value to driving pleasure to practicality to fuel economy to… add in your own here. Not wanting to get complacent with its juggernaut, Honda decided to add a Sport version of the model’s sedan and coupe variants to the product offering. The same winning formula is called on, and it’s safe to say the Civic is not about to cede its place of honour in the Canadian market.
Give yourself a treat… at a reasonable price
We had the occasion to test drive the Sport version of the Civic Coupe, decked in a fabulous yellow that’s mighty easy to spot in the Costco parking lot. The Civic Sport comes just after the LX in the model lineup, and it borrows some elements of the Civic Si.
For 2019 Honda gave the model a modest exterior design tweak, notably with a new lower cowl in front, as well as a distinctively shaped central exhaust tip in back.
This version also gets shiny exterior accents and a wing on the trunk, just to help distinguish the Sport from the LX version.
The yellow of our tester contrasted nicely with the black 18-inch wheels, front-headlight frames and front grille. In my view this does wonders and makes the Honda Civic Sport a much more attractive car, one that’s really distinctive on the road.
The Sport version gets a proximity key system and push-button start. Once seated inside, I had no complaints regarding comfort. It’s easy to feel at home, helped by the comfortable seating and generous legroom in both rows that’s the equal of what you get in the Civic sedan – pretty good for a sport coupe.
The only caveat for me during my week with the Civic Coupe is that, while the seats themselves are comfortable, finding the ideal driving position proved elusive. The seat can be adjusted to six positions, but I never found the right one.
Our tester also came with a sport pedal, leather-wrapped steering wheel and paddle shifters on the wheel, in addition to a number of characteristics already included on the LX.
The materials used for the interior are of excellent quality, quite impressive for a non-luxury car.
In terms of the ergonomics, the commands are well laid-out, functional and easy to use. On the dashboard everything you need to find is easily found, and the driver has access to vital driving data like the number of kilometres to an empty tank, for example, or average fuel consumption. There are also indicators for things like oil levels, and there are controls for the phone and audio systems on the steering wheel.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is included, along with LaneWatch on the Sport version and above. With this system you need only use the right turn signal to see what’s going on in back to the right of the vehicle via the infotainment screen. It’s a little disorienting at first but you get used to it quickly.
In terms of space overall, the coupe is smaller than the sedan and the rear-row passengers do pay a price for that, but it’s still relatively spacious when compared to similar models from other manufacturers. The roof itself is shorter and the trunk is shrunken, but both are de rigueur for coupes; if you’re shopping for a sporty two-door, you know what to expect.
All trims of the Civic Coupe get the Honda Sensing safety package, which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist and automatic high beams. Choose the Sport version and you get the Lanewatch and stability control systems.
The Civic Sport is powered by a 2.0L l4 engine delivering 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. This may seem a little chintzy, but it’s sufficient to make this version fun to drive. It’s wedded to a 6-speed manual transmission (or an optional continuously variable transmission).
On the road
The performance of the Honda Civic on the road doesn’t really need an introduction anymore. The model is defined by the same wining mix of performance and sprightliness. Acceleration is linear and gentle, the result being a seamless drive that doesn’t try to be monstrous.
The Civic Sport features a balanced suspension system that does well to absorb the (many) imperfections of our Canadian roads. Steering is lively and the manual gearbox of our tester was a pleasure to operate.
The car is also relatively quiet; don’t go expecting a symphony of noise when you press on the accelerator, certainly not like you’ll get in some competing models. You feel the Civic Coupe is well-grounded on the road and even on tight corners it stays stuck to the asphalt and perfectly balanced. This is a mature product in the way it handles.
And while it’s true the Honda Civic Sport doesn’t get the brawniest powertrain to propel it, it is nonetheless pleasant to drive, a perfect companion in the city and on short-to-medium road trips.
As for consumption, Honda’s official number is 8.1L/100 km combined, a figure I hit almost dead-on during my week; my average was 8.2L/100 km after a little over 400 km on driving, 70% of that in the city.
The Sport version starts at $24,690; below it the LX model costs $21,290 or more, and above the Touring and Si versions start at $28,490 and $29,490, respectively.
The upshot from our week is that there’s frankly little to really find fault with when it comes to the Civic - hence its reign at the top of the Canadian sales chart. It’s not all that exciting a drive, but it’s a very practical and pleasant one! Plus the price point is an attractive one, one of the most seductive qualities of the model in fact. You’d be hard-pressed to find so many positives in a car in this price range.
As long as it doesn’t bother you to own the same car as thousands of other drivers all around you, this is a knockout choice!
- Wide range of available functionalities
- Positive driving dynamics
- Strong roster of safety functions
- Excellent value
We like less
- Access to the back row of seats a little tricky
- No remote starter on the version with manual gearbox
- Limited possibilities for setting the driver’s seat just right