- - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

As I drove around town in the bright and shiny red Honda Civic I had been delivered for the week, I thought of the competition that this car faces. That would be the likes of other small sedans or coupes on the market like the Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and the Hyundai Elantra.

Indeed, the Honda Civic can certainly keep up with its competitors and the brand has many loyal fans too. But for those car buyers still on the fence, here’s some information to whet your knowledge. The 2014 Honda Civic has been totally restyled front and back and there are some upgrades in the interior, too. On the five-speed, automatic transmission in years past has now been changed to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and there is also a larger touch screen display in keeping with the times.

The Honda Civic comes as a coupe or sedan and within those two body styles you choose from the LX, EX, EX-L and EX-L Navi or the hybrid versions and one sporty Si.

On the sedan, there is a fuel-efficient HF, Hybrid and Natural Gas trims that are available and the Civic Si can be had in a coupe or sedan as well.
I did say lots of choices.

Starting entry-level, the LX model has 15-inch steel wheels, power accessories, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, fold-down rear seatback and cruise control, as well as a five-inch display screen and the necessary audio connectivity and Bluetooth features.

Photo by Russell Dandridge
Photo by Russell Dandridge more >

On the upgraded EX model you can add to the above list 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless ignition/entry, sunroof, right-side blind spot camera and a seven-inch touch screen. You also get the (HondaLink with a variety of extra goodies and a 60/40 split-folding rear seatback. On the coupes body style there is a seven-speaker sound upgrade and on the EX sedans a six-speaker system.

For the EX-L model its 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, automatic headlights, heated mirrors and front seats and leather upholstery. The sedan has a comfortable eight-way power driver seat option and the EX-L Navi trim will also give you HD and satellite radio.

In the hybrid and natural gas versions of the 2014 Honda Civic there are trims within these two eco options as well as leather and navigation upgrades.

The Civic Si, which you get as a standard in Navi trim, will also include 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, bigger engine, limited-slip front differential and an upgraded suspension. The interior also says sports car with sportier seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an aluminum shift knob.

Under the hood it is front-wheel-drive with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine offering 143 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. You choose between a five speed, CVT or manual transmission on the Civic LX sedan. On the EX, EX-L and HF sedan the CVT is standard and on the coupe the manual comes standard.

On the Civic Hybrid it’s a 1.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine and along with the electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack you get 110 horsepower and 127 pound feet of torque with CVT.

For the sportier Civic Si, the engine is a 2.4-liter that is 205 horsepower and 174 pound feet of torque with a six-speed manual.

The 2014 Honda Civic is safety equipped with stability control, antilock brakes, front-side and side-curtain airbags and a rearview camera. On the two higher end trims there is also a right-side blind spot camera.

Keeping the interior much the same even with the additional changes, there is still the easy dash display along with the screen that gives you all the information you need for driving and then some. The overall feel and look of the interior is strong with lots of space for storing your things.

In the backseat, legroom stands above par, but even so there is plenty of leg and headroom for all passengers no matter the seat. There is 11.7 cubic feet space for storage and hauling, and on the sedan it goes up to 12.5 cubic feet. Of course the hybrids are a bit more cramped with the battery pack taking up a bit more of the room.

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