Reviews

2014 Honda Civic Walk Around

Honda Civic sedans feature a nose, hood, black honeycomb grille and angled headlamps that are pleasing to the eye, with a humped hood and raked windshield that draw attention. The side sills are sculpted smartly, and with body-colored mirrors and door handles. The Civic looks classy, especially with the optional alloy wheels (not so much on the LX version with its plastic wheel covers).

The rear fenders flow nicely into a horizontal V over each side of the rear bumper. At the tail above the bumper, it's contemporary but still ordinary, with big two-piece taillamps.

The Civic coupe shares many styling cues are shared with the sedan, while others are found exclusively on the two-door. Coupes are an inch and a half lower than sedans, riding on a wheelbase that's almost two inches shorter.

Lines on the 2014 Civic Coupe are more angular and aggressive that the outgoing version, with a new front grille that sweeps across the nose into the redesigned wraparound headlights.

Front foglight openings are larger and more imposing, and the lower front air intake forgoes the rounded corners for an angular, hourglass-like shape. From the side, character lines, rocker panels and fender arches are more pronounced, and silhouette is sleeker. Designs for the 17-inch wheels are also new. Taillight lenses and the rear bumper have also been redesigned.

The 2014 Civic Si Coupe is differentiated by unique front and rear air diffusers, redesigned 18-inch wheels and a decklid spoiler.

Interior

Although it falls into the affordable car category, the Honda Civic interior feels premium. Soft-touch materials are used on the instrument panel, center console, and door panels, and silver accents and faux stitching here and there add a touch of upscale. Black carpeting is standard. The colorful instrument backlighting is soothing, and looks especially cool at night.

In the cabin there's plenty of standard content, such as Bluetooth phone and Bluetooth audio, Pandora internet radio interface and MP3, USB, iPod and SMS text message capability. There's a nice color multi-information display (i-MID) with rearview camera.

A new 7-inch touchscreen comes standard on EX models and above. Overall, it's an improvement over the outgoing system. For the most part, menus and functions are easy to find. Though, we found some of the controls less than intuitive. For example, the power switch is a tiny button on the upper left corner, like a cheap aftermarket navi unit. Volume is adjusted on the touch screen by repeatedly pressing up and down arrows on the touch screen, which we found cumbersome (though the drive can adjust the volume on the redundant steering wheel buttons). Also, one practically needs an instruction manual to set radio presets. Even a car full of Millennials had a hard time figuring it out.

The two-tiered dashboard is unique, some would say funky. The most useful information is repeated at the top of the dash, allowing the driver to scan without taking his or her eyes much off the road. Forward sightlines, even over that cool humped hood, are excellent. We appreciated the thinner windshield pillars, and small window set in the angle where the pillar intersects the car's hood. Rearward visibility in Civic coupes is somewhat reduced because of the more steeply raked rear window.

Seats are comfortable, and the standard fabric upholstery on base models is quite good. Leather on higher trims is fine, but not buttery soft.

The 160-watt audio system sounds good, using six speakers in our EX.
The fabric upholstery is excellent, with seats that are well shaped, nicely bolstered and widely adjustable. The standard 60/40 split-folding rear seatback expands cargo capacity. We put a six-footer in the rear seat, and he didn't complain about legroom or headroom.

Headroom in Civic sedans is ample in front with 39 inches. Upper trim levels lose a bit of space, with 37.9 inches on EX and above.

In the rear, sedan headroom stays at a respectable 37.1 inches on the base; other models about a half-inch less. Rear legroom measures 36.2 inches across all models. We put a six-footer in the rear seat, and he didn't complain about legroom or headroom.

As expected, though, coupes lose a significant amount of rear legroom, measuring only 30.8 inches. Combined with the somewhat difficult feat of getting in and out, the back seat is best left for kids or smaller adults on short trips, though this is typical for compact two-doors. As always, we appreciated the standard 60/40 split-folding rear seatback that expands cargo capacity.

Coupes lose a bit of trunk space, with 11.7 cubic feet on our EX-L test model, compared with 12.5 cubic feet in the sedan.

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