After last year's redesign, Honda keeps expanding the Civic family for 2017. There's now a hatchback, for example, joining the coupe and sedan, and we can't wait to drive the sporty Si and high-performance Civic Type R models.
As for the regular coupe we drove, Honda still strives for a sporty look and driving experience through its four trim levels. There are two engines — including the 1.5-liter, 174-horsepower turbo we drove in the top Touring trim. It's excellent, with stout acceleration and no turbo lag. The two bottom trims have a traditional 2.0-liter 158 horsepower inline four-cylinder. The base LX has a 6-speed manual gearbox while the rest of the line gets a CVT.
The CVT in general used to be our least favorite transmission, but Honda (as well as many other manufacturers) has refined its performance and noise level to make it a competent option.
We really like the handling of the Civic and the turbo gives the average commuter enough pep to indulge their sporty side. (Complementing the performance are a few look-at-me paint colors such as Energy Green Pearl.)
The interior is roomy for a compact coupe, and we like the digital instrument cluster. Unfortunately, the controls are on the touchscreen are still problematic with the sole physical volume control on the steering wheel.
Lyra and Peter say: We have very few quibbles with the Civic — in any of its forms. It's one of our favorite small cars. That said, we would opt for one of the turbo models — the mid EX-T trim, which has a manual version, offers good bang for the buck — for its performance and better mpg (3e city, 42 highway).
Also, look for the Honda Sensing feature, which includes collision mitigation and road departure mitigation. It comes standard in the Touring trim and optional on the others.