When it comes to cars, a lot can change in a year. Take the Honda Civic, for example. In 2016, the Civic won the coveted North American Car of the Year award. However, the 2017 model year (MY) may be even better than last year’s award winner.
The 2017 Honda Civic offers a new engine and transmission combination, body style, and performance trim. Best of all is that the price jump across the lineup — a new MY usually brings higher prices — is just $100. Here’s what’s new on the 2017 Honda Civic.
The New Civic EX-T Offers More Standard Features and Fun
When the 10th generation Civic launched back in 2015, it came with two engines and two transmissions. Buyers had their choice of either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque, or a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder offering 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The two transmissions on offer were a six-speed manual or a CVT (continuously variable transmission). The more powerful turbo engine could only be paired with the CVT, a decision that irked both critics and consumers. For 2017, buyers can now option the 1.5-liter turbo with a stick.
The new combination spawned a new trim level for the sedan and coupe, the EX-T. The EX-T Civic Sedan has a base MSRP of $21,500, and the base EX-T Civic Coupe starts at $21,600. The cheapest manual Civic is the base model LX, although that only offers the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine. The EX-T Sedan is $2,760 more expensive than the LX Sedan, and the EX-T Coupe costs $2,450 more than its LX counterpart. The good news is Honda includes more in the EX-T trims than just an optimal transmission-engine combo.
Standard features on EX-T Civics include heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, a moonroof, remote engine start, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The sedan gets a decklid spoiler for added sportiness, while the coupe receives Honda LaneWatch, and a small camera on the right mirror designed to show an image of your blind spot. Both EX-T Civics offer superb city/highway/combined mpg splits. The sedan is rated at 31/42/35 mpg while the coupe gets 30/41/35 mpg.
The Hatchback Is Back
Before 2017, the last time Honda offered a Civic Hatchback in the U.S. was 2005. Now the hatch is back, albeit as a five-door instead of a three-door, and the Japanese automaker predicts that it will be a big seller. With a base MSRP of $19,700, the Civic Hatchback is the priciest body style. The sedan starts at $18,740 and the coupe begins at $19,150.
Both the sedan and hatch seat five, but the former offers more cargo space: 15.1 cubic-feet vs. 25.7 cubic-feet. With the rear seats folded the Civic Hatchback offers 46.2 cubic-feet of storage. Those looking for performance on a budget should opt for the two-door as it’s lighter, lower to the ground, and slightly cheaper. Those advantages only come when comparing the LX trims, though.
Unique to the 2017 Civic Hatchback is the Sport trim. It starts at $21,300 and comes standard with a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission; a CVT is also on offer for $800 extra. Despite offering the same engine as the EX-T Civics, the Hatchback Sport is more powerful. It produces 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, although that torque figure drops to 162 lb-ft if you opt for the CVT. In addition to offering a more powerful engine, the Sport trim also comes standard with 18-inch wheels, a center dual-exhaust, and fog lights. The more powerful Sport trim still has the same gas mileage as the less-powerful LX Hatchback, with both earning splits of 30/39/33 mpg.
If you’d like a bit more luxury, the Sport Touring also packs a 180-hp turbocharged engine. The only transmission available is a CVT so it isn’t as fun to drive, but Honda makes up for that (somewhat) with paddle shifters. Standard features on the Civic Hatchback Sport Touring include the Honda Sensing suite of safety tech, a 540-watt sound system, satellite navigation, and a leather-trimmed interior. The one knock on the Sport Touring trim is that it’s not as good on gas. It’s 30/36/32 mpg split won’t break the bank at the pump, but for the Civic lineup that’s on the lower end of the spectrum.
The Civic Si Returns with Affordable Performance
The 10th generation Honda Civic Si, just revealed in full in April of this year, is available in two body styles: sedan and coupe. It’s targeted at enthusiasts, and is only offered with a short-throw six-speed manual transmission. This manual differs from the one on other Civics in that there’s less of a distance to travel between gears when shifting, thus leading to faster shifts.
In addition to the new shifter the Civic Si also gets a more powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. It packs 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. The horsepower figure is the same as what the last Civic Si offered, although the torque figure is higher. The biggest difference between the 2017 Civic Si and previous models is the introduction of turbocharging; older Si’s have naturally aspirated engines. Both 2017 Si models have an mpg rating of 28/38/32.
Other performance upgrades include adaptive dampers, a sport-tuned suspension, and a limited-slip differential. There’s also a Sport mode which alters the damper settings, throttle response, and steering. On the outside the Si is noticeably sportier than other Civics. Both the two-door and four-door get blacked-out grilles, large rear wings, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a chrome center-mounted exhaust.
Although it’s targeted at enthusiasts, the Civic Si offers some upscale features. There’s dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and heated front sport seats. The interior also includes red stitching, “Si” logos on the seats, and a red background color on the gauge cluster and audio system.
Both the Si Sedan and Si Coupes are priced at $23,900. Given the fact that they’re manual-only this is bound to scare some buyers off. Those who want more power and a hatchback body style may want to hold off until the Type R hits dealer lots. Speaking of which…