Three years ago auto reviewers panned the then-new 2012 Honda Civic as a not-so-good car, and Honda responded with a sudden and unexpected makeover. The improvements carried on in 2013, and in 2014 Honda has made even more changes to the Honda Civic that have resulted in improved horsepower and fuel economy, keeping America’s favorite compact competitive.
Honda revealed the 2014 Civic in coupe guise, one of the few automakers still offering a two-door model for America;s compact market. Honda made some fairly significant changes to the exterior to enhance the overall look of the 2014 Civic, and it certainly feels bolder and more aggressive than the outgoing model’s softer look.
The big change to the drivetrain is the availability of an all-new CVT transmission, which improves fuel economy marginally. With the 1.8 liter engine, the 2014 Honda Civic gets 30 mpg in the city and 39 on the highway for a combined rating of 33 mpg compared to the 28/39/32 rating of the 2013 Civic. There were no changes to either the Honda Civic Hybrid or Natural Gas models, alas.
A better exhaust improves power a teensy bit, though most drivers are unlikely to notice the difference. However, the 2014 Honda Civic HF has been tuned to deliver almost hybrid-like fuel economy, with a 31/41/35 rating that is the best-in-class. While not exactly earth-shaking news, the Honda Civic remains America’s most popular passenger car, and it’s the standard to which other automakers build their cars.
As the Civic goes, so goes America? Not quite, but Honda is at the very least making a statement with the third set of upgrades to the Civic is as many years. That statement? We take the Civic, and any criticism directed at it, very seriously, and it will take more than just one bad model year to knock the Compact King off its pedestal.