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Honda has always been known for making some of the most cost-effective and safest cars on the road. Over the past few years, the Japanese automaker has stepped up its game by incorporating advanced driver-assist features into its most basic models. In fact, for 2023, the cheapest Honda model that you can buy is also the safest.

2023 Honda Civic Sport in red
2023 Honda Civic Sport | Honda

What is the cheapest Honda car in the 2023 lineup?

The cheapest Honda car that you’ll find in 2023 is none other than the Civic sedan. The base Honda Civic Sport has a starting MSRP of $25,050. That is a few hundred dollars less than its Civic hatchback counterpart. For that kind of money, shoppers will be treated to a host of features despite the Civic Sport’s entry-level stature.

Some of the most notable features on the 2023 Civic Sport include a 158-hp engine, an 8-speaker 180-watt sound system, auto climate control, and a walkaway auto-lock feature. Although the higher Civic trims come with amenities like heated seats, leather, and a power moonroof, we think that the Civic Sport has what most shoppers need. For the price, it technically provides the most value.

2023 Honda Civic Sport interior
2023 Honda Civic Sport | Honda

How safe is the 2023 Honda Civic?

2023 Honda Civic Sport rear
2023 Honda Civic Sport | Honda

In addition to the comfort and convenience features that the 2023 Honda Civic comes standard with, it’s also very safe. Some of the most notable standard safety features are included in the Honda Sensing suite:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System
  • Road Departure Mitigation System
  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Traffic Sign Recognition

Additionally, the base Civic comes with automatic high-beam headlights, 10 airbags, and an advanced body structure. This body structure absorbs and reflects energy from a frontal impact. With all of these safety systems in place, the 2023 Civic was awarded a “Top Safety Pick Award” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It also garnered a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). This makes it the safest car in Honda’s current lineup.

It’s worth noting that the 2023 Honda Accord was not awarded a Top Safety Pick Award. It has not yet been rated, but it will likely receive high marks. Also, the 2022 Civic model received similar ratings from both of the groups last year.

What makes the IIHS Top Safety Pick award so special?

The IIHS awards a variety of vehicles with a Top Safety Pick every year, and only 20 cars qualify for the award. For 2023, the Honda Civic made the list as one of the small cars to receive the award alongside rivals like the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 sedan and hatchback. To get a Top Safety Pick Award, a vehicle has to meet the strict testing requirements put forth by the IIHS.

These crash tests show the car’s crashworthiness in different scenarios, which include a side overlap crash, a side crash, and a roof strength test. In order to get a Top Safety Pick + award, a vehicle has to score a “good” rating on every test, including the updated side crash test that replicates a larger vehicle crashing into the car.

The 2023 Civic scored a “good” rating in every category except for the updated side crash test. In that test, it scored an “acceptable” rating. For this reason, the Civic didn’t get the coveted “plus” designation. But we’re guessing that Honda will step up its safety game again in the future, and the Civic will get the top honor.