The 2019 Honda Civic Is the Epitome of ‘Compact Car Excellence’

Car and Driver says the 2019 Honda Civic “epitomizes compact-car excellence with its mix of practicality and a fun-to-drive personality.” That may sound like hyperbole, but the Civic is a perennial favorite on Car and Driver’s 10Best Cars list.  Available as a two-door coupe, four-door sedan, or four-door hatchback, the Civic offers something for everyone. Need something practical but want a sports car? The Honda Civic fills both roles exceptionally well and is affordable to buy and own. It’s not perfect, but it’s darn close. 

2019 Honda Civic specs

A red 2019 Honda Civic Sedan Touring parked in front of a mountain range
2019 Honda Civic Sedan Touring | Honda

According to U.S. News & World Report, the Honda Civic was redesigned in 2016. For 2019, the most significant change to the compact was the addition of the Honda Sensing bundle of active safety features. This suite of safety features is standard on all trim levels. As for additional standard 2019 Honda Civic features? Those depend on which trim level you opt for. Check out the details below: 

  • The Honda Civic LX includes a 5-inch infotainment display and a four-speaker audio system with Bluetooth and a USB port. Safety features include a multi-angle rearview parking camera and Honda Sensing, which adds forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane assist and departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control.
  • The Sport adds an upgraded infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen display, eight speakers, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and an additional USB port. It also comes with proximity keyless entry, push-button remote start, cloth upholstery with synthetic leather trim, and alloy wheels.
  • Moving to the 2019 Honda Civic EX, buyers get an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a moonroof. An HD satellite radio and Honda’s LaneWatch blind spot camera are also standard.
  • The EX-L includes everything found on the EX but adds leather upholstery and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The hatchback-only EX-L Navi also comes with navigation. 
  • The Touring and Sport Touring are the top-of-the-line Civic models. They include navigation, a 10-speaker premium stereo, a power four-way adjustable passenger seat, heated rear seats, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.  

Which 2019 Honda Civic trim is best?

Car and Driver recommends the Sport version with its sharper handling, six-speed manual transmission, and dark exterior trim. However, buyers opting for the CVT won’t be disappointed with performance. 

A base 2.0-liter four-cylinder puts out 158 horsepower, delivers sprightly performance, and gets up to 38 mpg on the highway. An optional turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder puts out 180 horsepower. It’s good for 0 to 60 mph runs in the seven-second range while returning up to 42 highway mpg.

For those wanting more performance, Honda offers a 205-horsepower version of the 1.5-liter engine in the Si or a 305-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder in the Type-R. The Si hits the 60 mph mark in about six seconds while the Type-R does it in five. What makes both cars special is they offer more than straight-line performance. 

In fact, according to Car and Driver, the Civic “is that rare type of car with terrific track ability and amicable road manners. It sticks to the road like bionic Velcro, with steering telepathy that would embarrass Miss Cleo and a chassis seemingly tuned by a Formula 1 engineer.” 

Regardless of which version you pick, the 2019 Honda Civic offers an excellent combination of comfort and performance at an affordable price. It’s a true driver’s car, one that’s also extremely practical.   

Pros and cons of buying a 2019 Honda Civic

Car and Driver is a big fan of the 2019 Honda Civic, putting it on its 10Best Cars List and calling it a “jack-of-all-trades.” It thinks the Civic strikes a near-perfect balance between comfort and driver engagement. It also offers a  smooth ride, responsive steering, and athletic driving dynamics. Additionally, according to Car and Driver, the turbocharged engines provide a good mix of performance and fuel economy. 

The list of things Car and Driver don’t like about the 2019 Civic is short, but it thinks the styling is “heavy-handed.” Other negatives include the lack of a manual transmission on higher trim models and stopping power that trails some of the other cars in its class. 

Those complaints aside, Car and Driver feels the 2019 Civic is “everything a compact car should be, with only a few caveats.”  

Is the 2019 Honda Civic Worth Buying?   

Car and Driver believes that people who need practicality don’t need a crossover, and those seeking sportiness don’t need a sports car. The 2019 Honda Civic does both at an affordable price. We agree. 

The 2019 Honda Civic offers a lot of car for not a lot of money. It sits in the middle of a Venn diagram for comfort, practicality, efficiency, and performance. No vehicle is perfect or capable of being everything to everyone, but the Civic is the benchmark for what a small car can be.    

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