Civic is an icon in its compact segment – offering sedans, coupes and hatchbacks for value conscious buyers. In 2018, Honda sold 325,760 Civics making it the top-selling car in America for the third year running and a ninth year as the compact segment leader.
Honda refreshed the Civic lineup for 2019 with some styling upates and feature improvements plus adding a new value-priced Sport trim level in the coupe and sedan lineups.
The new Civic Sport offers the popular manual transmission along with sporty styling elements like a Piano Black lower front fascia and side pod accents, splitter-style rear lower bumper and a chrome single exhaust. Other features – including audio – have been updated to enhance the drive experience for the entry level buyer.
We wanted to see how good a value it was, so we asked Honda to send the new 2019 Honda Civic 2.0L Sport Sedan equipped with the manual transmission for evaluation.
Our test Civic Sport 2.0L Sport Sedan came in a Modern Steel Metallic body color with Gloss Black grille and Rear Spoiler and a Black leatherette and cloth interior. Wheels were upgraded to the Touring trim level 18-inch featuring Gloss Black inserts on the 10-spoke Alloys mounted with 235/40R18 All-Season tires.
Exterior elements included Projector Beam Halogen Headlights, Taillights with Integrated LED Light Bars, Fog Lights, LED Daytime Running Lights, two-speed Intermittent Wipers, body color power mirrors and door handles and the single center exhaust.
Lighting Note: the standard Halogen headlights were not particularly effective on the twisting roads of Hill Country Texas in the dark of night.
Interior styling offers generous spaces – cleanly styled using quality mixed materials in the Modern Steel palette with Brushed Chrome accents.
The Civic Sport sedan seats five comfortably. Even with its coupe styling, head, leg and shoulder room are very adequate. Seats are covered in a premium synthetic leather and cloth fabric. Front seating has a moderately sized console with deep storage bin and cupholders. Both seats are manually adjustable with a driver side height adjuster. Rear seating is 60/40 split – folding down for longer loads. The trunk capacity is 15.1-cubic feet.
Other interior elements included Automatic Climate Control, Rear Seat Heat Ducts, Tilt and Telescopic Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel with controls, Leather Wrapped Shift Knob, Push Button Start, Rear Seat Center Armrest with cupholders, Red Gauge backlighting on the analogue instrumentation and floor mats.
Interior Note: Civic Sport’s AC is lightning quick and super cold. For Texas summers, that is a big selling point.
Power and Drive Train
The Civic Sport Sedan – weighing in at just 2,838 pounds – is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0L I-VTEC four-cylinder multi-point injection engine that produces 158 horsepower with 138 lb.-ft. of torque. Our Civic Sport engine was mated to a 6-speed manual transmission (MT) and included Hill Start Assist.
Transmission and clutch operation are smooth and well-integrated with the engine. An experienced driver can get very decent performance from this powertrain in Civic Sport. Fuel economy for the MT is officially rated at 25/36 mpg city/highway and 29 mpg combined. An experienced MT driver can likely do better. With a bit more highway driving, we got 32.9 mpg.
Underneath, the Civic Sport is equipped with a MacPherson Strut front suspension and Multi-Link rear suspension with stabilizer bars front and rear, tuned shock absorbers, Variable Ratio Electric Power-Assisted Rack and Pinion Steering, Power-Assisted Ventilated Front Disc/Solid Rear Disc Brakes and Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold.
Manual Transmission Note: Honda offers the MT in the Civic, Honda Accord and Honda Fit and continues to be popular for their buyers. In fact, selling more vehicles with a MT (45,601) in 2018 than they did in 2017. Over 13 percent of all Civics sold 2018 (bolstered by the Civic Si and Civic Type R models) were with an MT.
For non-gear shifters, a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is available for this engine – $800 upcharge. We liked the MT in our Civic Sport finding it very driver responsive and fun to drive.
Engine Note: The higher trim Ex, EX-L and Touring Civic Sedans are powered by the 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder direct injection engine producing 174 horsepower with 162 lb.-ft. of torque and mated to a CVT – the only transmission available with this engine. Fuel economy for the 1.5L is rated at 32/42 mpg city/highway and 36 combined. This engine is not available on the Sport.
Audio and Connectivity
Honda upgraded the audio in the Civic Sport to a 180-Watt System with 8 speakers managed through a 7-inch High Resolution Display Touchscreen fitted with a volume knob and hard keys for primary control and feature customization.
Some of the features are HondaLInk connectivity, Bluetooth HandsFree and Streaming Audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, SMS Text Messaging along with USB ports for Smartphone charging and interfaces, a 12-volt power outlet and Speed Sensitive Volume Control.
Audio Note: SiriusXM satellite, HD radio and Navigation are not offered. All three are accessible through a smartphone app.
Drive Convenience and Safety Assist Features
The Civic Sport Sedan is equipped with Honda Sensing assist features that include Adaptive Cruise Control w/Low Speed Follow, Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keeping, Road Departure Mitigation and the Honda Multi-Angle Rearview Camera.
Other standard elements included Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control, Anti-Lock Braking, Electronic Brake Distribution with Brake Assist, Automatic High Beam Headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights and Tire Pressure Monitoring.
Nicely equipped with the fun of a manual transmission, our 2019 Honda Civic Sport Sedan’s delivered price was just $22,045.
Building a Civic sport Sedan Our Way
If we were buying a Honda Civic Sport Sedan in either the Modern Steel Metallic or Crystal Black, we would give it a bit more flare adding optional Red accent wheels and Red interior illumination:
- Upgrade the wheels to 18-inch 15-spoke Black Alloy w/Red Lip $1,700
- Add Red Armrest Illumination (under lip) $349
- Add Red Console Illumination (under lip) $250
With these changes, this Civic Sedan Sport MT would be more striking and still a smart buy at $24,369.
Honda Civic Sedans for 2019
The 2019 Civic sedan lineup has five trim levels. Both the base LX and the new Sport come powered by the 2.0L four-cylinder engine mated to either the six-speed manual or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The LX MSRP starts at $19,450 for the manual or $20,250 for the CVT.
The other three trims are all powered by a more powerful 1.5L turbo four-cylinder mated to a CVT. Trim level and MSRP prices are: EX $23,400, EX-L $24,600 and Touring $27,300. Destination charges are $920.
Read more about the 2019 Honda Civic Sedan Lineup at:https://automobiles.honda.com/civic-sedan
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