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2007 Honda Civic


The compact class remains one of the most competitive in the new car market, in number of entries as well as price. Honda in 2006 re-staked its claim to the head of the class with the introduction of a completely reworked and updated Civic. And not just in the mainstream, family-car niche, but in the sporty subcompact arena, too, with the return of a hopped-up coupe, the Si, the latest reincarnation of the late, lamented CRX.

2009 Honda Civic Full Lineup

Honda has expanded the four-door sedan line to include an Si version, in almost every measure save the number of doors the equal of the Si coupe. Honda's engineers tweaked its suspension to compensate for the sedan's longer wheelbase. Front-seat passengers get the Si coupe's sport seats. Honda also continues offering a natural gas-powered sedan, the GX, which the company introduced during the 2006 model year. The Civic Hybrid sedan uses a 1.3-liter four-cylinder coupled with a permanent magnet electric motor and a continuously variable transmission. The 2007 Honda Civic is available in coupe and sedan versions. The DX, LX, and EX models share a 140-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder with a standard five-speed manual transmission and an optional five-speed automatic.

The Honda Civic DX coupe and DX sedan are the base models. Standard equipment is confined to power windows, tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, height-adjustable driver's seat and fold-down rear seatback. The coupe gets a rear decklid spoiler. Brakes are disc in front, drum in rear. P195/65R15 tires wrap around steel wheels with full-cover hubcaps.  

The LX coupe and sedan includes air conditioning; power mirrors; keyless remote and central locking; cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls; a center console with sliding armrest; overhead map lights; a 160-watt, AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 and WMA playback, an auxiliary input jack and speed-sensitive auto-volume control; front passenger seatback-mounted magazine pocket; and floor mats. The coupe has a rear seat walk-in feature that remembers the front passenger seat's setting. The EX coupe and sedan add power moonroof; variable windshield wipers; a second 12-volt power outlet; a 60/40 split folding rear seatback; a seven-speaker, 350-watt, XM-ready, premium stereo with auxiliary input jack and steering wheel-mounted controls; and outside temperature indicator. Brakes shift to discs at all four corners, and steel wheels give way to alloy. There are few options available, and Honda positions its options packages and automatic transmissions as separate models, so for example, there are the Civic coupe EX with voice-recognition Navigation, XM Satellite Radio and automatic transmission and the similarly equipped sedan version.

The Si coupe and the new-for-2007 sedan come with all the gear found on the LX coupe and sedan plus leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, amber-tinted headlight trim rings and a body-colored rear wing spoiler. Standard tires are all-season, P215/45R17 on alloy wheels. New for 2007 and standard on both coupe and sedan is electronic vehicle stability assist system with traction control. The Hybrid sedan adds to the LX's features automatic climate control, a roof-mounted radio antenna, a rear decklid spoiler and hybrid-pertinent digital data displays. The Hybrid is available with the navigation system and XM Satellite Radio. The GX is essentially an LX sedan with the alternatively fueled engine.

Rising to the challenge (read: profit potential) of the performance aftermarket, Honda Factory Performance packages are offered for the two Si models and for the LX and EX coupes and sedans. The Si HFP packages include lowered springs, more tautly tuned shocks, a sports muffler, 18-inch alloy wheels, a full lower-body aero kit and the HFP emblem. The LX and EX HFP package for the coupe and sedan substitutes 17-inch alloy wheels, drops the muffler and adds a rear spoiler. The sedans and coupes don't share any body panels. From the front, a horizontal bar dominates the sedan grille; the Si sedan gets a monochrome version of the coupe's grille, with the iconic "Si" badge at the far right end. The coupe grille sports the Honda logo suspended in a two-tone frame. As with the Si sedan, an understated badge tucked away in the far right reaches of the grille identifies the sporty Si version. Save for a lower body character line, drawn slightly higher on the coupe than on the sedan, the sides of the new Civic are more slab than sensuous. The sail (the body panel aft of the rear side window) is unique to each model as well. The coupe's forms an acute angle emphasizing the two-door body style, while the sedan's curves down over the rear door's trailing edge, pulling the eye through the higher roofline. The coupe's be-spoilered, rounded rear profile suggests swiftness. The sedan's somewhat abbreviated trunk lid and chopped off tail end adds perceived mass to the tightly proportioned, smallish sedan. The Si coupe wears an i-VTEC label just forward of the rear wheel well, the Si sedan the same on the lower rear side door.

What's Inside and Driving Impressions.

The Civic LX sedan remains the most comfortable Civic we've driven. Fit and finish meet Honda standards. Seats are comfortable, not plush. The Si models get sport front seats with more aggressive bolsters both bottom and side for improved support. The manual height adjustment on the driver's seat pivots on front hinges, forcing drivers to choose between seat height and legroom. To each side of this lower IP are large, irregular vent registers. A magazine pouch is on the rear of the front passenger seatback; on the Hybrid, there's one on the driver seatback, too. Almost oversize rear doors provide easy rear seat access.

Thoroughly modern front and rear suspension designs deliver impressive stability and certain steering response. Brake feel is solid and thankfully, Honda has not fallen prey to the Sport-Shift fad. The five-speed manual gearbox is less pleasant than the five-speed automatic. The Hybrid makes 113 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque, the GX 113 horsepower and 109 pound-feet.

Fuel economy, as estimated by the U.S. EPA, is 30/38 mpg City/Highway for the five-speed manual, 30/40 mpg for the five-speed automatic, and 23/32 mpg for the Si six-speed manual. The Si Sedan is almost as much fun as the Si Coupe. The more-powerful Si engine returns more front wheel-drive syndrome, where hard acceleration excites the steering wheel demanding more driver effort to keep the car going in the desired direction. Both Si editions also get larger front discs than the rest, which add confidence to the stopping power of the standard, four-wheel disc system.

2007 Civic Conclusions

The Honda Civic is the benchmark for compact cars. A complete line of them is available for 2007. A Civic LX sedan is a superb choice for someone who wants a practical compact that smooth, comfortable and quick. The EX models add all the conveniences. The GX offers the allure of natural gas. The Hybrid makes a good commuter car, with its fuel-saving electric motor. And the Si Coupe and Si Sedan keep driving enthusiasts happy. 

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