2011 Honda Civic Coupe Review

After so many years on the market, Honda’s compact coupe doesn’t give up much to the competition

2011 Honda Civic Coupe Review

No matter what kind of buzz, the latest twin-turbocharged all-wheel drive hyper car might generate, the fact remains that year after year, the majority of car buyers – folks like you and me – flock to a specific type of vehicle. And in the small car segment, in North America, one of those has consistently been the Honda Civic Coupe.

FAST FACTS

1. With the 2.0L now the base engine in this class, Honda still relies on its excellent 1.8L with 140-hp and 128 ft-lbs of torque.

2. Civic Coupe pricing ranges from $15,605 to $24,204 with our LX automatic test car set at $18,355.

3. Only higher-end EX models come with stability and traction control.

4. Fuel economy averages 29-mpg with a 25/36-mpg (city/hwy) rating for the automatic and 26/34-mpg for the manual.

The Japanese concern has been peddling Civics since 1972 and a two-door version with a proper trunk since 1992. And since inception, the car has sold rather well. Since its last substantial makeover, for the 2006 model year, the coupe, which forms part of Honda’s eighth generation Civic, continues to find a sizeable number of buyers; people who seem to be looking for a set of wheels that’s dependable, decently put together and can deliver a dash of sportiness without breaking the bank.

After a mild update for 2009, which saw the edition of a new front fascia, more aggressive grille with a honeycomb texture, plus mild rear end tweaks and updated interior features (including a USB interface in the console), predictably, Honda’s junior coupe is little changed for 2011. Trim levels comprise base DX, LX, EX, EX-L, and Si, with prices ranging from a MSRP of $15,605 for the entry level DX, to $21,955 for an EX-L automatic, up to $24,205 for the sporty Si, completed with satellite navigation and performance rubber.

LEFT OF THE MIDDLE

Compared to the seventh generation Civic, which was conventional in every sense of the word, the current car has a few more sci-fi touches – the styling for one. There’s definitely a bit of a spaceship look to it, especially from the front and credit to Honda for giving the car significantly different sheetmetal than the sedan, with unique fenders, doors and roofline. Fit and finish are quite decent in the segment, with Toyota’s Corolla starting to show its age while the new Scion tC as well as the Mazda3 prove worthy rivals.

The Civic coupe’s aura of low drag sportiness continues on the inside. The fairly expansive and aggressively sloped windshield gives the car a somewhat cab-forward look. It can be a little intimidating to some when they first get behind the wheel, but after a few minutes, the expansive dash becomes barely noticeable, especially once you’re under way. Like the exterior, the cabin is quite well put together. Acres of plastic abound, but there’s a feeling of integrity not found in many small cars and the controls have a feel of precision.

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