2015 Honda Civic Coupe EX Review
Meet Canada’s automotive sweetheart – the Honda Civic.
THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Best: Solid value and built in quality at a competitive price.
- What’s Worst: Manual needs a sixth or overdrive gear for Canada’s higher “flow of traffic” highway speeds.
- What’s Interesting: Honda’s ability to keep updating the Civic to match consumer wants and needs.
2015 Honda Civic Coupe EX at a glance
BODY STYLE: Compact coupe
DRIVE METHOD: front-engine, front-wheel-drive; six-speed manual (as tested) or CVT automatic
ENGINE: 1.8-litre, 16-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC four-cylinder (143 hp, 129 lb/ft)
FUEL ECONOMY: (Regular) EX manual as tested, 8.6/6.6/7.7L/100 km city/highway/combined
TOW RATING: Not recommended
CARGO: 331 litres
PRICE: EX manual, as tested $21,350; CVT EX Coupe, $22,650
Meet Canada’s automotive sweetheart – the Honda Civic.
For 17 years straight, going on 18, the Civic has been the number one selling car in this country.
Just for the record, the number one selling vehicle in Canada for decades has been Ford’s evergreen F-150 pickup truck.
While there are literally millions of ways to configure a F-150, Honda keeps it pretty simple when it comes to the Civic – a sedan or a coupe as tested here.
There is a hybrid Civic sedan (base, $27,200) but production of that ends this model year. If you want a Civic-size Honda hybrid, there is always the CR-Z (base $22,990).
There is no wagon, but the sub-compact Fit (base, $14,575) or HR-V compact CUV (base, $20,690) more than fill the bill.
As for a convertible, I’m sure Honda has considered it, but the Civic’s patented, super strong hoop-like ACE safety structure precludes that.
The 2015 Honda Civic Coupe comes in four models starting with the entry LX, EX and EX-L with navigation. All are powered by a 1.8-litre SOHC inline four-cylinder with 143 hp and 129 lb/ft of torque. The fourth is the hotrod Si with 2.4-litre DOHC inline four-cylinder with 205 hp and 174 lb/ft of torque.
All Coupes are front-wheel-drive with no all-wheel-drive available.
On the LX and EX a five-speed manual transmission is standard with a CVT optional. The CVT is standard on the EX-L Navi with a six-speed manual exclusive to the Si.
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All but the Si run on regular fuel with the five-speed model clocking 8.6/6.6/7.7L/100 km city/highway/combined. The CVT comes in at 7.9/6.1/7.1L/100 km for the LX due to its slightly lesser weight and 8.1/6.2/7.2L/100 for the two EX models. The premium burning Si is rated at 10.8/7.6/9.4L/100 km.
Just recapping history, the first generation Civic arrived in 1972 and quickly gained a reputation for being stout and thrifty but small on the inside.
That all changed with the third generation (1983-1982) with its wide rear hatch which started Civic on its way to best selling car in Canada.
It was the eighth generation Civic bowing in 2006 that set the trend for the shape of the Coupe and Sedan, as we know them today.
With a pronounced sweep of the roofline starting with the steeply inclined windshield, the Civic, Coupe especially, looks like an ellipse from nose flowing back to the tail.
When the Civic was refreshened in 2012 it was not received well by owners who complained about low-ball interior trim and limp handling.
Honda took that very seriously with the 2013 model, looking the same but a different vehicle under the skin, which leads us to the 2015 Coupe tested here that marks the ninth generation Civic.
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For the record, the tenth generation Civic was shown in concept form earlier this year at the New York Auto Show based on a new global platform.
The 2015 Civic EX Coupe as tested here is built at Honda’s Alliston assembly plant and close inspection shows how well it is put together.
Shut lines and body panel gaps are very tight but it is the interior where the quality control shows through in the sweep of the main instrument panel as it flows to the door panel without a break in the character line.
The instrument panel itself sports the Civic’s unique two-tier gauge location with a large tach on the lower level and the speed and driver information display on the upper level — the theory being it’s easier to see than glancing side to side with a normal main gauge layout.
After listening to customer feedback, the styling of the nose is much more aggressive now with large lower scoops a-la-Porsche.
The flowing body-lines of the Coupe are made more so by the 16-inch alloy wheels with a “bent” 10-spoke design that really add to the overall look.
The manual gearbox is typically Honda, being very light to the hand but with positive spring loading to hasten precise shifts up and down through the gear range.
The clutch is also light, too light for me as I could never feel where the point of engagement with the pressure plate was.
Seating position for the driver is superlative with seat travel that should accommodate everyone big, tall or small.
While it doesn’t look it, the cargo area at 311 litres is quite capacious, that grows dramatically when the 60/40 rear seat is folded flat.
The 2015 Honda Civic EX Coupe with manual transmission as tested comes in at $21,350, $22,650 if you go for the CVT.
That compares with the base five-speed Coupe at $18,950, $20,250 for the CVT.
Personally I’d go with the EX because it includes rearview camera, speed variable wipers and (my favourite) Honda LaneWatch.
LaneWatch turns on a camera on the underside of the passenger side on the outside mirror giving a real time picture of all vehicles coming into the blind spot area.
Made in Canada and designed for Canadians, it’s little wonder why the Civic keeps on being this country’s perennial favourite.