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Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling and a smooth ride
  • Great fuel efficiency
  • Powerful engine choices
  • Roomy passenger and cargo areas
  • Frustrating controls with optional infotainment system

New for 2021

  • Civic Type R Limited Edition debuts
  • Coupe body style and Civic SI discontinued

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Honda Civic's #3 ranking is based on its score within the Compact Cars category. Currently the Honda Civic has a score of 8.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 40 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 7.6
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 10.0 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Honda Civic?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Honda Civic a Good Car?

The Honda Civic is a good compact car that offers fun driving dynamics without sacrificing ride comfort. Additionally, it delivers quick acceleration and great fuel economy, regardless of which engine you choose. The Civic is available as a sedan and a hatchback for 2021, and both body styles provide plenty of passenger space and cargo room. The biggest strike against this Honda is its available infotainment system, which is not very user-friendly.

Why You Can Trust Us: 40 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 40 Honda Civic reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

This 2021 Civic review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2016.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Honda Civic?

You should definitely consider purchasing the Honda Civic if you want a sporty compact car. You may also want to check out the Mazda3, which is one of only a few other vehicles in the class that fare as favorably as the Civic. It offers a ride that’s just as engaging as the Civic's, and it comes with a better infotainment system.

Find a 2021 Honda Civic for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Honda Civic: What's the Difference?

For the 2021 model year, Honda adds the Type R Limited Edition trim to the Civic lineup and drops the coupe body style and the Civic Si. Otherwise, the 2020 and 2021 models are nearly identical.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Civic »

Here are the key changes for the Honda Civic since it was fully redesigned for 2016:

  • 2017: Civic hatchback body style and Civic Si and Type R trims introduced
  • 2018: no major changes
  • 2019: Honda Sensing suite of safety features became standard, volume control knob added, and Sport trim debuted
  • 2020: restyled exterior for Civic hatchback
  • 2021: Type R Limited trim introduced; Civic coupe and Civic Si discontinued

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Civic, 2019 Civic, and 2020 Civic reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Honda Civic Cost?

The 2021 Honda Civic sedan starts at around $21,000, while hatchbacks start at 22,000. These prices are slightly above average for a compact car.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

Honda Civic Versus the Competition

Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla

Though the Civic finishes higher in our rankings, the Toyota Corolla has a few things up its sleeve. The Toyota has a great predicted reliability rating, and it comes standard with loads of safety features and tech, including a more modern and intuitive infotainment system that includes a 7-inch touch screen and Apple CarPlay. In most other areas, however, the Honda is better, offering more cargo space, sportier handling, and potent powertrain options.

Compare the Civic and Corolla »

Honda Civic vs. Mazda3

The Mazda3 and the Civic are neck and neck in our compact car rankings. Both vehicles are available in sedan and hatchback body styles, and each has nimble handling and precise steering. There are some notable differences, however. Though both models offer powerful engine options, you’ll need to look to the Civic Type R if you want a true high-performance vehicle. The Civic also has more cargo room and rear-seat space than the Mazda3. On the other hand, the Mazda has a cabin that looks and feels more upscale, and it comes standard with a user-friendly infotainment system with a larger touch screen.

Compare the Civic and Mazda3 »

Compare the Civic, Corolla, and Mazda3 »

Civic Interior: Plenty of Space, but Tricky Upgraded Infotainment System

Civic Cargo Space                                      

The Civic sedan has up to 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, which is great for the class. The hatchback is even more spacious, with up to 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 46.2 cubic feet once you fold down the back row.

How Many People Does the Civic Seat?

Most Civics seat up to five people, but the Civic Type R only seats four. The Civic's large door openings make it easy for the driver and passengers to get into the vehicle. Step inside, and you'll find roomy seats in both rows, though the sloped roofline hinders rear headroom a bit. The seats are flat but well-cushioned, and outward visibility is good from the driver’s seat.

Civic and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat. This LATCH system is relatively easy to use, but the lower anchors are set too deeply in the seats.

Civic Interior Quality

This Honda features high-end interior materials, and even its plastics are soft to the touch. Still, some critics note that the Civic's materials quality and overall design isn’t as up to date as those of class rivals such as the Mazda3.

Civic Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Civic comes standard with a barebones infotainment system, but it's easy to use, partly because of its handy physical knobs. However, the optional infotainment system isn't all that responsive and uses touch controls for most functions. This makes it more difficult to use while driving. On the bright side, smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is included with the upgraded system.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 5-inch display, four speakers, Bluetooth, and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, an additional USB port, satellite radio, HD Radio, navigation, voice recognition, and an upgraded stereo with eight, 10, or 12 speakers
  • Additional standard features: automatic climate control
  • Other available features: push-button start, remote start, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a moonroof

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Civic Performance: No Shortage of Power or Fun

Civic Engine

This Honda has a wide range of potent engine options. The base engine in the Civic sedan LX and Sport trims is a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It has plenty of power, but there are a few more-potent options available. A turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 174 horsepower is standard in Civic sedan EX, EX-L, and Touring trims. That engine is also standard in the Civic LX and EX hatchback. That same engine makes 180 horsepower in Civic hatchback Sport and Sport Touring trims. The performance-oriented Civic Type R hatchback is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 306 horsepower.

A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard in most models, while a six-speed manual is available.

Civic Gas Mileage

The Civic's fuel economy figures are great. Sedan models with the 1.5-liter engine earn up to 32 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. The 2021 Civic hatchback with the same engine delivers up to 31/40 mpg city/highway.

Civic Ride and Handling

The Honda Civic's ride quality skirts the line between sporty and comfortable. This small car's handling is lively, and its ride remains smooth over practically every road surface. Front-wheel drive comes standard.

Read more about performance »

Civic Reliability

Is the Honda Civic Reliable?

The 2021 Civic has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Honda Civic Warranty

Honda covers the 2021 Civic with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Civic Safety

Civic Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 Civic. However, the NHTSA gave the similar 2020 Civic an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, while the IIHS gave the 2020 Civic the highest rating of Good in all six crash safety tests.

Civic Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Collision mitigation braking
  • Road departure mitigation
  • Lane keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

Available advanced safety features:

  • Blind spot monitoring

Read more about safety »

Civic Dimensions and Weight

Depending on the body style, the Civic is between 14.8 and 15.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,762 to 3,121 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Honda Civic Built?

Honda builds the 2021 Civic in the United States, Japan, and Mexico.

When Did the Honda Civic First Come Out?

The Honda Civic was introduced to the world in 1973. The Civic's third generation, spanning the middle of the 1980s, introduced the sporty Si model, while the following generation saw all U.S. models gain fuel-injection technology and Honda's VTEC engines. The fifth-generation Civic debuted in the first half of the 1990s and became a favorite of performance enthusiasts and tuners. The fifth generation also introduced the first two-door coupe body style. The i-VTEC system debuted in the seventh-generation Civic. It would take until the current generation, which launched for 2016, for the Civic to get a turbocharged engine. Offered in the rest of the world for many years prior, the high-performance Civic Type R finally debuted in North America for the 2017 model year.

Which Honda Civic Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Honda Civic comes in two body styles: sedan and hatchback. The Civic sedan comes in five trims: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The Civic hatchback comes in four main trims: LX, Sport, EX, and Sport Touring. Base sedan models come with a 158-horsepower four-cylinder engine, and standard hatchback models are powered by a turbocharged 174-horsepower four-cylinder (standard in EX sedan trims and up). A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard in most models. A six-speed manual is standard in Sport and Sport Touring hatchback models, while a CVT is optional.

The performance-oriented Type R hatchback comes in two trims: Type R and Type R Limited Edition. It features a 306-horsepower turbo-four engine and a manual transmission.

There's a lot to choose from, but the base LX trim provides agreeable power and a long list of standard safety features. That said, you’ll need to upgrade from the base trim to gain access to features like Apple CarPlay and push-button start.

Honda Civic LX

The LX trim is priced at $21,050 for the sedan and $22,000 for the hatchback. This model comes standard with a 5-inch display, four speakers, Bluetooth, a USB port, automatic climate control, and cloth upholstery. Standard active safety features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Honda Civic Sport

The Sport trim starts at $22,850 for the sedan and $23,100 for the hatchback. It gains a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, eight speakers, an additional USB port, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Honda Civic EX

The Civic EX has a starting MSRP of $24,200 for the sedan and $24,500 for the hatchback. It adds satellite radio, HD Radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, a moonroof, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and blind spot monitoring.

Honda Civic EX-L

The sedan-only EX-L trim starts at $25,400 and gains leather-trimmed seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Honda Civic Touring and Sport Touring

Prices for the Touring sedan start at $28,100, while the Sport Touring hatchback starts at $28,400. Both trims come with an upgraded audio system with 10 speakers in the sedan and 12 speakers in the hatchback. These models also add navigation, a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated rear outboard seats, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

See 2021 Honda Civic specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Honda Civic is one of the best compact cars on the market, thanks to its playful handling and potent engine options. It also has generous seating space and cargo room for a small car. However, its available infotainment system can be difficult to use.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Once mere basic transportation, the humble Honda Civic has blossomed into a desirable and fun-to-drive compact car." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Civic is Honda’s long-heralded compact car. With a decades-long history of reliability, practicality, high resale value and efficiency, it’s hard to go wrong with any version of the 2021 Honda Civic." -- Autotrader
  • "The Civic offers a well-rounded docket that goes beyond just dollars-and-sense matters. Its interior is spacious, comfortable and well-made. The turbocharged engine found in most trim levels provides excellent acceleration and fuel economy. Its ride and handling are well-balanced, while interior noise levels have fallen sharply from past versions. … Basically, there's a little something for everyone." -- Autoblog (2020)
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