$5,581 - $9,739

2011 Honda Civic Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 Honda Civic was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.2

Generally, reviewers agree that the Honda Civic's cabin provides a winning combination of quality and functionality. They do, however, complain about the navigation system, limited cargo space and uncomfortable back seat. Cars you might want to cross-shop with the Civic for interior options include the Honda Fit for its cargo and features list and the Kia Forte its trunk space, hatchback option and substantial list of standard features.

  • "The Civic's original reputation for cheapness, understandable given its entry into the market, has given way to a quality that surpasses many in its class, with special note given to EX and Si trims, which gain an extra level of upscale feel, due to a higher grade of plastic and additional trim that impart a slightly luxury appeal in the EX and a sporty leaning in the Si." -- Car Gurus
  • Drivers were more split on the Civic's interior aesthetics. Some love the futuristic gauges and dash. Others found it tacky and cheap, an impression furthered by its similarity to the cabin in our Four Seasons Honda Fit. And yet, we preferred it to the Genesis' cabin for its excellent -- and classically Honda -- functionality." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Inside, the Civic Coupe has room for five and a spaceship-inspired two-tier instrument panel, dashboard and center console, which looks and feels nothing like the Civic's conservative predecessors. The long dashboard and steep windshield only add to the unique driving position." -- Left Lane News

Seating

For an affordable small car, reviewers say the 2011 Honda Civic is comfortable, but adults fit the front seats best. The back row, especially in the coupe, is ideal for children or luggage. Adults should avoid the back row. The base Civic comes with a tilt and telescopic steering column, which allows the driver to find the most comfortable position. Also, if you opt for the EX or EX-L trim, you’ll get 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, which increase storage.

  • "We also loved the snug, amply bolstered seats [on the SI]." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Sedans have adequate adult headroom. Knee space is tight with the front seats far aft. Foot space is good unless the front cushions are near their lowest point. A flat floor aids overall comfort, as does the firm, well-contoured seat. Sedan doors open wide for good entry and exit. The coupe's tiny, hard-to-access rear seat is best left to toddlers." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Seats are comfortable front and rear, and the rear floor is flat all the way across, making the middle passenger's life easier. Rear passenger space is quite good for this class." -- Edmunds
  • "Third, fourth and fifth passengers would be happier in the Sedan's backseat than in the Coupe's, because the Sedan features about four more inches of legroom and two more inches of headroom than the cozy Coupe. The fit, finish and design found inside the Civic are first-rate." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

Before you buy a Civic, it’s important to know two things: there aren’t a lot of optional features, so you have to upgrade to a different trim if you want a particular option. And the base DX doesn’t come with basic features like air conditioning and an audio system that are standard with other affordable small cars. For air conditioning, an audio system and an MP3 input jack, select the DX-VP trim, which is only $750 more than the DX.

The upper four trims offer a lot more features such as power door locks, power windows, cruise control, a leather wrapper steering wheel and an optional navigation system. The top-of-the-line EX-L with navigation costs $23,955, making the car pricey for the class.

Reviewers say that you should beware of the navigation system with voice recognition, which is one of the few optional features that Honda offers. Many reviewers report that it is more complicated than it should be, can be difficult to read in the sun and has difficulty recognizing voice commands. Moreover, it will cost you at least $2,000 extra and is only available on the EX, EX-L and SI trims as well as the Civic Hybrid. If that’s too expensive, a quality portable GPS will cost less than a grand.

For more standard features and a lower base price, test drive the competition. For example, a fully-loaded Ford Fiesta SEL that has Ford’s SYNC System costs $18,065, about $6,000 less than the EX-L Civic. This Fiesta doesn’t have leather seats, but this is still a great deal because it offers a lot of comparable features. If you don’t want to select a higher trim level to get basics like air condition, look at the Volkswagen Jetta. It starts at $17,462, which is more than the base Civic, but it comes with more standard features like power locks, remote less key entry and an auxiliary input jack. The Jetta’s interior is cheaper than it used to be, but if you always wanted a Jetta, now is the time to get one.

  • Though most surfaces are hard and plastic, everything the driver normally touches, especially the small-radius steering wheel, is wrapped in leather or soft cloth. The digital gauges are easy to read, and the low dash and expansive windshield provide excellent forward visibility. Our only complaint was with the outdated optional navigation system, and the slow radio controls that come with it." -- Automobile Magazine
  • The navigation system takes time to master, has undersized buttons, and absorbs too many audio functions, but programming via predetermined voice commands is a plus. Its screen is difficult to read in changing light conditions." -- Consumer Guide
  • Some of the Civic's aesthetic touches are a bit bizarre, particularly its dual-tiered instrument panel, which combines digital and analog gauges into a "Jetsons"-style presentation. But most shoppers will probably view this as a forgivable quirk in an all-around impressive car." -- Edmunds

Cargo

The 2011 Civic sedan's 12 cubic feet of cargo room is adequate for the class. Reviewers note that the Civic has a lot of interior storage bins and small pockets for a small car. Some reviewers not that the trunk’s hinges intrude into the cargo area, limiting what you can stuff in the back.  Also, some models like the EX, EX-L and Si models have 60/40 - split folding rear seats that don’t fold flat, but definitely allow you to store more.

In comparison, the Civic Coupe has 11.5 cubic feet of available cargo space.  If you need need more luggage capacity a lot of affordable small cars offer more room. Check out the Honda Fit, which offers an impressive maximum capacity of 57.3 cubic feet and an innovative "magic seat," which makes organizing your cargo easier. If you really want a sedan, the Chevrolet Cruze is another good option; it has 15.4 cubic feet of space.  

  • Sedans have a wide, tall trunk with a generous opening and low liftover. The coupe's trunk has the same attributes, but slightly less volume. On both, the lid hinges intrude on the cargo area. All but Hybrids and GX have a folding rear seatback. Interior storage is very good." -- Consumer Guide
  • EX, EX-L and Si models get a 60/40-split folding rear seat; lower trims have a seat that folds in a single piece. The sedan's trunk volume, at 12 cubic feet, is on the low side for the segment. Civic coupes have just 11.5 cubic feet." -- Cars.com

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