2018 Honda Civic

Performance


$18,940 MSRP
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2018 Honda Civic Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.8

Whether you choose the base model or one of the performance-enhanced models, the 2018 Honda Civic is a joy to drive. It has sporty handling dynamics, a strong lineup of powerful engines, and comfortable ride quality.

  • "All around, the Civic's driving performance is top-notch, with strong brakes and accurate steering." -- Edmunds
  • "It’s available with two excellent four-cylinder engines and either an adroit continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) or a slick-shifting six-speed manual." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Civic is highly satisfying to drive, even a base model with the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and 6-speed manual transmission." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

A 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powers the base 2018 Honda Civic. Some models come with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder that makes either 174 or 180 horsepower, depending on the trim. Each engine has enough power for passing cars on the highway and going up steep hills.

If you’re looking for more power, consider the performance-tuned Si sedan, Si coupe, or Type R hatchback. Si models come with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The Type R hatchback gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available. Si models and the Type R hatchback only come with a manual transmission. The manual is engaging, and the CVT feels smooth and responsive when accelerating, which isn't always the case with CVTs.

With the standard manual transmission and base engine, the 2018 Civic sedan gets 28 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Opting for the automatic boosts city mpg by 3. Choosing a Civic sedan with the turbocharged, 174-horsepower engine and a CVT will get you the best fuel economy in the lineup, at 32 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.

  • "The smaller but more powerful turbocharged 1.5-liter offers good if not blistering acceleration and nary a hint of turbo lag. Most buyers will choose the automatic transmission, and the Civic's CVT (continuously variable transmission) is among the best at mimicking a traditional one." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Equipped with the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, it's one of the best cars in its class for delivering both impressive acceleration and high fuel economy." -- Edmunds
  • "The Civic is substantial and capable. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder and optional 1.5-liter turbo deliver good fuel economy, and the turbo brings more oomph and readily available power." -- Consumer Reports

Handling and Braking

Strong brakes, controlled ride quality, and responsive steering sum up the 2018 Honda Civic. The Mazda3 offers more agility, but the front-wheel-drive Civic doesn’t fall too far behind.

  • "A standard Civic can't quite match a Mazda3 in cornering dynamics, but it's still among the best in its class, as is its steering feel." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Body roll is controlled, and quick transitions are handled nicely, inspiring driver confidence. It feels playful, and there's lots of freedom and control for the driver — the well-tuned stability system doesn't quash the fun." -- Edmunds
  • "The Civic sedan is among those rare machines that 'drives' much smaller than it is. After all, here is a car with a wheelbase just 3 inches shorter than the Accord. It's relatively large, but from behind the wheel, the Civic sedan feels light and agile." Autoweek (2017)
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