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Auto review: Think sedans are dead? Check out the new Civic

Charles Fleming, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Automotive News

That's not massive, but on the light, spry Civic, especially with a stick shift, it was enough to entertain while staying miserly with the fuel. Honda says the Civic Sport gets up to 36 mpg on the highway.

More comfort and more sophisticated technology can be found on the EX, EX-L and Touring Civic models. I found the Sport pleasantly analog. More bells and whistles means more things that can go wrong, and I liked the simple dash and the absence of complexity to the HVAC and navigation systems.

Visibility is good, and made better by a rear-view picture that appears in the infotainment screen when the right turn signal is engaged.

The sport-style, manually adjusted seats are not the last word in comfort, but they seemed adequate. The interior materials soaked up much of the tire and wind noise. The entry-level sound system did its job pretty well.

The rear seating is adequate for average-size humans, and the trunk is big enough to load up for the links.

Honda is counting on the Sport to sell well. Senior product planner Dan Calhoun said 35% of Civic coupe sales will be Sport models, as will 30% of Civic sedan sales, based on numbers already in on the 2019 model-year cars.

 

Some of those buyers might not have been Civic buyers at all. But some could turn into Honda owners for life.

Many who buy entry-level coupes and hatchbacks today, Honda spokesman Jimmy Jenkins said, will buy a Honda Odyssey minivan in 10 years.

"This is a customer we cherish," he said.

2019 Honda Civic Sport

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