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2019 Honda Civic Sport: Civics major, with a minor in sports

Car Reviews

2019 Honda Civic Sport: Civics major, with a minor in sports

Just a little personal history here: two of my first three cars were Hondas. The first was a gold 1976 Honda Accord with a Hondamatic transmission. (If you’ve never owned a car with a Hondamatic, consider yourself lucky.) My third car was a 1987 Honda Civic LX, and I still have fond memories of that maroon 4-door sedan. I haven’t owned a Honda since I sold that car to an old flame. But Hondas still hold a special place in my heart, as does she. So, I was definitely looking forward to driving the newest Civic.

The 2019 Honda Civic Sport tested is a 4-door sedan with a $21,150 window sticker.  The Sport trim is one step up from the base LX trim, and adds about $2,000. It had no added options, so it came with a manual 6-speed transmission and cloth seats.  The only engine available across all the trims except for the Si and the R-type is a 158 hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The optional automatic transmission is a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), which delivers the same fuel economy numbers as the manual, 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. 

The new Civic Sport, according to Honda, “offers the looks and features budget-conscious enthusiasts are looking for.”  There’s a piano black lower front fascia, side pod accents and a rear decklid spoiler along with 18” tires. This all adds up to a ‘sporty’ look, but that doesn’t mean the Civic Sport is a 4-door sports car.  If you’re looking for a Civic that can genuinely call itself a sports car, check out the Civic Type R Hatchback with its $36,300 MSRP sticker – that car, competing with the WRX STI, Focus RS and Golf R, is a whole different beast.

Just as all vehicles have grown over time, the 2019 Civic is no different.  The current generation dwarfs the 1987 Civic and makes the 1976 Accord look minuscule.  The Civic may be classified as a compact car, but it is mighty roomy inside with a backseat that easily and comfortably fits adult passengers.  The trunk is huge. This all adds up to a very comfortable ride for those cross-country road trips. 

Honda made a solid commitment to add a package of driver assisting technology – called Honda Sensing – to their entire lineup by 2022. For the 2019 model year, the Civic carries those technologies across the entire lineup.  The Honda Sensing package includes several technologies that will nudge you, alert you, move the steering wheel, and possibly hit the brakes hard if you stray from your lane or get too close to the vehicle in front of you. It can be jarring if you’re not ready for it, but, it’s the wave of the future so get used to it – or hold onto your current car. 

For about $20,000, the Civic Sport is a great deal packaged within an attractive car.  It’s got about everything you need in a compact car…and then some.

Steve Kursar

Steve is a veteran automotive journalist and former head of Ford Public Relations in its South Central region. He’s a native New Yorker who fell in love with a Texan (and Texas) over 20 years ago. Steve’s been living here happily ever since. His current automotive ‘want’ is an early 3-Series convertible, while his daily driver is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma.

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