Honda Civic — Offering safety and reliability

By David Finkelstein

With some 1,000 (or so) independent U.S. Honda dealers dotting the country from coast-to-coast, the 10th generation 2017 Civic's are now being showcased in both Coupe and Sedan versions. The head turning and dramatic appearing all new sporty Civic design starts with its modern athletic stance and it's low, yet wide body proportions.

Compared to the previous generation, this latest model is nearly two inches wider, one inch lower and has a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase. Civic has a more compact and sporty front overhang with a longer, more aggressively sculpted hood. The rear body treatment tends to mimic a fastback-style sports car.

The car's exceptional and distinct character is also highlighted by its available bright, LED exterior lighting. The overall effect is quite dynamic and unmistakable. It further gives Civic a thoroughly modern and emotional design presence.

The vehicle's ultra rigid body is made up with 63 percent “high-strength” steel and some 12 percent of “ultra-high-strength” steel. This helps to enhance the vehicles collision performance and overall ride quality. A brief test drive will allow you to experience the improvements with blocking in-cabin annoying air leaks and road noise. With the addition of flush mounted acoustic window glass and other “hidden” built-in design features, the passenger compartment remains tightly sealed. This level of reduced unwanted noise hinges on being on-par with luxury-class automobiles.

The well engineered interior is designed to be exciting, modern and sophisticated. It further provides an enhanced level of comfort, leading-edge technology, fit and finish craftsmanship and quality. Premium soft-to-the-touch materials are found on the extraordinary instrument panel assembly, door components and the large thickly padded center armrest. All of this is in keeping with the sporty character the car conveys. Dual zone automatic climate control is available on their EX-T models and above, as is their Display Audio touchscreen with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay .

All Civic models also feature a large, reconfigurable center console that will hold plenty of personal cargo, in a unique storage space. Civic incorporates available high end convenience extras including; keyless remote engine start system, electric/mechanical parking brake, walk away automatic door locking, heated front seats and rain-sensing front windshield wipers.

The well engineered chassis uses a multi-link independent rear suspension design with hydraulic compliance bushings for premium levels of ride quality and road vibration isolation. The large underside stabilizer bars translate to refine cornering with precision and stability. Civic's electric power steering with its variable gear ratio design results in world-class steering feel and maneuverability.

What helps to make this one of the most popular vehicles in its category is it's base manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $18,740 for the Sedan and $19,150 for the Coupe. This pricing doesn't include the factory shipping charges of $835.

The Sedan and Coupe EX-T models are offered with an impressive 1.5-liter turbocharged direct injected DOHC engine. It produces a peak 174 hp and 167 lb.-ft. of torque. A Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT) remains optional on EX-T trims, while standard on EX-L and Touring models. The standard engine is the refined and fuel-efficient 2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve inline four cylinder. It generates 158-horsepower. Worth noting, Its the most powerful base engine ever offered in a Civic. The 2.0-liter is available in their LX, LX-P (Coupe only) and EX (Sedan only) trims.

Civic has received numerous awards including the 2016 North American Car of the Year plus its also earned the highest-available collision performance safety ratings from both the NHTSA and IIHS when equipped  with the Honda Sensing safety system. This enhancement is standard on the Civic Sedan and Coupe Touring trims and available on all Sedan trims.

Honda Sensing safety and driver-assist technology can further reduce the potential of a collision and help mitigate the consequences. This is partly achieved by alerting the driver of the situation and taking emergency action when a collision is determined to be imminent.

Manufactured in five trim levels, the EPA numbers show a range of 28-mpg city, to 42-mpg highway, depending on the engine, transmission and factory equipment.

Honda has been producing automobiles in America for 33 years and currently operates 19 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2015, more than 99 percent of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.