The Honda Civic Coupe offers the same blend of value and efficiency as the Civic Sedan, albeit in a more stylish and slightly less practical wrapper.
The current-generation Civic Coupe has been the beneficiary of several significant updates in recent times.
Last year, it received a more upscale cabin, additional standard features and a number of handling-focused suspension tweaks. Now, for the latest model year, Honda has applied freshened exterior styling, fitted a more efficient CVT automatic transmission and developed several new technology options, including a seven-inch touchscreen audio display, Siri Eyes Free integration and a clever Lane Watch blind spot display.
Mechanically identical to the sensible and economical Civic Sedan, the coupe caters to aesthetes with a graceful, elongated roofline and, of course, two doors instead of four. New touches like a wider, more purposeful grille that recalls the European-market Civic, reshaped headlights and an aggressive lower fascia lend the coupe a more distinctive appearance than before.
Inside, the coupe features a space-age, two-tier dashboard that places the tachometer and speedometer on different levels. Strategically-placed soft-touch materials provide an upscale ambiance, as do available niceties like a seven-inch touchscreen that lets users control the audio system with tablet-like pinch, tap and swipe gestures.
Optional on many of its competitors, a rearview camera and dashboard-mounted five-inch info LCD screen are standard with the Civic, and an exclusive feature is Honda's Lane Watch system (explained in detail here), which helps the driver keep tabs on the coupe's blind spot.
Siri Eyes Free
New to the Civic is Apple's Siri Eyes Free integration, which lets drivers with an iPhone 5, 5S or 5C access their device's Siri assistant function from the car's steering wheel controls.Siri Eyes Free lets drivers send text messages and e-mails, read incoming texts and e-mails, modify their calendars, check weather information, use turn-by-turn navigation and access sports and stock information at the press of the "talk" button on the car's steering wheel.
The system includes access to HondaLink apps that use a connected device's mobile network to deliver search information, weather, messaging and more to the screen. In addition, the system's navigation app includes 3D mapping and live traffic information for an extra charge. By integrating with a smartphone, the system will let drivers pre-plan routes using Nokia's HERE mapping data.
The Civic Coupe's motor - a SOHC 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 143 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque - is slightly underpowered relative to the competition. It does return excellent fuel economy, however, especially when teamed with a new CVT automatic. This gearbox helps the two-door earn a 30/39 city/highway mpg rating. A five-speed manual, available only on the base model, helps unlock extra acceleration but reduces efficiency to 28/36 mpg.
Standard and Optional Features
The Civic Coupe is available in LX, EX and EX-L trim levels.
The LX comes standard with a manual transmission, A/C, power windows and locks, a rearview camera, a five-inch LCD info screen, a four-speaker, 160-watt AM/FM/CD sound system with USB and AUX inputs, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity with Pandora radio compatibility and 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps.
The EX builds on the LX with a standard CVT, a seven-inch touchscreen audio display, a sunroof, automatic climate control, Lane Watch, two additional speakers for the sound system and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The top-shelf EX-L adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lights, auto on/off headlights and heated power side mirrors.
Both EX and EX-L models can be had with a satellite-linked navigation system with voice recognition.
The Civic Coupe's safety features include two-row side curtain airbags, dual-stage, multiple-threshold driver's and front passenger's airbags, driver's and front passenger's side airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and anti-lock braking (ABS) with Brake Assist.
Those looking for a frugal yet sporty two-door like the Civic Coupe should also consider the Kia Forte Koup, the Hyundai the Scion tC and the Volkswagen Golf.