Drawn from Honda's official national press preview, which consisted of a single afternoon with very little seat time on busy roads devoid of any real challenge, plus a few runs on an autocross course laid out on a football stadium parking lot, our dynamic impressions are necessarily limited.
However, while limited, they're also generally positive, within the context of the normal mission parameters of a small family sedan. The latest Civic delivers creamy ride quality, with exceptionally low interior noise levels.
Braking seems reasonably powerful with the four-wheel-disc system that comes with the EX trim level, and the pedal feel makes for easy modulation.
Handling response can be classified as contemporary, neither sporty nor sluggish, although the electric power steering leaves something to be desired in terms of what it tells the driver about what the front wheels are doing.
On the other hand, while the Civic sedan may lack something in terms of driver involvement, and its fun to drive factor is difficult to detect, it is absolutely and totally predictable, no surprises, no false moves. There's considerable body roll in hard cornering, the tradeoff for excellent ride quality. But the overall level of all-around dynamic competence is hard to fault.
The Civic DX, LX, EX, and EX-L come with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, single overhead cam rated at 140 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy figures were not official but are expected to be about 28 mpg in the city/39 mpg on the highway. Honda recommends regular unleaded gas.
The Civic HF is equipped with a specially tuned version of the same engine with the same power ratings but with slightly higher fuel economy, expected to be 29/41 mpg city/highway.
The Civic GX runs on natural gas using a specially prepared 1.8-liter SOHC 16-valve four-cylinder rated at 110 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque.
The Civic Hybrid pairs a 1.5-liter SOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine rated at 110 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque with a 23-hp electric motor assist. Fuel economy is expected to be about 44/44 mpg.
The sporty Civic Si features a 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder rated at 201 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is expected to be 22/31 mpg city/highway.