Honda's compact Civic lineup expands in two directions for the 2007 model year. At one extreme is the new natural gas-powered Civic GX, and at the other a sporty Civic Si sedan that joins the already-on-sale Civic Si coupe. Other than the new models, there are few changes for the Civic for 2007, which entered its eighth generation with an all-new version for the 2006 model year.
With 183 possible combinations of models, trim levels, and colors available, the Honda Civic would seem to offer something for everyone. The Honda compact comes in four-door sedan and two-door coupe versions, offers four distinct engines, and four transmissions. There are gasoline, gasoline-electric hybrid, and natural gas-powered versions.
The Civic DX, LX, and EX trim levels come with a 140-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine rated at 30 mpg in city driving and 38 on the highway. Civic Si models get a 197-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and 23/32 mpg fuel economy ratings. The Civic Hybrid can run on gasoline, electricity, or a combination of both and earns 49/51 mpg fuel economy figures. The Civic GX has a 113-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, is rated at 28/39 mpg, and can be fueled at home (provided your home has a natural gas supply line and is located in California) through Honda's "Phill" system. The GX is the only dedicated natural gas-powered passenger car available to retail customers in the United States.
All Civics are equipped with front, front side, and side curtain air bags and anti-lock brakes. They also feature a two-tier instrument panel that puts priority gauges higher in the driver's field of vision. Center console storage can accommodate as many as 20 compact discs, and CDs are just one of seven ways the Civic offers audio entertainment; choices range from an AM/FM radio to satellite radio, from an MP3 auxiliary input jack to a Compact Flash input, and various other audio systems with as much as 350 watts of power. Satellite navigation technology also is available.
The Honda Civic competes in the Compact Conventional segment, which consists of 20 models. Buyers in this segment look for fuel economy, reliability, and safety, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Corolla (328,699 units sold), Honda Civic (316,638), and Chevrolet Cobalt (211,449). The Honda Civic's 316,638 sales in 2006 represent an increase of 2.7 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Compact Conventional segment include the Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Jetta, and Saturn Ion. Joining the segment in 2007 are the Pontiac G5, Suzuki SX4 , and Volkswagen Rabbit.