What Changed for 2008:
- New EX-L trim level with leather interior added
- New Mugen Si sedan edition with stiffer suspension, body kit
- GX now comes with an auxiliary audio input jack
- Other models unchanged from 2007
Civic has been part of the American motoring scene since the early 1970s. The Civic received its last complete redesign in 2006, when it adapted a smooth, aerodynamic shape with a futuristic (and roomy) interior. Today's Civic comes in 4-door sedan and 2-door coupe body styles and offers several distinct powertrain combinations, including gasoline, gasoline-electric hybrid, and natural gas-powered versions. For 2008, Honda has furthered the appeal by introducing a new top-of-the-line model with a leather-trimmed interior and a limited-run "tuner" version.Model Lineup
Honda offers the 2008 Civic coupe and sedan in DX, LX, EX, Si and new EX-L trim levels; in addition, the sedan is available in Hybrid and natural-gas-powered GX trim. DX models are pretty basic, with 15-inch wheels and power windows but little else-not even a stereo. The Civic LX adds power locks, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo, cruise control, fold-down rear seat and 16-inch wheels. The EX model gets alloy wheels, a split/folding rear seat, and moonroof; EX coupes get a subwoofer for the stereo. The new EX-L model adds leather seats (heated in front) and heated door mirrors. Honda generally does not offer factory options, but EX models can be fitted with a GPS-linked navigation system that comes bundled with XM satellite radio. Hybrid and GX sedans get a level of equipment similar to the LX; the GX comes with 15-inch steel wheels while the Hybrid gets alloy wheels and an optional navigation system.
The Si is the high-performance version of the Civic. Available in both coupe and sedan form, it gets a more powerful engine, 6-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential and a performance-tuned suspension. The Si also gets 17-inch wheels with high-performance tires, trunk lid spoiler, and unique interior trim including synthetic suede seats with red stitching. New for 2008 is the Mugen Si, available exclusively as a sedan and with production limited to 1,000 units. The Mugen Si gets a more aggressively-tuned suspension, lightweight 18-inch wheels, special body kit with adjustable rear spoiler, and a sport-tuned exhaust. Powertrain
All 2008 Honda Civics employ 4-cylinder engines and front-wheel drive. Civic DX, LX, EX and EX-L models get a 1.8-liter engine producing 140 hp at 6300 rpm and 128 lb.-ft. of torque at 4300 rpm. EPA fuel economy estimates are 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway with the 5-speed manual transmission, 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway with the optional 5-speed automatic. Si and Mugen Si models get a 2.0-liter engine that puts out 197 hp at 7800 rpm and 139 lb.-ft. of torque at 6100 rpm with an 8000 rpm redline. A 6-speed manual is the only transmission offered; EPA fuel economy estimates are 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway.
The Civic Hybrid uses Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system, which combines a 1.4-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor. Combined power output is 110 hp at 6000 rpm and 123 lb.-ft. of torque between 1000 and 2500 rpm. (Power output of the gasoline engine itself is 93 hp and 89 lb-ft.) The Hybrid uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and fuel economy estimates are 40 mpg city/45 mpg highway. The Civic GX is powered by a compressed natural gas (CNG)-fueled version of the 1.8-liter engine producing 113 hp at 6300 rpm and 109 lb.-ft. of torque at 4300 rpm and driving the wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy estimates-measured in GGE, or Gasoline Gallon Equivalent-are 24 mpg city, 36 mpg highway. Safety
All 2008 Honda Civics are equipped with front, front side, and side curtain air bags and anti-lock brakes; electronic stability control comes standard on the Si and Mugen Si. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA
) crash tests, both sedan and coupe received a perfect 5-star rating for frontal impact. For the side-impact test, the Civic received 4 stars for front passengers and 5 stars for rear passengers. Rollover rating was 4 stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS
) rated the Civic "good" (its top rating) for both front and side impacts. Technology
The Civic Hybrid uses the latest version of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, which sandwiches an electric motor between the gasoline engine and the transmission. When power demand is light, the engine can deactivate all four cylinders and spin freely, allowing the electric motor to power the car. For those who wish to completely escape their dependency on gasoline, Honda offers the natural-gas-powered GX (which, though available to fleets nationwide, is only offered to private buyers in New York and California). As an accessory, Honda offers the Phill home-refueling device, which runs off the house's natural gas supply-so owners need never stop at a gas station, except to ask for directions.