The 10th generation of the Civic was the first American Honda vehicle to feature a turbocharged engine, and this second year of the model brings more variety. The turbo powertrain caused the experts at Car and Driver to declare that Honda “got it right” with the latest Civic, which they timed at 6.8 seconds to reach 60 mph from a dead stop (on CVT models).
Here’s what you can expect from each engine as far as performance is concerned:
Power: The Civic offers small-car drivers two of the most powerful engines in its class. The standard 2.0L 4-cylinder is rated at 158 hp and is featured on the LX and EX trims, while the available 1.5L turbo engine delivers 174 hp on EX-T, EX-L, and Touring trims.
Torque: Launch from a dead stop with plenty of force thanks to the 138 lb-ft of torque on the 2.0L 4-cylinder. The turbocharged engine brings up to 167 lb-ft of torque (when equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission; CVT models get 162 lb-ft).
Transmissions: Drivers can now choose between the 6MT and the CVT on both powertrains, allowing driving enthusiasts the control of a manual transmission on the turbo and bringing the fuel efficiency of the CVT to the standard engine.
We can’t quantify the feeling of a vocal engine—you just have to experience it—but rest assured that drivers who prefer an engine note they can feel will appreciate the turbocharged engine. Accelerate from a stop and feel the turbo rumble to life—though it’s a grunt that’s more felt than heard thanks to the extensive sound isolation technology that brings a peaceful driving experience to the Civic cabin.
Honda has a reputation for efficient cars, and no matter which of the Civic powertrains you decide on, you’ll have one of the most economical small cars on the road. But with two engine options and two transmissions, you have four different sets of fuel economy specs, so we broke them down to make the decision a bit easier for our Detroit drivers:
It’s a tough choice, deciding among the engines and powertrains that best fit your needs, but you won’t have to decide until after you’ve had some time with both powertrains and both transmissions.
So, which one do you want to test drive first?