The Honda Civic is one of the country’s most popular cars, and with very good reason. The current generation of the vehicle, which debuted in 2006, offers plenty of cabin space, decent cargo room, good acceleration and speed (excluding the hybrid model), and good gas mileage. It should come as no surprise, then, that the 2009 Civic coupe sets the standard for the small two-door car segment.
The 2009 Civic coupe is available in five different trim levels: DX, LX, EX, EX-L, and Si (in order to price, lowest to highest). The first four of these is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 140 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. The sport Si model gets a 197 horsepower 2.0-liter four cylinder, a special six-speed manual transmission, and a limited slip differential to keep that extra power in check. The Si can get from 0-to-60 mph in a relatively quick 7 seconds, while the 1.8-liter equipped models take on the order of 9.5.
The fair amount of power is accompanied by good fuel efficiency, as well. The Si model will get 21 mpg city and 29 highway, while the others get 25 city and 36 highway. These numbers, and the fairly low base cost ($15,305 for the DX up to $21,905 for the Si) make the Civic a perennial favorite, and gives it a huge edge in light of gas prices. Yes, the prices are dipping right now, but when the economy rebounds, so will demand for fuel, meaning that the prices have nowhere to go but up in the long term.
On paper, the Civic stands up to its reputation, but its once you get behind the wheel that you really see how great a car this is. Small cars used to mean cheap components to keep the price down, but the Civic bucks this trend. The steering and suspension, while certainly not race track-quality, are more than enough for the regular driver. The Civic coupe is sure-footed and solid. You really have to push hard to get to a point where the car feels loose and out of control, especially in the Si. That handling ability does not affect the ride comfort, though; the Civic is at home on the bumpiest of roads.
The interior is nicely appointed considering the price, making the Civic yet again the class leader. The instrument cluster in the latest Civic is a bit odd at first, featuring a dual-tier system. The analog tachometer sits in the traditional location, while the digital speedometer and fuel gauge are in a top-tier position right at the base of the windshield. This setup makes quick checks of your speed easy, but it is a bit distracting before you get used to it.
The 2009 Honda Civic Coupe, and indeed all Civic models, is exactly what you would expect: fun, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. If you’re looking for a small car with a bit of sporty flair, then you need look nowhere else, because the Civic is the best in the market, bar none.