2009 Honda Civic

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2009 Honda Civic Review


The Honda Civic continues into the 2009 model year as one of the most reliable and popular economy compact cars in its class. The Civic has been a long standing model that represents quality, performance, and affordability. The Honda Civic is available in sedan or coupe bodies. For 2009, the Honda Civic gets refreshed exterior styling and new optional tech features, while the sedan adds two new trims, a DX-VP (Value Package) and an LX-S. There is a Civic model for just about every price range and taste. The Civic LX sedan is a superb choice for someone who wants a practical compact that is smooth, comfortable and quick. The EX models add all the conveniences, including heated leather seats in the EX-L. The GX offers basic transportation with the potential economy and real emissions reduction of natural gas. The Hybrid makes a good commuter car with its hybrid electric motor. The Si Coupe and Si Sedan deliver sporty performance for driving enthusiasts.

Powering the Civic

For Civic power, all but the GX and Si trims are powered by a 140 horsepower, 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder with a standard five-speed manual transmission and optional five-speed automatic. The sporty Civic Si coupe and sedan share a 197-horsepower engine, six-speed manual transmission, four-wheel-disc brakes, and supportive sport seats. The Honda Civic Hybrid sedan is powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with a permanent magnet electric motor and a continuously variable transmission. The Hybrid features dramatically reduced emissions, and it delivers an EPA-rated 40/45 mpg City/Highway, second only to the 48/45 mpg of the Toyota Prius. The LNG-powered GX rates 113 horsepower and 109 pound-feet.  EPA fuel economy estimates are 26/34 mpg City/Highway for the five-speed manual, 25/36 mpg for the five-speed automatic, and 21/29 mpg for the Si six-speed manual [1].  The 2009 Civic's 60/40 front/rear weight bias means that understeer is the dominant directional dynamic. The EX-L, Hybrid, and Si models come with electronic stability control, and the Si features larger front brake discs. The Si engine is powerful. Hard acceleration is often accompanied by torque steer, a tug on the steering wheel.  For those looking for a thrilling ride, the Si Sedan is almost as much fun as the Si Coupe. The sedan rides on a wheelbase that's two inches longer and is a bit heavier.

2009 Civic Design

The 2009 Honda Civic sedan gets a new front bumper cover. Where the previous bumper looked solid and heavy, with a single, subtle horizontal opening at the center, the new design incorporates a taller, more trapezoidal center opening with secondary scoop-like openings on either side. The upper grille opening is also more angular than before, which goes well with the changes below. As before, a bright horizontal bar, with a prominent Honda H in the middle, dominates the upper grille. Revisions to the headlights are more subtle, consisting only of where and how the color seems to show through the existing lenses. In the rear, a bright chrome bar now connects the taillights just above the indentation for the license plate. The Civic coupe's sloping trunk lid settles into a deep cut in the rear bumper. The sedan's trunk lid drops in an almost vertical, unrelieved sheer from a relatively high crest across the top. On the 2009 Si sedan, the grille bar is black instead of chrome. On both coupes and sedans an Si badge tucks into the grille's lower left side, and oval fog lights are set into the bumper's outboard openings. An i-VTEC label appears just forward of the rear wheel well; on the Si sedan it's placed low on the rear door.

Inside the Honda Civic

For 2009, Civic navigation systems include Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, a wireless telephone interface that works with Bluetooth-enabled mobile telephones for hands-free operation via steering wheel-mounted controls. Inside, the Civic is comfortable and modern. The view out the front, with the expansive windshield, low cowl and sloping hood, is unparalleled in the class. Many of the fabrics in the Civic's interior are new for 2009, including those on the inner doors and armrests. The sport seats in the new LX-S are particularly handsome.

2009 Honda Civic Lineup

Civic DX coupe and sedan are the base models. Standard equipment is confined to power windows, tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, height-adjustable driver's seat and fold-down rear seatback. The coupe gets a rear decklid spoiler. Brakes are disc in front, drum in rear. P195/65R15 tires wrap around steel wheels with full-cover hubcaps. Civic DX-VP sedan adds air conditioning, plus a four-speaker, 160-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary input jack, CD text display, and speed-sensitive volume control.

Civic LX coupe and sedan add cruise control with steering-wheel-mounted controls; power door locks with keyless entry; center console with sliding armrest; overhead map lights; express up/down for the driver's power window; and P205/55R16 tires on steel wheels with covers. The sedan comes with a four-speaker stereo, but the coupe has a six-speaker system, and also a rear-seat walk-in feature that remembers the front passenger seat's setting. Civic LX-S sedan upgrades to alloy wheels, exclusive sport-trimmed black cloth seats with synthetic suede bolsters and silver stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear deck spoiler, and a chrome exhaust finisher.

Civic EX coupe and sedan add a power moonroof; variable-speed intermittent windshield wipers; a second 12-volt power outlet; a 60/40 split folding rear seatback; and outside temperature indicator. Brakes upgrade to four-wheel discs. The sedan's stereo adds two speakers, while the coupe gets a 350-watt, seven-speaker system; both get a USB interface. EX coupe is available with manual transmission, XM Satellite Radio, and voice-recognition Navigation.

Civic EX-L coupe and sedan add leather seats with seat heaters, leather-trimmed steering wheel and armrest, heated mirrors, and Vehicle Stability Assist and Brake Assist. EX-L sedan is available with automatic with XM and Navigation.

Civic Si coupe and sedan, the performance models, include a limited-slip differential, sport suspension, Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, and P215/45VR17 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels. Fog lights come standard. Inside are synthetic suede sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an aluminum shift knob. Both coupe and sedan get the 350-watt, seven-speaker stereo.

The Civic Hybrid sedan features a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), automatic climate control, a roof-mounted radio antenna, a rear decklid spoiler, and hybrid-pertinent digital data displays. Vehicle Stability Assist comes standard.

Civic GX is essentially an LX sedan with a 1.8-liter engine powered by natural gas. It comes only with a five-speed automatic transmission.


Standard safety features on all 2009 Civics include anti-lock brakes, six airbags, active front head restraints and tire pressure monitoring. The Honda Civic continues the tradition of being the benchmark for compact cars. The Civic LX sedan is a superb choice for someone who wants a practical compact that is smooth, comfortable and quick. The EX models add all the conveniences, including heated leather seats in the EX-L. The GX offers basic transportation with the potential economy and real emissions reduction of natural gas. The Hybrid makes a good commuter car with its hybrid electric motor. The Si Coupe and Si Sedan deliver sporty performance for driving enthusiasts.


[1]  Based on 2009 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

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