Some people know exactly what Honda Civic is right for them. (I’d take a Civic Type R hatchback in Aegean Blue Metallic, thank you very much.) But if you’re somewhat less certain which version of Honda’s popular compact is right for you, we’re here to help by detailing the changes for the 2019 model year and picking which trim level is the best for the money.
Last redesigned for the 2016 model year, the 2019 Honda Civic is offered in three body styles: coupe, sedan and hatchback. The sedan has been updated for 2019 and gains a new Sport trim level that brings its total number of trims to five: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L and top-of-the-line Touring. The new Sport trim level gets different styling cues like a black decklid spoiler, a Civic Si-style exhaust finisher, red gauges, aluminum pedals and 18-inch wheels.
The sedan’s base engine remains a 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, while a 174-hp, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder is optional. A six-speed manual transmission is standard for LX and Sport trims, both of which also offer a continuously variable automatic transmission. EX, EX-L and Touring trims come only with a CVT, so if you want a Civic with a turbocharged engine and a manual transmission, you now must step up to the performance-oriented Civic Si, which is more expensive; the 2018 EX-T offered a manual, but that trim isn’t available for 2019.
Minor exterior styling changes to the 2019 Civic sedan include a restyled front lower bumper with chrome accents and a switch from chrome to a gloss-black finish for the grille. There’s also a new chrome trim piece on the rear bumper. The Touring model’s LED headlights, meanwhile, now have a wider and longer beam, according to Honda.
Changes to the cabin include redesigned steering-wheel controls, a center console cupholder that’s better for large drinks, new dashboard trim and extra sound-deadening material. More significantly, Honda has updated the available Display Audio touchscreen multimedia system in all sedans except for the base LX, which gets a different stereo. For 2019, the touchscreen system gets a familiar volume knob instead of a touch-sensitive volume slider, and the previously touch-sensitive controls to the left of the screen are now traditional buttons. The system’s somewhat clunky onscreen menus carry over, but the new physical controls are a welcome improvement.
Last year, the Honda Sensing suite of active safety features was a $1,000 option for all trims except the Touring, but it’s standard for 2019. Honda Sensing includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation and, for 2019, automatic high-beam headlights.
Which Trim Should I Buy?
So which trim offers the best value? For us, it’s the Civic EX. While we appreciate the simplicity of the Civic’s base audio system, we’re willing to put up with the Display Audio touchscreen’s usability issues to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. That had us automatically looking at Sport and higher versions.
We narrowed our sights on the EX, however, because it’s the least expensive trim that offers the turbo 1.5-liter four-cylinder, an engine that delivers better performance and gas mileage. Plus, the EX’s $2,250 price premium over the Sport seems relatively reasonable when you consider it includes, among other features, the turbo engine, a standard automatic transmission, the helpful LaneWatch camera, a power moonroof and heated front seats.
Here are significant features you get at each Civic sedan trim level:
LX trim level, $20,345 base price, including $895 destination charge
- 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
- Six-speed manual transmission
- Honda Sensing (adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, automatic high-beam headlights)
- Automatic air conditioning
- Bluetooth streaming audio
- USB port
- Folding backseat
This trim level ($22,045) adds:
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Keyless access with push-button start
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
- 60/40-split, folding backseat
- Display Audio touchscreen multimedia system
- Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
This trim level ($24,295) adds:
- Turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder
- Remote start
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- LaneWatch camera
- Heated side mirrors
- Power moonroof
- Dual-zone automatic air conditioning
- Heated front seats
- Power-adjustable driver’s seat
- Satellite radio
This trim level ($25,495) adds:
- Leather-trimmed seats
- HomeLink remote
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
This trim level ($28,195) adds:
- LED headlights
- Shift paddles
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Rain-sensing windshield wipers
- Heated rear seats
- Power-adjustable passenger seat
- Built-in navigation
- Premium stereo
The 2019 Civic sedan went on sale in the fall and there are more than 700 EX sedans for sale across the country on Cars.com at the time of this writing. If you want to see some of the other trim levels, there are currently more than 16,000 new Civic sedans in Cars.com’s inventory.
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