The Car Connection Honda Civic Coupe Overview
The Honda Civic has never been seen as a very daring, sporty car in four-door sedan form. But drop two doors and talk about the Si badge and, in some circles, the Civic takes on an entirely different meaning and expression.
Today, the Civic Coupe goes up against the Kia Forte Koup and Scion tC, although over the past couple of decades it has also included the Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion, and Dodge Neon.
For more on the entire Civic range, see our full review of the 2014 Honda Civic.
The current Civic lineup has made a much quicker recovery than the U.S. economy. It was last redesigned for the 2012 model year, but in a lapse of judgment Honda gave it a little too much austerity, stinting on trim and sound insulation, relative to other models in the class. Then it rushed an improved 2013 model that brought better materials and much improved noise insulation, as well as improved audio and connectivity. Current Civic Coupe models have a 140-horsepower, 1,8-liter four-cylinder engine with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, while Si models include a 197-hp, 2.0-liter four and six-speed manual gearbox.
Overall, we've found the current Civic lineup to be very satisfying for its standard-feature list and refined ride quality, although any appreciation of its complex dash design is an acquired taste.
Like the Civic Sedan, the Civic Coupe has been rather consistently over the years been seen as one of the more enjoyable cars to drive in its segment, as well as one of the better picks for longevity and reliability.
While the Civic dates back to the 1970s, and it was offered only as a two-door (or four-door) hatchback or four-door sedan for many years, a two-door Civic Coupe joined the lineup late in this model's fifth generation, for 1993. Base models of that period included a 70-horsepower, 1.5-liter in-line four-cylinder engine, while VX models got a 92-hp version and top-performance Si models had a 125-hp version.
The pinnacle of enthusiasm for the Civic Coupe was reached during the sixth generation of the Civic—the 1997 through 2000 models, which are the last to have the double-wishbone front suspension and known for their stouter build than earlier models with the chassis known to be able to support power bumps and various modifications. DX and LX versions of these Civics offered a 106-horsepower 1.6-liter, while the EX got a VTEC (variable valve timing) engine good for 127 hp. The Si engine for this period pumped out 160 hp but wasn't introduced until 1999, and there was also a high-fuel-economy HX model making 115 hp.
Beginning with the seventh-generation model, Honda went to a MacPherson-strut-type front end that was never received as well by the tuner crowd. Those seventh-gen Civic Coupes returned with a 160-hp, 2.0-liter Si model.
From either of these two generations, the Civic Coupe had decent rear-seat space compared to other compact cars of its time, although getting in and out wasn't easy. Road noise has also been an issue in all Civic Coupe models except for the current 2013 and 2014 Honda Civic Coupe.
The Civic Coupe was offered in a more limited array of models compared to the Civic Sedan—with no Hybrid model of the Coupe ever part of the lineup.