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2011 Honda Civic Photo
9.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE INVOICE
$14,571
BASE MSRP
$15,805
On Performance
No matter which model, the 2011 Honda Civic delivers satisfying performance and a perky, nimble driving feel.
9.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

[Si is] still an absolute riot to drive thanks to its quick, communicative steering and delightfully smooth gearbox
Automobile Magazine

the Si is a damned fun car to drive
Winding Road

The Civic Hybrid is at its best in low- to medium-speed driving, such as around town and on secondary roads.
The Auto Channel

the Civic was more fun to drive in the normal-to-brisk end of the scale
USA Today


The 2011 Honda Civic remains offered in quite a range of powertrains—and two body styles—but no matter which one you pick, the driving experience can be described as perky yet refined.

The 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that comes in base DX, mid-level EX, and the best-equipped LX models is no penalty box, even though its acceleration numbers probably don't stand out. It's smooth, quick-revving, and refined, and pairs well with either the five-speed manual or five-speed automatic. While the automatic can be a little lumpy during gentle around-town driving, the manual gearbox is light and quick-shifting in the Civic and a step better than the linkages in most other small cars.

Overall, the Honda Civic feels very peppy, with quick and precise steering especially in low-speed driving. On the highway can be a little too light on center, but when pushed hard the Civic feels like a more sophisticated, more expensive car whereas most other budget-priced small sedans start to show ragged edges.

If you're willing to trade a little fuel economy for a lot more horsepower, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the Si makes 197 horsepower and drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. This engine delivers a rush of power at the high end of its rev band, if and only if, you're willing to keep it up there. The Si package is completed with a tighter suspension, larger 17-inch alloy wheels, a limited-slip differential, a rear spoiler, Si exterior trim, and synthetic sports seats.

The environmentally friendly natural-gas-fueled GX version is offered in a single trim. It's the most expensive model in the lineup, yet it's eligible for up to $4,000 in tax credits and can be teamed with a home refueling station dubbed "Phill."

With MacPherson struts up front and multilink rear suspension, Honda starts with a very common small-car configuration but does a great job tuning it, delivering crisp handling (though not quite as good as the Mazda3) and responsive (though light) power steering.

Conclusion

No matter which model, the 2011 Honda Civic delivers satisfying performance and a perky, nimble driving feel.

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