Last year, Honda significantly shuffled the value equation for the Civic--and ended up with a much better hand against the competition. It makes a lot more sense now, with standard features including cruise control, power windows, a rear-view camera system, Bluetooth, and Pandora connectivity. Meanwhile pricing is much more competitive.
It all starts with the 2014 Civic LX, at well under $20,000, and ranges to around $28k for a leather-lined Civic Hybrid (and a little more yet for the Civic Natural Gas). Considering the fuel savings, added tech, and additional standard features, those cars could be worth it depending on how you drive and run the numbers.
EX models upgrade to a six-speaker sound system, automatic climate control, and the chance to upgrade to navigation, while top EX-L models get leather upholstery, heated front seats, and heated mirrors.
All Civics include a 160-watt sound system, and even this base system is impressive for this class of car, providing clean sound on both the high and low ends of the range. iPod integration is intuitive and easy to use, although the USB port wouldn't charge unknown devices like the Blackberry we connected.
The navigation systems have been upgraded with more points of interest and a new FM-based (subscription-free) traffic service). But over several drives, we've found a number of disappointments in the navigation-system and audio interfaces, and we recommend the standard audio setup unless you really need nav functionality onboard.