An all-new eighth-generation Honda Civic
debuts for the 2006 model year. While thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great news for consumers, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s horrible news for the competition.
Just when the competition felt like they were closing in, Honda
totally reinvents its Civic
. The Civic
has been one of Honda
Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s key models since it was first introduced for 1973.
For 2006, the Honda Civic
is refined and packed with features. With everything the Civic
has to offer, it will likely stay firmly planted at the head of the class in the compact segment.
Available as a sedan or coupe, the 2006 Honda Civic
is offered in three trim levels: DX, LX and EX. Also available are a Civic
Hybrid sedan and a sporty Civic
My co-tester and I like Civic
Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s new look. The sedan now is a bit sportier and the coupe features a shorter wheelbase with unique sheet metal.
For our test, we drove a Civic
sedan, which no longer looks like an entry-level car. Maybe thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not. Honda
Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s new Fit becomes their entry-level vehicle, but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s another story.
is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 140 horsepower. The 1.8-liter can be paired with either a standard 5-speed manual or optional 5-speed automatic transmission.
While the 140-horsepower 1.8-liter in Civic
sedans and coupes provides enough power, enthusiasts will appreciate the Civic
Si coupe. It features a 197-horsepower engine mated to an exclusive 6-speed manual gearbox with a limited-slip front differential.
As I walked around our royal blue pearl Civic
sedan tester for the first time, I immediately noticed the quality fit and finish of body panels. I also noticed the larger and more angled windshield.
Stepping inside, I was welcomed to a spacious cabin with seating for five. I like the new two-tier instrument panel that places the digital speedometer high up in the driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s line of vision.
If you like amenities, go for the EX model with navigation. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how our tester was equipped. Sure, the pricetag of $21,110 may seem steep for an economical car, but keep in mind that this car has it all, save for leather.
The navigation system is the latest generation, which features a 6.5-inch motorized display that
opens and closes for access to the internal single-disc CD player and a new digital audio card reader that can play MP3 and WMA files from CompactFlash and similar media via a PC card adapter.
The touch-screen navigation system features more than 7 million points of interest and the voice activation can control the navigation menus and audio system, along with input of city and street names.
The seven available audio sources include traditional AM/FM radio, compact disc, XM Satellite Radio, MP3/WMA CD, digital audio card reader, auxiliary input jack, and an accessory iPod interface. All audio systems are more powerful with as much as 350 watts and seven speakers including an 8-inch subwoofer on the EX Coupe and Si models.
In addition, the Civic
provides a long list of standard safety equipment including side curtain airbags, driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and front passengerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s side airbags, active front seat head restraints and a 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD).
has a tradition of making its vehicles fun-to-drive with responsive suspension tuning and refined road manners. The 2006 Honda Civic
will not let you down in this regard.
I was truly awed with our testerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s impressive ride characteristics. Civic
provides an incredibly quiet cabin and smooth ride. The suspension tuning, peppy engine and smooth-shifting 5-speed automatic transmission in our tester made it feel as though we were driving a vehicle in another class costing thousands more.
Also of note is the fact that the Civic
is a miser when it comes to sipping gasoline. Our tester was rated at 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. The 2006 Honda Civic
is so good, we almost feel sorry for the competition.
2006 Honda Civic
Engine 1.8-liter (140 hp) I4
Transmission 5-speed automatic
Drive Type FWD
Fuel Economy 30 city/40 highway
Base Price $20,560
As Tested $21,110 (includes $550 for destination)