2014 Honda Civic Touring Review

One of my very first manual driving experiences was behind the wheel of a 2001 Honda Civic Si. I have fond memories of that vehicle, and I’ve seen my share of Civics over the years since then. Just like the Beetle, I feel like everyone has a “Civic Story.”. This is one of the bestselling cars in North America, and it has been for quite some time now, and with good reason.

Civics are known for the reliability, their drivabilty and their ideal-for-your-16-year-old’s-first-vehicle nature (as pointed out in their recent television ad).

Despite all that, I had a hard time bonding with this latest addition of the Civic.

What is a Honda Civic?
The Civic’s been around since the ‘70s, and has a history of multiple engines, design looks (coupe, hatch, 4-door, wagon), transmissions, drivetrains, and the like. Despite all the changes/evolution, one thing has always remained: The Honda Civic was designed to appeal to the masses, but to also offer a bit of fun behind the wheel.

As mentioned above, the Honda Civic was the top-selling car in Canada for 16 years. Since then, the Elantra, Mazda3 and Corolla snuck up on it, however, its staying power is evident.

2014 Honda Civic Touring Price and Specs

With quite a few Civics versions available (10 to be precise), there is a gambit of trims and packages available to truly get the Honda that suits your needs and wants. However, in this particular instance, we’ll focus on the Touring sedan. The Honda Civic Sedan starts pricing in the $16k region, while the Touring edition jumps that price to $25,260 without extras.

If you stick to the non-racerboy versions (read: not the Si), then you’ll get the same engine across the line; a 1.8L i-VTEC 4-cylinder. Good for 143 horsepower, the Honda Civic Touring features a CVT and the power is sent to the front wheels.

As for the perks of driving a Touring edition 2014 Honda Civic, you’ll get all the good stuff like leather seating, 17” wheels, Honda Navigation, and host of other creature comfort bits and bobs.

Driving the 2014 Honda Civic Touring

Here’s where the Honda Civic makes up for any and all shortcomings it may have: the drive. There’s something about a Honda and how they perform on the road. I’m not talking rip-snorting speed or aggression, I’m talking about an everyday ease of use that comes with piloting a Honda and the new Civic has this in spades.

In all honesty, the CVT in the 2014 Honda Civic Touring is acceptable and even a bit gutsy. Pressing the throttle delivers a nice, linear acceleration and power output from the i-VTEC engine that’s typically Honda (read: peppy). Steering can feel a bit light at times and I wish for a bit more feedback, but all in all it wasn’t unpleasant to be behind the wheel.

What did drive me mental was the visibility and seating position in the 2014 Honda Civic. From what I gather, I’m right up Honda’s consumer target alley in terms of my age, height and gender, so the fact that I couldn’t get comfortable behind the wheel really threw me off. I was either too low down, too close or too far. At 5’2” I’m not abnormally little, but when I found the “best” position, the speedo readout was cut off. The seat also offered little to no support, and I was just generally not at home in the Civic.

Inside and Out of the 2014 Honda Civic Touring
The exterior look of the Honda Civic does absolutely nothing for me. While it has seen a steady evolution over the years, taking on a much more mature appearance with each new generation, it’s not quite reached that sculpted, fine-tuned look, in my opinion.

Once inside the still-young-at-heart flanks of the Honda Civic Touring, it all kind of goes downhill. At first, the two-tier dash and gauge cluster was kinda kitschy and cool. Now? It’s just annoying and a little bit dated. I also find it highly distracting, especially the light bars of colour that are constantly changing on either side of the digital speed read-out. Hondas are often known for their storage/usability/practicality, and while the Civic is both usable and practical, I just can’t get over the too-busy centre stack and steering wheel.

I know I always complain there aren’t enough buttons, but Honda seems to have gone to the other end of the spectrum on this one.

Comparing the 2014 Honda Civic Touring
That’s just what we did when we lined it up alongside the likes of the Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Jetta, and Chevrolet Cruze. How did it do? Well, you’ll have to check out the comparison to find out the results, but let’s just say that the Honda Civic may have the history of its namesake going for it. It’s going to have to seriously step up its game in the coming years, or else.

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