2019 Honda Civic sedan offers key safety at an affordable price

The Civic comes with strong safety features and updated infotainment.

2019 Honda Civic Sedan Touring
The 2019 Honda Civic Sedan Touring. –Honda

The 2019 Honda Civic sedan gets key changes this year that make what was already a fun and affordable compact sedan an even better choice. These include an exterior refresh, upgraded audio, and new standard safety features.

The Civic is available in coupe, sedan, and hatchback forms, each with its own perks. We drove the Civic 1.5T Touring sedan, which is a compact car that manages to feel surprisingly spacious. There’s seating for up to five passengers with enough head and legroom for most adults in the rear seats. Although three can technically fit, it’s snug and best suited to two, except for quick trips.

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Exterior styling gets a refresh that makes this sporty sedan more aggressive with a lower front bumper and newly designed LED headlights on the Touring trim. While many compact sedans play it safe, the Civic isn’t content to blend in with the pack.

Inside, materials are top notch with the Touring providing a more upscale vibe than you’d expect in a car priced under $30,000. There are heated front and rear outboard seats, 8-way power driver’s seat, leather trims, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

There’s also a newly upgraded audio system with all but the base Civic featuring a 7-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Touring trim also gets a 10-speaker audio system for a more premium feel, and includes standard navigation.

Honda added a volume knob and physical buttons for key features, which is big news. It might not seem like it matters that much but trust us on this one. Putting the traditional volume knob back makes a world of difference, especially for a front passenger who might not be familiar with the system.

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Also new this year is the addition of the Honda Sensing safety suite as a standard feature across the lineup. It includes lane departure warning, collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow. Even on the base Civic, this is a standard feature.

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The only optional safety feature is Honda LaneWatch, which is available only on the Touring trim. This uses a camera in the passenger side-view mirror to display live video of what’s alongside the car whenever you activate the right turn signal.

It’s helpful for seeing what might be in your blind spot, but it can be distracting when changing lanes on the highway. The video is busy at those speeds and it also takes over the infotainment screen when activated, which isn’t ideal when you’re following complicated navigation. Thankfully, it deactivates by pressing a button on the turn signal stalk if you find it less than helpful.

Power for the Civic sedan comes from a choice of two engines. There’s a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 158 horsepower on base trims while a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 174 horsepower becomes standard mid-range. That’s a hefty amount of power for a compact sedan and makes the Civic fun to drive.

It has no trouble getting up to speed for merging with highway traffic and delivers plenty of oomph to pass cars once you’re cruising. The continuously variable automatic transmission is quiet and efficient with minimal noise making its way into the cabin.

That quiet extends to road and wind noise. Even torrential summer rains weren’t enough to make the cabin feel noisy, and conversation is easy between front and rear passengers. Adding to passenger comfort is a smooth ride. Rough pavement goes unnoticed and the Civic stays composed and easy to handle even with breaks in road surfaces.

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The 2019 Honda Civic sedan continues to be a strong offering for those in need of a compact sedan. Its comfortable interior, responsive turbocharged engine, and strong suite of standard safety is hard to beat. Priced from $19,550 to $27,400, the Civic is now available at your local dealership.