The main decision when choosing a Civic is the body style. Honda has done an excellent job differentiating the three. The sporty-looking coupe has two passenger doors and a rear hatch. The hatchback looks a bit more angular and aggressive; it has four passenger doors and a hatch. The sophisticated sedan has four passenger doors and a trunk. There is no real price difference between the body styles.
Once the body style has been selected, the next decision is whether a manual transmission is wanted. Stick lovers are limited to LX, EX-T, and Sport trim levels in a chosen body style, while an automatic is available on all variations.
The last main decision is the engine choice, for those who care about such things. The base engine is a 2-liter four-cylinder with 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque, and the turbocharged 1.5-liter option has 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Most importantly, the turbo has full torque available from about 1,700 rpm instead of 4,200 rpm in the non-turbo, meaning it will feel much livelier overall. While the turbo engine engine is available in all body styles, the base 2-liter is not available on the hatchback. For the coupe and sedan, the 1.5-liter turbo is generally found on middle and upper trim levels.
Once the buyer has selected the body, transmission, and engine, all that’s left is amenities. Honda seems to have as many as five (or more!) trim levels available for each style, but it’s actually simpler than that. There are base LX models, mid-range EX models, and top-of-the-line Touring models. All body styles follow the same trim level naming pattern.
A third letter may be added to an LX or EX (such as LX-P), but is heavily influenced by the previous engine and transmission choices. The overall meaning is the same.
The Sport designation denotes a slightly more powerful 1.5-liter turbo engine, underbody spoilers, 18-inch alloy wheels, and fog lights.
Base model Civics come standard with a cloth interior, automatic climate control, and a multi-angle rearview camera. Leather upholstery and many other options are available. A manual transmission is standard, but the automatic can be selected.