Safety, Reliability & Features

Thanks to its excellent scores in front, side, rear and roof-crush tests, the Civic sedan has the distinction of being a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But there are caveats: The status applies only to trims with an electronic stability system — and not the Civic Si, whose unique head restraints don't provide the same rear-impact protection other Civics do. That effectively leaves the Civic EX-L as the sole Top Safety Pick variant.

The Civic coupe has not undergone roof-crush tests, but its side-impact ratings are Acceptable — one rung down from the sedan's top rating of Good. Front- and rear-impact tests are also Good, but, like with the sedan, the rear-impact results don't apply to the Civic Si coupe. (You might find Acceptable to be acceptable, but it bears noting that the majority of cars in the Civic's class score Good in the side test, making an Acceptable rating below average.) Standard features on both include antilock brakes and side-impact and side curtain airbags. Click here for a full list.

Reliability for the current generation has been very good. Sedan pricing starts at $15,655; the coupe is $200 less. Standard features on the DX include power windows, a height-adjustable driver's seat … and little else. Another $750 moves you up to the Civic VP sedan, which adds air conditioning and a CD radio with an MP3 jack. The LX sedan and coupe add power locks with keyless entry, cruise control and body-colored exterior moldings. The LX-S adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler; EX models have a moonroof, alloy wheels, steering-wheel audio controls and an iPod/USB interface. The EX-L, which starts just over $21,000, adds heated leather seats and the stability system. A navigation system is optional. On any trim, the automatic transmission costs $800.

The Civic Si starts above $22,000. Check every option, and it tops out around $24,500. In states that carry it, the natural-gas Civic GX runs $25,340 but is eligible for a $4,000 federal tax credit; with the automatic standard, it's equipped similarly to a Civic LX.

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