Civic in the Market

Honda's game isn't as sharp as it once was. The Accord lacks its predecessor's exceptional cabin and driving poise, landing the 2010 sedan in fifth place in our recent eight-car $25,000 Family Sedan Shootout. The redesigned Pilot misses the mark, and the automaker's latest hybrids left us scratching our heads. In a sense, the Civic represents Honda's good old days: high quality, fun to drive, reliable and fuel efficient.

Honda caught a break in archrival Toyota's latest Corolla, which is a dud. Other competitors, though, from the Mazda3 to the Kia Forte, seem destined for greater success. A new wave of small cars from Chevy, Ford and Volkswagen will only make the competitive landscape even more challenging. While the current Civic should be popular into its final days, Honda's continued dominance requires a repeat of its '06 success when it next redesigns this car, in 2011 or 2012.

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    Seat Heaters
    The ignition switch must be in ON to use the seat heaters. The HI setting heats the seats faster than the LO setting. There is no heater in the passenger's seatback due to the side airbag ...

    Spotlights
    The spotlights have a two-position switch. In the DOOR position, the lights come on when you open any door. In the OFF position, the lights do not come on. The spotlights (with the switch ...

    Information Display
    The information display shows the odometer, trip meter, engine oil life and maintenance service item codes, and other gauges. ■Switching the Display Press the (SEL/RESET) knob to change t ...