Safety

The Honda Civic received top scores in front-, side- and rear-impact crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Usually cars that achieve such a feat earn the organization's Top Safety Pick award, but the Civic doesn't come with electronic stability control even as an option, and that takes it out of the running. We'd like to see stability control added as an option to the Civic before the system becomes mandatory in 2012.

The Civic does come with standard antilock brakes, active front head restraints, side-impact airbags for front passengers and side curtain airbags for both rows of seats.

Civic in the Market

What most impresses me about the Civic is that after nearly three years on the market it still holds up to extreme scrutiny in a very competitive segment. It's also priced well, coming in lower than the Nissan Sentra and about on par with the Corolla.

If you want someone to simply come out and say the Civic is a better car than the rest, then I guess I'm your man. Even if all you want is hard numbers, the Civic wins on a lot of those fronts, too, especially those all-important mpg and MSRP numbers.

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