By Nauman Farooq
Once upon a time, just about every mainstream car manufacturer offered a compact segment coupe.
Mazda had the MX-3, Nissan had the NX2000, Toyota had the Paseo, Mitsubishi had the Eclipse, Dodge had the Neon Coupe, Hyundai had the Tiburon, Chevrolet had the Cavalier and Cobalt coupes, and even Ford had the Escort ZX2, and the list went on and on…
These days, you’ll either pick one of the Subaru/Toyota twins (BRZ/86), or you’ll end up at a Honda showroom where you’ll look at the Civic coupe.
Coupe’s are becoming even scarce at Honda dealerships, because the Prelude has been gone since 2001, and even the once popular Accord coupe was given the axe 2 years ago.
So, if you want a coupe, your choices are very limited, so might as well enjoy the Civic coupe, while we can – before Honda decides to pull the plug on this model, too!
But, is the vehicle worth celebrating? Let’s find out.
Styling: For 2019, the Honda Civic Coupe received a mild refresh, with new front and rear fascia, a new “Sport” trim to give the vehicle a more aggressive look, and some new colours. All this helps give the Civic Coupe a lot of presence. Especially when painted “Tonic Yellow Pearl” like my tester, you are guaranteed to turn heads, even in the dark of night!
While Honda offers a Civic Coupe in Si trim, I do wish they made a Type-R version of the Coupe, as that would look extremely good, and give the Coupe some extra street cred!
Interior: Step inside the Civic Sport Coupe, and everything is rather dark! The only interior colour offered is leatherette/cloth mix black, which one could argue and say gives this “Sport” model an aggressive look, but I think it would have benefited by having some bright interior colour options.
As for the interior itself, it offers decent space, is well screwed together, and while it is not the most technologically advanced vehicle on sale today – it did offer more equipment than I was expecting; such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist.
I do wish it had a better infotainment system though, the touchscreen unit it has is neither very clear, or has the most functionality, and is often annoying to use!
Powertrain: While it has the word “Sport” in its name, the Civic Sport Coupe doesn’t have the most potent engine offered in the Civic body style – in fact, you get the base engine!
Under the hood lies a 2.0L inline-four cylinder engine that produces 158 hp and 138 lb/ft of torque.
The Civic Touring model gets a smaller turbocharged engine that makes an extra 16 hp, the Si makes another 47 hp, and the Type-R makes pretty much double the horsepower of this “Sport” coupe.
Couple that with a CVT automatic gearbox (or a six-speed manual) and you’ll end up with a vehicle that is just “Sport” in name, but not in character!
Performance: While I don’t have any manufacturer data in regards to performance numbers, but in unscientific tests I figured it will sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just about 8.0 seconds.
That means, this Civic Sport is no rocket ship, but has plenty of performance for everyday driving.
Driving Dynamics: Again, you have to keep in mind, that this vehicle is “Sport” only in name and appearance, and not an out-an-out thrill machine.
As a result, it has a nice, comfortable, cushy ride, which is great for dealing with the potholes and cracks found on our roads. While it doesn’t attack corners, I thought it handled quite well, and actually liked the responsiveness from its electronic power steering unit. So, while you won’t be telling tales of its handling prowess to your friends, you won’t be complaining much either.
Fuel Economy: One of the biggest reasons people gravitate towards Honda products, is because of fuel economy.
The Civic coupe is no exception, and with a score of 8.1 L/100 KM in my test cycle (170 km of highway driving + 130 km of city driving), it performed quite well.
Honda should use the following tag line in their advertisements: Buy a Civic, it only sips fuel!
Pricing: The 2019 Honda Civic Sport Coupe has a base price of $24,690. That’s not bad for a two-door coupe that (in the right colour) can turn as many heads as a Ferrari!
Verdict: The 2019 Honda Civic Sport Coupe is among the last of its breed, and one should celebrate it before it gets crossed off by the accounting office.
While I wish the model that carries the “Sport” name was much more dynamic and thrilling than this is, I’m glad consumers are at least given the choice to pick a compact coupe at a Honda dealership.