The 2014 Honda Civic: Better Actually Means Better Fuel Economy

Illustration for article titled The 2014 Honda Civic: Better Actually Means Better Fuel Economy

The biggest news for the 2014 Honda Civic is not the coupe's swollen lower face, as it turns out. It's that Honda has finally ditched the optional five-speed auto in the beleaguered compact coupe and sedan, replacing it with a CVT. That's one thing it has in common with the new WRX.

Illustration for article titled The 2014 Honda Civic: Better Actually Means Better Fuel Economy
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Honda had a Civic Coupe on the stand that most people were using to lean on while they watched the FCEV Concept unveil. Most of the changes to the Civic are under the skin. There's that CVT, which Honda calls a "sporty CVT" and says is derived from the one in most 4-cylinder Accords. Sporty it is not, but it does gain two mpg in the city and one in the combined estimate, bringing the rating to 30/33/39 for self-shifting Civics.

Illustration for article titled The 2014 Honda Civic: Better Actually Means Better Fuel Economy

Other changes are more limited to top-trim EX and EX-L cars. The LaneWatch blind spot camera mounted in the right-side mirror is now standard, as is a proximity key. There's also a new radio you can touch, pinch and grab. That doesn't sound nice.

Oh, and the Civic Natural Gas gets an optional leather interior. You know people managing government fleets love to have easy-to-wipe seats.

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DISCUSSION

tommcparland
Tom McParland

The CVT in the Accord is pretty good, so this is a logical move. Here is the reality people because of the MPG wars for commuter cars CVTs offer some of the most cost-effective ways of getting the best gas mileage out of these motors. (Yes, you can make 8-9 speed automatics like BMW and Dodge but they are more expensive to engineer). The old CVTs sucked...big time. Times have changed, I recently drove a '14 Forester that one of my clients picked up. The "shifts" were smooth it was a nice feel, it wasn't rubbery or jerky. For that application and for applications like the Civic, Accord, and the like the CVT works just fine. And most of us will want to row-our-own anyway so if the manual is available we will just get that.