Let’s face it. Everyone is raising prices. There are still supply constraints and inflation. Unfortunately, that also means that things that were once cheap aren’t cheap anymore. Take basic modes of transportation. Cars like the Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra aren’t as basic as they once were. Some were still somewhat cheap, but automakers are slowly getting rid of basic small cars, either by eliminating them entirely or getting rid of base models. Honda has become one of those automakers ,as the brand has eliminated the base Civic LX on both the sedan and hatch for 2023.
Honda killed the Fit in the U.S. That means anyone wanting a small Honda that isn’t a crossover is left with the Civic. And anyone that didn’t want all the bells and whistles of tech or leather seats could pick up a basic Honda Civic LX and be content and happy that they had an affordable and reliable small car. And affordable it was. A 2022 Honda Civic LX had an MSRP of $22,550. But both Honda and its dealers want to make more money, and selling base models with no options isn’t a way to do that. So for 2023, the LX is gone. This means a Honda Civic cant be had for under $25,000 anymore.
The new base model for the Civic is the Sport. Including a $1,095 mandatory destination charge (and no options) the 2023 Civic Sport starts at $25,745, some $2,100 more than the outgoing LX. Sure, you get more content for your money, things like 18-inch black wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote and push button start, etc. The Sport is also the only way to get the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter 158 horsepower engine; Civic EX and Touring both come with the more powerful 180-hp turbocharged engine.
But what if you’re one of those people that doesn’t need all of that fancy stuff and just wants a basic mode of transportation to keep your payments low? You can get a crossover as the recently redesigned HR-V still offers an LX trim. It starts at $24,895. If you don’t want a crossover, you’re either SOL or you can try another automaker. Speaking to Car and Driver, Honda said these changes “better align availability with demand.” Yeah, the demand for more profit. The basic cheap economy car is now an endangered species.