June 4, 2014
2014 Honda Civic Coupe steering wheel & centre stack. Click image to enlarge
While styling is a subjective point, Honda hasn’t really been cracking out the best designs the last few years. When the latest generation Civic debuted for 2012, the overall consensus was Honda could have done much better. In 2013, after listening to numerous complaints, Honda rolled out an emergency refresh for the sedan, and in 2014 the same treatment is applied to the coupe.
The refresh has brought some welcomed changes to what was some very bland sheetmetal, though only so much can be done mid-cycle. The visual sportiness of the Civic has slowly drained away, offering only hints to what it once was during its heyday.
Glancing over the dash and other bits in the interior does give you some comfort Honda still knows how to build a car. Instrumentation is clear, though there’s no analog gauges, and the two screens (in the upper dash and centre console) provide necessary info. Materials are on par with others in the segment, but they won’t win any awards in the design department (Toyota and Mazda seem to have that locked down in the compact class).
2014 Honda Civic Coupe trunk, 2014 Honda Civic Coupe rear seats, 2014 Honda Civic Coupe front seats. Click image to enlarge
While Honda has the breadth of knowledge to build cars, motorcycles, ATVs, and marine engines, they seem to be lacking in the infotainment department. All Honda and Acura products suffer from infotainment systems seemingly designed in 2002. Even the Acura MDX, which took home Utility of the Year honours from AJAC this year, carries this Achilles heel.
Underneath it all, Honda has done one thing right. The Civic Coupe’s suspension isn’t rock hard like other pseudo sports cars or compact wannabes (I’m looking at you, last generation Kia Soul). Instead, damping and ride take precedence, while still delivering acceptable handling for the 99 percent of buyers who won’t take their Civic to a track day.
The end of my weeklong test saw the Civic disappear along with my nostalgia. And this isn’t even a matter of a car being made ‘better’ and losing some of its charm. Except for more power from a larger engine, the rest of the car seems half-baked and not well thought out.
It’s really too bad. I was rooting for you, Honda. I really was.
Pricing: 2014 Honda Civic Coupe
Base Price: $18,995
Base Price (EX): $20,955
Options: Continuously variable transmission – $1,300
A/C Tax: $100
Price as tested: $23,850
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