2009 Honda Civic Coupe EX-L
2009 Honda Civic Coupe EX-L. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Greg Wilson

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2009 Honda Civic

North Vancouver, British Columbia – Almost four years after it was unveiled, the Honda Civic Coupe still looks remarkably fresh, even when compared to newer coupes like the restyled Ford Focus and the upcoming Kia Forte Koup. The Civic Coupe’s unique cab-forward design, steeply raked windshield and sweeping profile has a somewhat futuristic appearance and is free of any aerodynamic add-ons apart from a small lip spoiler on the trunk.

The 2009 Civic coupe does have some subtle styling updates: a new honeycomb grille design, revised lower air intakes in the front bumper, and attractive new multi-spoke alloys like those on my EX-L test car.

The biggest change for 2009 is the addition of standard stability and traction control in the premium Civic Coupe EX-L and sporty Si models. However, base DX and mid level LX coupes are still not available with either.

2009 pricing and standard features
2009 Honda Civic Coupe EX-L
2009 Honda Civic Coupe EX-L. Click image to enlarge

The 2009 Civic Coupe is offered in five trim levels with two engine choices and three transmission choices, depending on the trim: DX ($17,190), DX-G ($19,880), LX ($21,780), EX-L ($23,980) and Si trim ($26,880). All except the Si use a 140-horsepower 1.8-litre SOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine with a standard five-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed automatic. The Si has a high-revving 197-hp 2.0-litre DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder with a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission, but no automatic is available.

Standard features on the base DX coupe ($17,190) include 15-inch tires and steel wheels, rear lip spoiler, AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA stereo with four speakers, power windows, power mirrors, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, two-speed intermittent wipers, single fold-down rear seatback, manual driver’s seat height adjuster, and floor mats.

The DX-G ($19,880) adds 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, centre console armrest/storage, power door locks with keyless entry, cruise control, and auxiliary input for iPods.

The LX ($21,780) adds 16-inch tires and alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, body-colour mirrors and door handles, power sunroof, heated mirrors, outside temperature display, variable intermittent wipers, map lights, auto up/down driver’s window, USB device connector, and 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks.

2009 Honda Civic Coupe EX-L
2009 Honda Civic Coupe EX-L. Click image to enlarge

The EX-L ($23,980) adds electronic stability control and traction control, heated leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, premium stereo with seven speakers, and chromed exhaust tip.

The sporty Si ($26,880) adds the 197-hp 2.0-litre engine and six-speed manual transmission, 17-inch tires and alloy wheels, a front limited-slip differential, stiffer sport-tuned suspension, front fog lights, wing spoiler, and aluminum and leather shifter knob.

This week’s test car is a Civic Coupe EX-L model finished in classy Neutron Blue Metallic with a black leather interior. Equipped with an optional five-speed automatic transmission ($1,200) plus Freight ($1,395) and A/C tax ($100), the as-tested price came to $26,675.

Interior impressions

As with most two-door coupes, the Civic Coupe’s doors are long and awkward to open when parked next to another car in a parking lot. You just have to be more careful when opening them.

As the Civic Coupe’s wheelbase is 50 mm shorter than the Civic sedan’s and the roof is 39 mm lower, the cabin is not quite as roomy. But it’s mostly the rear passengers that get short-changed – rear legroom and headroom are adequate, though not impossibly cramped like some coupes and convertibles.

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