The 2019 Honda Civic Sport trim level is now available on the sedan and hatchback. While there are no power gains to the Sport package, there are performance gains. Beefier suspension components, improved steering ratios and slick 18-inch wheels are part of the upgrades.
A new front end that includes the deletion of the chrome grill component is quite welcome. The new nose has a thin black surround that is less garish and a little bit sportier in appearance. New chrome highlights around the fog lights and relocation of the Honda Sensing Suite sensors completes the exterior changes.
The most notable change inside revolves around the red digital display and relocation of various controls. Yes, Honda is keeping the volume control rotary dials. On top of that, there are a few changes to steering wheel controls for better ergonomic placement.
According to Honda, the 2019 Honda Civic Sport is expected to command about 35% of sales. Part of that has to do with the fact that it’s an affordable package that the youth market is attracted to. At $1,700 over the LX package, it’s a pretty good value.
Our test vehicle’s overall pricing was an approximate $23,000
One big components now standard on all Honda Civics is Honda Sensing. This suite of safety features includes:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)*
- Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM)*
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)*
The other highlight worth noting is the 2019 Honda Civic Sport’s overall handling. Honda slightly quieted the cabin while giving the handling and ride serious attention. What you get is a great riding little car with excellent handling characteristics. Honda still builds a great handling little car that is rivaled by few.
Cornering is very smooth and rewarding. There is a bit of body lean, which is just enough to tell you that you’re about to make a mistake. Steering feel is pretty good, for a modern car. The mix between ride and handling is among the best of the whole Civic lineup.
Unfortunately, power is a bit tepid. The standard 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that comes in this trim makes 158 horsepower and 138 lbs-feet of torque. That’s not quite enough to match the aggressive looks and handling. Still, it is very efficient with 25 city/36 highway/29 combined MPG rating on the manual transmission. Even more impressive is the 30 city/38 highway/33 combined MPG rating using the continuously variable transmission (CVT).
It can’t compete against the Mazda3’s interior or luxury feel. I frequently mention the Mazda3 in the video. That’s because it’s the newest and one of the best in its class in many ways. Still, the Mazda3 is way too expensive and the Honda is a more youthful, fun experience to drive.
If Honda wants to keep being competitive the youth market with the Civic – they need to offer a sunroof as part of the package. Also, optional heated seats would be a plus. Currently, you have to go to a higher trim for that.
All in all, it’s an impressive package on an already outstanding machine. Add to that the option of a sweet-shifting six-speed manual transmission, you have something fun and frugal despite its lack of power.