The 2019 Honda Civic Si Type R continues to offer top safety scores, remarkable space inside, and all-round versatility; it’s still one of the best small SUVs, and a good value for money.

NEW FOR 2019

The 2019 Honda Civic gets the Honda Sensing safety suite as standard on all models. Sedan and coupe variants now come with a Sport trim that slots between the base LX and the EX (the hatch already offered a Sport trim). Honda also updated the exterior design slightly with a reshaped lower front fascia in the sedan and coupe. Touring sedans and coupes now come with 18-inch alloy wheels.

TRIM LEVELS (INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR OPTIONS)

The 2019 Honda Civic is a compact car that slots above the smaller Fit hatchback and below the midsize Accord sedan. It is available in sedan, coupe, and hatchback body styles.

Standard features on the 2019 Civic will likely include a 5.0-inch infotainment screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, cloth upholstery and keyless entry. Available features include LED headlights, a 7.0-inch touchscreen on higher trims, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. More expensive variants will probably continue to get leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, USB ports, built-in navigation, an upgraded audio system, and power-operated front seats.

PERFORMANCE

The 2019 Civic sedan and coupe come standard with a 2.0-liter I-4—on the 2018 model, the engine makes 158 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque, and is paired to a standard six-speed manual or an optional CVT. A 1.5-liter turbo-four is optional on the sedan and coupe, and standard on the hatchback and Si models. Power output for the 2018 model is 174 hp and 162 lb-ft (167 lb-ft with the manual) on the sedan, coupe and hatchback—we’ll update this space with official 2019 Civic specs as soon as they’re available. The 2018-model-year Sport hatchback models are a little more potent at 180 hp and 177 lb-ft with the manual; opting for the CVT keeps torque at 162 lb-ft.

Si models for the 2018 model year are rated at 205 hp and 192 lb-ft. The most powerful Civic is the Type R, which features a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 306 hp and 295 lb-ft. Si and Type R models come exclusively with a manual transmission.

SAFETY

Although the 2019 Civic hasn’t been crash tested by the NHTSA and IIHS, the 2018 model received a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS testing, the 2018 Civic received a Good rating in crashworthiness tests and a Superior rating in the front crash prevention test after it avoided collisions in 12- and 25-mph tests (Superior is the highest score in the front crash prevention test).

All 2019 Civics now come standard with the Honda Sensing suite, which adds forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and road departure mitigation. Honda’s LaneWatch system is available only on higher trims.

WHAT WE THINK

In a 2016 comparison test that also included the Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Nissan Sentra, and the previous-generations Volkswagen Jetta, the Honda Civic won thanks to its balanced ride and handling, relatively quick acceleration even with the base engine, spacious interior and excellent fuel economy.

If you want more power than the base engine can provide, the 1.5-liter turbo-four gives you better acceleration without sacrificing fuel economy. In a 2017 First Test of a Civic hatchback, we noted that it offers strong straight-line performance even with the manual transmission and agile handling. The Sport trim, however, is too stripped down and feels bare bones due to the lack of features. Interior space, on the other hand, is excellent with plenty of space for passengers and cargo.

The more powerful Civic Si offers stronger acceleration, better braking performance, and even better handling than the already capable standard Civic. Thanks to its adaptive dampers and available summer tires, the Civic Si is plenty of fun to drive without sacrificing everyday usability, as we noted in a 2017 First Test. Should you be looking for even more performance, the Civic Type R brings you superb driving dynamics, strong acceleration, great body control, and plenty of smiles from behind the wheel without sacrificing livability.

The Civic Type R is now the benchmark among hot hatches because of its excellent handling on the track and its ability to remain comfortable on bad road surfaces. In a 2017 First Test, we were impressed with its slick six-speed manual, adult-friendly sport seats, and massive cargo capacity. The Civic Type R won a comparison test that also included the Volkswagen Golf R, Ford Focus RS, and Subaru WRX STI Type RA. Despite having the least power and front-drive configuration, the Civic Type R feels well-balanced, not understeering much at its limit. On the road, the Civic Type R feels rewarding to drive whether it’s in the city or blasting your way through a canyon road.

COOL FACT

The Civic Type R set records for the quickest front-drive vehicle around a number of race tracks including the notorious Nurburgring Nordschleife.

KEY COMPETITORS

Volkswagen Jetta
Chevrolet Cruze
Mazda3
Hyundai Elantra
Toyota Corolla

The best value in 2019 Honda Civic Si Type R is a base model with manual gearbox, but it’s still decently priced after adding fancy audio, leather, and a moonroof.

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