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New Honda Civic is not flashy, but still reliable

June 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Honda's popular compact, the Civic, is all new in 2011, though not necessarily exciting.

The Civic dates back to the 1970s when fuel economy became a new selling point for automakers due to rising gas prices.

The new Civic is Honda's eight revision, and it's a much larger car than the original with all the modern amenities.

This time around, there will be more Civic sub-models than ever before.

Mainstream sedans and coupes will have escalating trim levels and prices, with DX at the bottom, then the LX, EX and EX-L at the top.

The Si is the sporty variation, the HF model maximizes fuel economy, the Hybrid competes as always in that segment and as before, there will be a natural gas version.

This Civic is an ex sedan and should be a popular choice, for a starting price of just over $20,000.

Each time Honda redesigns a Civic, they're careful with what things to change and what to leave alone. They don't want their loyal customers being put off by something considered odd.

When the previous edition of the Civic had its debut, its unique double deck instrument cluster was considered somewhat controversial. People warmed up to it, and it was carried over to the new one.

Though they aren't big changes, the Civic evolves and has many repeat buyers who make it one of the most popular cars in the country year after year. Despite that, and the new Civic could have a rocky start.

The recent disaster in Japan has affected production. Even though most of the Civics in North America are built here, some parts still come from Japan.

There's also strong competition like never before. New entries like the Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra could mean the Civic is no longer a slam dunk in the sales race.

Those who are brand-loyal to Honda might not mind waiting a little longer for the new Civic.

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