2017 Honda Civic
Bottom line: The 2017 Honda Civic hatchback — Touring or Sport Touring — belongs on the Top 10 list of anyone shopping for a compact automobile. It is hard to find a better small car. Ride, acceleration and handling: Ride is good for a small wheelbase (106.3-inch distance front to rear wheels) car. It has all the acceleration you need for safe highspeed highway running. The ride is good enough for long-distance driving. Head-turning quotient: I was stopped by seemingly everybody. True story: A man in the District driving a new, bright red Corvette with chromed wheels honked furiously to get my attention. I lowered my passenger window. “Is that the new Honda with the big engine?” he asked. “It’s the new Civic hatchback with the turbo 1.5-liter four,” I replied. “1.5?” he asked, incredulously. “You kiddin’ me?” He vroomed away before I could answer. Then, I realized the hair left on his head was as thin and gray as mine. Body style/layout: The Civic hatchback is a compact, front-engine, front-wheel-drive car with four side doors and a rear hatch. There are two trim levels — Sport and Sport Touring.
Engine/transmission: It comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter, 16-valve, four-cylinder gasoline engine with variable valve timing (174 horsepower, 162 pound-feet of torque). The engine is linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission. Capacities: Seating is for five people. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 25.7 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 12.4 gallons of gasoline. Regular is fine. My mileage: I averaged 40 miles per gallon in highway driving, obeying (or trying to) the posted speed limits. Safety: Standard equipment includes fourwheel disc brakes, ventilated front and solid rear; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; blind-spot warning accident avoidance; traction and stability control; side and head air bags; and three-point rear safety belts. Note: A full suite of advanced electronic safety equipment is available. Pricing: The 2017 Honda Civic Sport Touring hatchback starts at $29,175. The price as tested is $30,070, including an $895 factory-to-dealer shipping charge. You can bargain. Dealers are knocking as much as $2,500 off this one. Happy Mother’s Day.