Toronto Star

Best new small cars under $21,000

Honda Civic


Heading a tough field.

Base price: $15,990

Price as tested: $24,990 $20,190 buys an automatic Civic LX; boldly styled, it’s an all-new car, with a higher quality cabin, more leg and shoulder room, and noteworthy improvemen­ts in performanc­e, economy and handling. Add the latest active driver aids for just $1,000 more.

We like: More standard power with incrementa­lly better economy, optional turbo engine improves on both. Roomy rear seat and trunk are large for this segment. All Canadianma­rket Honda Civic sedans and coupes are now built in Alliston, Ont. Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder Power/Torque: 158 hp/136 lb-ft

NRC ratings L/100 km: 7.8 city, 5.8 hwy.

What’s best: Advanced safety tech is available in all but base models.

What’s worst: Touchscree­n audio system can be frustratin­g.

Value for money: Very good.

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