BEHIND THE WHEEL: The 2017 Honda Civic meets wants and needs in small car market

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Story and photo by Rita Cook / The Ellis County Press

The Honda Civic was redesigned only a year ago so there is little change in the 2017 version. You can expect excellent miles per gallon and a good bang when you press the accelerator too. There is plenty of room inside for driver and passengers and you can take your pick of body styles from the hatchback, coupe or sedan options and a variety of trims.

You will also like the technology tweaks that have been added this year. You get smartphone add ons and some safety applications that are made to help the driver steer clear of accidents on the road.

Competition for the 2017 Honda Civic includes the Ford Focus, Mazda 3 sedan and the Kia Forte Sedan.

The 2017 Honda Civic is in the compact class and in addition to choosing the coupe, sedan or hatchback there are five trim options LX, EX, EX-T, EX-L and Touring. In the hatchback variety there are two additional trims the Sport and Sport Touring.

On the basic LX you get quite a bit for the money with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED daytime taillights and running lights, all power accessories and a 60/40-split folding rear seatback. There is also cruise control, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and manual front seats with a driver height adjustment option. The display screen is five-inches and there is a rearview camera, Bluetooth and USB port.

If you opt for a hatchback take note the Sport trim comes in the LX variety, but with a turbocharged engine and 18-inch alloy wheels. Also adding to the sporty look are fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with shift knob and a center-outlet dual exhaust.

On the next level up the EX adds to the package with a sunroof, heated side mirrors and eight speakers with dual USB ports. There is also Honda's LaneWatch blind-spot camera and the touchscreen is seven inches with HondaLink integration.

For the EX-T you get not only a bigger engine, but dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats.

The EX-L offers leather upholstery, an integrated navigational system and an eight-way power driver seat.

For the Sport Touring in hatchback you get what is offered on the Sport trim with the addition of 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, automatic wipers, heated rear seats and 12 speakers. For this trim safety is also front and center with the Honda Sensing safety package offering lane departure warning and intervention as well as forward collision warning.

The sedan’s Touring trim has all the same features as the Sport Touring hatchback.

Under the hood, the LX has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. This one specifically comes with a six speed manual, but CVT is also available.

On the EX the CVT is standard with the same engine.

Stepping up to the EX-T gets you one of the Civic's best with the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that offers 174 horsepower and 167 pound feet of torque. You also get a six-speed manual transmission, but the CVT is optional. On the EX-L CVT is standard.

The safety features on the 2017 Honda Civic include a variety of airbags from the driver and passenger air bags to the rear, rear and side and rear head air bags. There is a 4 wheel ABS, 4-Wheel Disc and Drum Brakes, front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes, brake assist, electronic stability control, auto-on headlights, daytime running lights, child safety locks, integrated turn signal mirrors, night vision, adjustable pedals, a rollover protection system, front and rear tow hooks, traction control, blind spot monitor, auto-leveling headlights and lane departure warning.

It’s a quiet ride inside and there is plenty of room for driver and passenger to get comfortable for the ride. The limited knobs and buttons are easy to use. You will be using the touchscreen interface most often and until you get the hang of it you will be struggling every time.

There is a large center console in the front for lots of storage and the doors all have cubby holes for storing too.

The 2017 Honda Civic is all about comfort and the seats are adjustable so that everyone is happy. That’s right, even taller backseat passengers will be thrilled with the leg and head room on this compact ride.

On the sedan you get a trunk size of 15.1 cubic feet so that is plenty big depending on your needs. With the variety of Civic options however, you’ve guessed it - there is something for everyone.

Behind the wheel of the 2017 Honda Civic is feels good. Coming in with 30 miles to the gallon in the city and 39 miles per gallon on the highway, the 2017 Honda Civic is starting out as low as $20,415.

Indeed, feeling secure on the road is important and in the Honda Civic you can sure you will be doing fine riding and driving.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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