Honda’s northern light - Metro US

Honda’s northern light

It’s amusing to hear our American friends going on about the importance of buying products made in the U.S.A. when one of their favourite cars is made by a foreign power — us.

Yep, the Honda Civic sedan is just one of the vehicles made in Ontario at Honda’s production facility in Alliston.

The perennial top selling compact car in Canada and the U.S., the current generation Civic blurs the line between compact and mid-size because 2009 Civics aren’t really all that small anymore. The Civic is 4.4-metres long with the passenger volume of 2,574 litres. It may be considered compact on the outside, but it’s mid-size on the inside.

There are no less than six different Civic models: four trim levels (DX, DX-G, Sport, EX-L) of the sedan, the sporty Si with a bigger 2.0-litre engine that revs freely to an amazing 7,800 rpm and the Hybrid that boasts fuel economy numbers of 4.7L/100 km city and 4.3L/100 km highway.

Tested here is the Sport that replaces last year’s LX model. The Sport features a leather wrapped steering wheel, black cloth interior with silver contrast stitching and little things like a chrome exhaust tip and USB device connector.

All Civics, including the Sport, have what Honda calls its Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure. In a frontal crash, the energy is dispersed through a network of load bearing structures in the front of the vehicle. To make it work, the front-end frame structure incorporates new upper and lower frame members to significantly enhance energy dispersion in a frontal collision.

The interior of the current generation Civic takes advantage of its greater width. For instance, the seats are wider, and thus, more supportive.

The most prominent aspect of the cabin is the two-tier instrument panel.

A digital speedometer, fuel gauge and temperature gauge are housed in the upper level to be more in line with the driver’s line-of-sight, resulting in shorter eye movements between the most commonly referenced gauges and the road. The lower level of the instrument panel houses a tachometer, multi-information digital display, odometer with trip meter and a variety of warning indicators.

Power for the four main Civic sedans, including the Sport, is a 1.8-litre SOHC inline four-cylinder producing 140 hp and 128 lb/ft of torque. Standard transmission is a five-speed manual with a five-speed automatic as an option. Fuel ratings for the manual are 7.4/5.4L/100 km city/highway and 8.2/5.7L/100 km city/highway for the automatic.

The Sport is well equipped for the price and it’s roomy too. It’s a great car for going across town or across the country. Others have tried, and are still trying, to duplicate or better the Civic, but it remains the Canadian gold standard for compact sedans.

2009 Honda Civic Sport Sedan
Type: Compact sedan
Price: from $21,780.
Engine: 1.8-litre SOHC inline four-cylinder (140 hp, 128 lb/ft)


• Roomy and affordable
• Honda quality made in Canada
• Advanced body structure for more safety

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