2009 Honda Civic 4DR EX-L Navi

The Honda Civic is a small-car icon, and this particular example fully supports that reputation. Even SUV downsizers could be happy with an EX-L model like this one, with its heated leather seats, touch-screen navigation, and supercool ten-spoke wheels.

I still have some issues with this car, however. At highway speeds, the quick steering becomes very twitchy, which could create a problem for all those drivers who constantly have a cell phone pinned to one ear. I also didn't expect these high levels of road noise.

I, too, would prefer one of Honda's superb stick shifts in a Civic, but this automatic is quite smooth, even if it doesn't like to let the 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine rev to the moon on downshifts. Jean and David expressed their affections for the big digital speedometer, but I'm not as big a fan. It takes some getting used to, and the unique dash layout is actually a big reason why my wife - a former 2002 Civic coupe owner - doesn't really like the current Civic.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

New Car Research

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