Is Honda Civic Good First Car? – I’d buy one!


For most people, the excitement behind getting your first car becomes a lifelong memorable moment. With the milestone near and the open road awaiting, how do you decide which car should be your first? Perhaps something ubiquitous, like the Honda Civic?

The Honda Civic is a car that has been loved by many for many decades. It is an absolutely great choice as someone’s first car.

For generations now, Honda has placed the Civic among one of the best daily drivers in the world. Below we can look at some of the details of the Honda Civic and why it serves as a great first car.

2022 Honda Civic

Honda civic on car lot

If you are looking for a new car, the brand new Honda Civic is a great choice. The recently redesigned Civic features bold new stylings as well as modern-day comfort and safety features at an affordable price point. Fulfilling both the needs and desires of most, there’s a Civic variant available for everyone.

The new 2022 Honda Civic is available in four trim levels; LX, Sport, EX, and Touring. The starting prices for each sit at $21,700, $23,100, $24,700, and $28,300. As the price implies, the further up the trims you go, the more features are included, such as Blind Spot Monitoring and Premium Audio. 

Both the LX and Sport feature a 2.0L naturally aspirated engine generating 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft torque. Otherwise, you will find a 1.5L turbocharged engine in the EX and Touring models, with a more peppy 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Both engine options will get you going but neither provide an excess of power as safety is important for your first car.

The new Honda Civic safety features are numerous and should make most first-time drivers feel at ease. The host of features include Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Vehicle Stability Assist, and much more.

If you’re wondering if the new Honda Civic is reliable, the answer is yes. The Honda brand has consistently set new standards on reliability, even securing a top-five spot in ConsumerReport’s most recent brand reliability ranking. With a Civic, your first car experience can last for years to come. 

LXSport EX Touring
158-hp, 2.0L Engine18-Inch Gloss-Black Alloy Wheels180-hp Turbocharged EngineLeather-Trimmed Seats
Sport ModePaddle ShiftersBlind Spot Information SystemBose Premium Sound System
Apple CarPlay IntegrationLeather-Wrapped Steering WheelOne-Touch Power MoonroofWireless Apple CarPlay® Integration
LED Headlights with Auto-On/OffSmart Entry w/Walk Away Auto Lock®Heated Front Seat Wireless Phone Charger

Civic Sedan

If you are deadset on having the current generation Honda Civic as your first car, the Civic sedan will fit the needs of most. The widely popular sedan body style is versatile, allowing you to carry three other people comfortably, or add extra cargo space when needed by simply folding the seats down. 

The Civic Sedan is also far from large, making parking for first-time drivers an easier task.

Civic Hatchback

For those looking for something different, the Civic Hatchback is a unique and beautiful option as a first car. While it is called a hatchback by Honda, it carries the silhouette of a fastback instead. With this, you will get a slightly more aggressive roofline flowing down past the trunk. Sizewise is not much different from the sedan, so the choice between the two will mostly come down to design preference and your region’s availability. 

For the 2022 model year, Honda has chosen to completely redesign the Civic Hatchback. While not yet available in North America, it’s right around the corner waiting to make its debut. For the impatient looking for a deal, a used Honda Civic hatchback from the previous generation can be had for under $20,000.

Civic Type R

Civic Type R

While the Honda Civic is a great choice for a first car, the Civic Type R is far from a good pick. The performance-oriented model sends 306 horsepower from its 2.0L turbocharged engines straight to the front wheels. It also only comes in a manual transmission, basically disqualifying it for any first-time drivers.

When first getting on the road, the last car you need is one made with professional drivers in mind. The extra performance also carries a large dollar premium as well with a starting price of $37,895.

It’s a great car, but not for first-time drivers.

What’s The Best Honda Civic Year?

But what if you don’t want to go now, maybe you’re planning on buying a used Honda Civic instead? After all, the cars are simple and reliable, and you’ll get to save some money in the process. 

So you might be asking, how much does a used Honda Civic cost? Well, that’s a tough question to answer as Honda has been making the Civic for five decades now. One look at a used car directory and you can see some 15+-year-old models for under $1,000. But perhaps you don’t want to go that far back.

For the best experience, you can safely look at anything from the previous two generations of Civics and come out with a competent, comfortable, and safe car. That implies any used Honda Civic from the year 2011 onwards. With that wide range in mind, you can find yourself paying between $10,000 and $18,000, depending on the year of choice and mileage. 

As a first-time driver, you probably don’t care for the additions of comfort and entertainment features. Instead, you might simply need a car that can go from point A to point B. If so, feel free to look at even older model years. There have been a plethora of Civics sold through the years with all of them held in high regards to quality, safety, and reliability. 

Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, Which is Better?

The Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla have competed for decades both looking to fulfill the same purpose. Both the Civic and Corolla are classified as affordable compact cars with an adequate amount of safety and comfort features. Both are also very reliable cars that should have no issues with going long distances.

It’s no surprise then that these cars go head-to-head as the most popular choices for those looking to get their first. Unless you have developed some sort of brand loyalty to either Honda or Toyota, you can’t go wrong with either of these choices. Choose whichever you find nicer looking, more comfortable to drive, or cheaper. The Civic vs Corolla debate is one that ends with a draw of two very competent and reliable vehicles. 

But before buying a used Honda or any car, always run a VIN check for Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuild, Title washing, and Vin cloning. There are plenty in the business, it only costs a few dollars but could save you thousands. I’ve used VinAudit (links to VinAudit.com) several times and found them reliable and fast.

You may also find the following posts useful:

Is a Tesla a good first car?

Is a truck a good first car?

Is driving a manual hard?

John Cunningham

John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. I've been a mechanic for over twenty years, I use my knowledge and experience to write articles that help fellow gear-heads with all aspects of classic car ownership, from tires to roof aerials and everything in between.

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