Take a look at the 2019 Honda Civic, and the words “refined” or “comfortable” may not pop into your head. But that’s what this Touring trim is. Sure, there’s the everyman’s entry-level LX, the hotter Civic Si and the blazing Type R that appeal to the first car or the enthusiast crowd, but the Touring represents all the creature comforts you can get in the tenth-generation model. Weirdly, it’s also the rarest model of the bunch. According to Honda, just five percent of all Civics sold are Touring models.
While the 2019 Honda Civic range starts out at just $19,550, this one is quite a bit more expensive. Prices on the most expensive model start at $27,400 – $7,850 more than the cheapest version you can buy. So what do you get for the money, and is it actually worth buying the Touring?
The 2019 Honda Civic Touring only comes with one available engine: and it’s the smallest engine, at that. The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder puts out 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, which is an engine you also get in the EX and EX-L trims. Lesser LX and Sport models get a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter engine instead, with 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. The smaller engine comes mated exclusively to a CVT, while you can get a six-speed manual with the 2.0-liter engine.
As ever, the CVT does hamstring that turbo engine’s true punch right off the line. Couple the rubber banding action on launch with a little bit of turbo lag, and there are a few seconds where nothing happens before everything spools up. Mind you, while it feels like the car’s playing tug of war with the laws of physics for a few moments, it actually gets up to speed pretty quickly once it gets going. Unlike most CVTs, the 2019 Honda Civic didn’t make me viscerally angry with the endemic lack of acceleration off the line.
The 2019 Honda Civic with the CVT does return excellent fuel economy. EPA ratings peg the Civic at between 33 and 36 mpg combined, depending on which model and engine you choose.
Although the powertrain isn’t really engaging, the 2019 Honda Civic carries a host of useful technology. First up is the standard Honda Sensing suite, which comes across the entire Civic range, including the base LX. The safety suite includes automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist. The EX, EX-L and Touring trims also sport a 7.0-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, while the Touring adds navigation and a 450-watt premium audio system.
The 2019 Honda Civic is now in its tenth generation, and this car is definitely the most refined yet. The Touring model is the “grown up” Civic, but it still has a youthful, vigorous look to it. It’s the least popular of the lineup since it is the most expensive — just 5 percent go for the top-end, while more than 40 percent go for the base LX trim. So is the Touring actually worth the money?
Whether or not you think it is, it’s worth noting that the 2020 Honda Civic does come with some minor styling changes. However, it’s also more expensive, so it’s still worth looking at the 2019 models. Let us know which one you’d buy in the comments below!