Hello from western NC and thanks for being such a great community! I have been stalking Fuelly for a few years driving an Escape Hybrid but my driving and cargo needs have changed so I have purchased a '14 Civic sedan. 1st tank was 40.9 so we are excited about that.
Welcome to Fuelly!
I've actually considered a newer Civic as a commuter car for my growing family. I'm interested to hear your first impressions of it, as well as how you like it later on down the road.
I have been researching the Civic and others like it for over a year now. A second career has put me into my vehicles instead of company ones. This is the first new "off the lot" car I have bought since 1986. The only negative thing that caught me by surprise when I went for the test drive was the lack of carpet. It now has what appears to be a woven fibrous mat. This was not a deal breaker by any means for me, as this is simply a tool to get back and forth to work, which is 180 miles away, but visually it sure was unexpected. Now for the positives. I'm 51, 6'3" and 225 lbs. I find the seat design very comfortable, and fairly relaxing on this 3 plus hour commute I make. I have plenty of headroom, even with the seat at its highest. The lack of wind noise in the cockpit was a nice surprise. It has made my commute much more pleasant. I was driving a Ford Escape, and my wife has a Honda Element, both which have a fair amount of wind noise. I have the EX-L model, which comes standard with 17 inch wheels and a low profile Michelins. There is moderate tire to road noise transmitted to the interior on bumps and rough roads, more so than I would like. That might be due to the wheel/tire combo or a lack of insulation, I am not sure. It is, however, still quieter than the Escape and Element. While some reviews complained about the electric power steering, I have found it quite comfortable. The smaller steering wheel turns with ease, and with the kind of driving I now do I find the response very good. It is not a corvette, nor did I expect it to be. The CVT transmission is OK. There seems to be a little bit of indecisiveness in it if you ease out of a parking lot at 1800 to 2000 rpm's so I'm not sure if that is "normal" or not. Hopefully someone else can chime in here and tell me. Honda also programmed "shift points" into the transmission, so that it acts like a regular 5 speed auto. That seems needless to me, but does not really matter in the driving. One thing I do like is the fact that the engine does not have to scream to get up mountains. Using the cruise, my Escape, also with a CVT, would sometimes try to hit 5000 plus rpm's to maintain road speeds. The Civic rarely gets above 3300 to 3400 on the same hills. There is a big learning curve for all the electronics inside. I do have a concern in hoping that the electronics will be as reliable as the rest of the Honda engineering has been. I guess time will tell on that one. I won't try to cover them all, but so far my favorites are the bluetooth, which allows me to stream Pandora, and the cell phone features. I hear and am heard clearly, and have enjoyed not having to have a phone up to my ear and having my hands free. The steering wheel controls are well placed and easy to use, and I don't bump them by accident. The i-MID display has lots of offerings. I like the range remaining, estimated fuel mileage for the tank, and the automatic resetting of the trip odometer and range when I fill up. But all those settings are changeable. I did not opt for the Navi, mainly because Honda wants 150 bucks a year to update it. A 100 dollar Garmin unit will do that for free, and there is a way to see my navigation from my phone displayed on the dash screen, although I have not tried that yet. The lane watch feature when you turn right or just want to see whats on your right is very nice, as is the back up camera. The windshield and interior are designed to make the interior feel much bigger than it really is, so that this appears to be two different vehicles when viewed from the outside and inside. It really feels spacious. I also own 2001 and 2002 Civics (for the kids) and the interior difference is very noticeable. Another nice feature is the FOB and push button start. The FOB now never has to leave your pocket or purse. Approach the car and touch the door handle and it unlocks. Push a small button on the exterior door handle when you get out and it locks. Touch a switch just under the trunk lid and it opens. Close the trunk with the FOB accidentally inside and it reopens immediately. The i-VTEC engine, while small, had no trouble propelling me up to interstate speeds quickly on a short ramp, although keep in mind I was traveling alone with minimal luggage and therefore not loaded with extra weight. Keep in mine too, that. I drive like I'm 51' and the money is coming out of my pocket too. It has not been above 68 mph, and chances are pretty good that it seldom will. After 35 years in fire, law enforcement, and ems, I believe in the "speed kills" slogan! All in all, I am very pleased so far. I wanted a 40 plus mpg car on the highway and it looks like that will not be an issue. The first tank was 40.9, and I'm estimating this next one will be around 42, but it will be Wednesday morning before I fill up. The best tank I ever got out of the 2002 Civic was 43. I wished technology had of made more progress on the Mpg's but it is what it is. We were blessed with four children, now grown, and Im not sure how we would have faired with more than one in a car this size for traveling, but for my present needs so far it fits perfectly. Hope this gives you a little better insight........
I know you mentioned you'd rarely use it, but how is the leg room in the backseat?
Currently, in my wife's Scion, with a carseat in the back, it leaves very little leg room up front because the front seat has to be moved so far forward to accommodate.
In my Firebird, it's nearly impossible to have a passenger in the front with the carseat installed in the back.
We just recently swapped our 1-year old over to the front facing, which has helped, but next year we have another little one on the way, so we'll back back to eating up the leg room...again.
Robert it has been quite a while since we have delt with carseats (our youngest is 17) but from what I remember I believe that with the sedan that the front seats can be in their furthermost back position and you will have room for the carseats. However, I am pretty sure that if two folks my size sat one behind the other the rear legroom would be unacceptable. And again, with two carseats and the necessaries that most people travel with, you might be pretty packed for overnight trips, especially when they get 6 or 8 years on them. The Civic EX-L has a really nice, almost plush feeling interior, much more than you would expect in the price range. Overall the driving and riding experience has been very pleasant and I feel that I have my money's worth. And a big congrats on the next expected little blessing!!