With an all-new Honda Civic coming in 2022, is now the time to get the best version of the 10th generation, or is a gently used model the best bet?
In 2022, the Honda Civic will celebrate its golden anniversary with an all-new model. However, if you’re on the hunt for the world’s most well-known budget-friendly compact car, then you’ve got two options – a 2021 model or something a few years older like the 2017 Honda Civic. While sometimes there’s no comparison between new and used, that’s the complete opposite when it comes to the Civic. Today we dive into the details of the new and used Honda Civics and tell you why you’ll be far better off with one over the other.
The 10th generation of the Civic was released in 2016, so both the 2017 we look at today as well as the 2021 Civic feature the same overall build package. To that end, you can access either the 2.0L 4-cylinder as well as the more potent 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder in both model years. They can both be had with the 2-speed CVT automatic or a 6-speed manual as well. Frankly, the CVT is far better than most of us automotive enthusiasts like to admit, but either transmission pairs well with the spunky turbocharged mill.
2021 Honda Civic – hondanews.com | Shop 2021 Honda Civic on Carsforsale.com
What’s perhaps the most obvious differentiator between the two is the visual cues like an updated front clip and the slightly massaged interior cabin with design touches like a volume knob on the infotainment system. The new Civic rings in at $21,050 at the lowest level, but can climb up over $37,000 depending on the model you pick. Used Civics can go for as low as $14,959 for a low mileage example with a great options package.
Part of what has always set the Civic apart from the rest of the frugal fracas is that it’s properly fun to drive and that remains true of both of these cars. The 1.5L 4-cylinder is by far the better engine to have regardless of your transmission choice, but even with the 2.0L engine the Civic feels light on its feet and provides great feedback in both the 2017 and 2021 model years.
For the sportier model, the Type R, the 2021 model year gets improved suspension and braking components, though it should be noted that only the most dedicated of drivers will notice the change. Regardless of the package or the model year though, most drivers who want a vehicle that communicates and rewards attentive driving will be very happy with the Civic.
This is one section where the tiny details are all that really set these two vehicles apart. While neither infotainment system is particularly pleasurable to use, the 2021 model is much quicker than the older version. One massive misstep is the lack of a volume knob in many 2017 Civics. We’re not sure how Honda thought people would react to this, but it turns out pretty terribly. Which is why it was back for the 2018 model year.
In addition, adding slightly better interior materials has really classed up what was a pretty drab interior in 2017. Keep in mind that it’s not a deal-breaker in our opinion, but the sleeker and more upscale trim on the dash, seats, and door skins really go a long way to making the Civic feel more expensive than it is for 2021. Nevertheless, if you just take a quick look at both without getting a chance to touch and feel, then it’s tough to know which one you’re in.
In 2017, the Civic was available in 10 different trim levels. Thankfully, for 2021 they’ve cut that to 7 to make things considerably easier when it comes to picking out the proper Honda Civic for you. Gone are the LX-P, EX-T, and Si models. That doesn’t detract from the total options though. The LX-P is the same as the LX now, the EX-T is taken over by the EX and the Si doesn’t truly have a successor, though we’re expecting one in 2022.
In terms of overall features, there are no major improvements from 2017 to the 2021 model for the Civic. We mean that too, as one of the cited updates from Honda was sound deadening. That’s how sparse the upgrades are. Safety features like “Honda Sensing” do become more standardized in 2021 across the entire range, but they were also widely available in 2017. So, if those advanced safety features are important to you, they can be found in both the new and used Honda Civic.
2017 Honda Civic – hondanews.com | Shop used Honda Civic on Carsforsale.com
While we love a good new car, the writing is on the wall it seems. The new 2021 Civic is a great car, but to spend the extra money on it seems like a poor choice in our view. Keep in mind that a major factor is that less than 12 months from now we’ll see a totally new Civic at dealerships and the 2021 model will be taking a serious hit in depreciation.
With that in mind, you’d do much better to spend thousands less on a 2017 model with some choice options. The used Honda Civic won’t take anywhere near the same hit in value and will still provide almost all of the same features, driving characteristics, and reliability. Ask us about which we’d choose in a year and perhaps things will be different. Either way, a 2017 Honda Civic will serve anyone well thanks to its tried and true build quality.