The 2009 Honda Civic comes as 6 distinct models: sedan, coupe, Si sedan, Si coupe, Hybrid sedan and natural-gas GX sedan.
The sedan and coupe both have a 1.8L i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine, making 140 horsepower and 128 ft-lb of torque. The engine is mated either to a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. The sedan and coupe meet ULEV-II emissions standard in all 50 states.
The Si sedan and coupe step up to an especially high-revving 2.0L i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine making 197 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque, paired with a 6-speed manual transmission and employing a helical-type limited-slip differential to help ensure smoother power delivery in high-performance driving.
The Si models also get significant upgrades, including 17-inch wheels and high-performance V-rated tires, special trim and bolstered sport seats with red stitching inside, and a rear wing and aerodynamic cladding outside.
All Civics have Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, which helps more evenly absorb the force of frontal collisions and also helps in collisions with vehicles of differing sizes. Four-channel anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, front occupant side airbags, 2-row side-curtain airbags, active front head restraints and rear head restraints for all positions are standard on all models as well.
The Civic Hybrid comes only as a sedan. It brings a smaller 1.3L 4-cylinder engine paired with a 20-horsepower electric motor as part of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system, in which the electric motor boosts the gasoline engine when accelerating, saves some of the energy lost in braking, and allows the engine to turn off at stoplights, provided your foot is on the brake. Together, the engine and motor deliver 110 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque.
Finally, there's the Civic GX, which is also only available as a sedan and is powered exclusively by natural gas. The GX is only available at select dealerships in California and New York and comes with a 113-horsepower, 1.8L four-cylinder engine, and it may qualify for a federal tax credit.
Sedans and coupes (except the Hybrid and GX) are available in 3 trim levels: the frugal DX, the well-equipped LX and the more luxuriously appointed EX and EX-L with leather seat trim. The DX gets power windows and locks and tilt/telescope steering, among other basics. A new DX-VP (Value Package) is available on sedans and adds air conditioning, a CD stereo and an auxiliary input jack. The LX adds popular features like cruise control, remote entry, and a CD sound system, while a new LX-S adds sport seats, a leather-wrapped wheel, a rear spoiler and 16-inch alloy wheels. The top-line EX brings extras like a 6-speaker sound system that is XM satellite-ready and a 60/40-split folding rear seat to make the trunk area more versatile.
Si models are equipped with a similar level of conveniences as EX models, but they also get a 350-watt, 7-speaker sound system with a subwoofer.
A satellite-linked navigation system with voice recognition is optional on EX and Si models and has a 6.5-inch display screen. The system also brings Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and a CompactFlash card reader, so that MP3 or WMA media can be played on the sound system.
For 2009, Honda's popular Civic gets a slight facelift with a bigger grille, a new front bumper, and a 3-part lower air intake. Bluetooth hands-free connectivity has been added to models equipped with navigation. Civic EX, EX-L and Si models feature new alloy wheel designs, and new materials and patterns now cover the seats and interior door panels.
The Civic sedan adds 2 new models, including the DX-VP (Value Package) and LX-S, and Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) has been added to all sedans and the Hybrid. Several exterior colors have been shuffled across the Civic lineup, and the Mugen Si model has been discontinued.