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2024 Honda Civic LX vs. Sport

Comparison between 2024 Honda Civic LX and Sport models

1. Exterior Design

The first thing a customer will notice about the 2024 Honda Civic LX and Sport models is its aggressive stance and sharp styling which Honda has said "will represent enormous significance in the automotive industry." Both models have premium styling that enhances the image of the Honda Civic and provide an upscale feel for its drivers. With the Civic's 10th generation coming to an end, it is safe to assume that the 2024 model will take many styling cues from the all-new 2024 Honda Accord and Honda Insight. For the LX model, its sleek and sophisticated simplicity is said to echo the footsteps of the all-new 2024 Honda Accord. It is unknown if the LX model will receive the stronger, more powerful, and more aerodynamic shape that Honda has praised for its new designs. But, it is certain that Honda is slowly moving the Civic upmarket to compensate for the loss in sales to its growing SUV lineup and increasing demand for semi-premium compact cars. This is indicated with the chrome door handles, a new bluish-colored paint, and high gloss 18" alloy wheels. Pricing is still undetermined for this model, but it is expected to increase. Honda has released very little formal information on the LX model.

1.1. LX model exterior features

We won't be wrong if we say, 2022 Honda Civic LX is the most appropriate vehicle for anyone after a minimalist exterior approach for their vehicle. This is reflected in some of the key elements of its exterior, such as the halogen headlamp with the auto on/off feature. The halogen headlamp tends to have the least amount of energy efficiency, but it provides a very humble everyday driving experience. It is energy efficient, provides good visibility during nighttime driving, and it is very easy to replace so no need to worry if it gets broken. The auto on/off feature ensures the lamp does not stay on while the engine is off. This will definitely help to prevent discharged battery by leaving the light switch on. On both the left and right side of the headlamp are the LED daytime running lights (DRL). While the halogen headlamp is conventional, the introduction of LED DRL, however, adds a touch of modern element to the vehicle exterior. It also provides some safer driving too during certain daytime conditions at tunnel or during heavy rain. At the rear is the LED taillights and stop lights. LED taillight might not be a new thing for a vehicle's exterior. But it is disliked by nobody since it is more energy efficient and has a longer life than the conventional halogen taillights. The integrated LED light on the tailgate spoiler surprises us a little bit since it is quite an unusual feature for a vehicle at this price point. But, it absolutely doesn't hurt at all to have one. Honda has also decided to proceed with the same tire and wheel setup as the previous model, using the 215/55 R16 tires on a 16x6.5 inch wheel setup. This has been a very standard tire and wheel setup for the compact sedan. Some drivers may want to add more accessories and upgrade to the bigger wheel due to the big wheel well gap. But at the end, it is still based on individual preference and there is no right and wrong in deciding whether to upgrade it or not.

1.2. Sport model exterior features

The Sport model is only a roughly $3,000 premium over the LX model, hence there are some design and feature enhancements in the Sport model that you'll be getting over the LX model. The most noticeable enhancement is an exterior aesthetic one, as the Sport model will come with a centre exhaust which, even though it does not do anything to enhance performance, it gives the car a sportier look. It is the little elements similar to this, which really make the Sport model stand out. Furthermore, the Sport model also comes with a rear wing spoiler, which is more commonly seen on compact performance cars, such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Subjectively, some people may or may not like it. But for those that do, it is another little feature to further separate the LX and Sport models. Another small addition is that the Sport model also gets 18-inch alloy wheels, compared to the 16-inch wheels found on the LX model. The alloy wheels aren't just larger, but have a unique design to the ones found on the LX model. What most people will neglect though, is that the Sport model gets a slight suspension change over the LX model, which may or may not enhance handling, as well as a wheel size upgrade is a good excuse to get a plus-sized upgrade on the brakes. This may open up a larger range of brake upgrades in the future, for those that plan to keep the car long term.

2. Performance and Handling

The Sport model comes with a 2.0 liter, 16 valve DOHC i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine, the same engine that comes with the base model Acura RSX. This engine produces 160 horsepower at 6500 rpm and has a torque rating of 132 lbs-ft at 5000 rpm. This engine is a high-revving powerhouse that has been noted to be one of the most reliable 4-cylinder engines ever manufactured. This can be viewed as an upgrade over the LX engine, but it is a more complex engine and has more moving parts. The K20 engine is the result of Honda's extensive R&D in the area of engine manufacturing, producing a powerful engine while maintaining good fuel economy and low emission output. This engine is available for automatic or manual transmission and contributes to the best possible acceleration and top speed for the Civic. The K20 engine is favored among engine swappers and enthusiasts, and it has been a prime contributor to the popular Civic SiR and Type-R models. The engine will be the primary component that defines the Sport model as a sports car in comparison to the other Civic models.

2.2. Sport model

The LX model comes with a 1.7 liter, 16 valve, SOHC VTEC 4-cylinder engine that produces 115 horsepower at 6100 rpm and has a torque rating of 110 lbs-ft at 4500 rpm. On the automatic transmission model, the LX engine will be an 115 horsepower, 16-valve SOHC i-VTEC 4-cylinder. The difference in engine HP is insignificant because the models weigh roughly the same. However, the LX engine will have a smoother acceleration and provide better fuel economy in comparison to the Sport model engine. The LX model's estimated EPA is 32/38 for the 5-speed manual and 31/38 for the automatic. This compares to the Sport model's 30/36 for the 5-speed manual and 29/35 for the automatic (resulting in a $6-8 difference in fuel costs for an average driver traveling 12,000 miles in a year, assuming a cost of $2.00 per gallon). The LX engine's greatest advantage is its renowned reliability due to a more conventional mode of engine manufacturing and fewer moving parts. Although the LX engine sounds superior to the Sport engine in every aspect, the Sport engine does win in one category.

2.1. LX model

The performance and handling between the LX and Sport models are the most significant. Let's start by looking at the LX model.

2.1. LX model engine and performance

The engine has always been the heart of Honda's reputation and the 1.8L i-VTEC inline 4-cylinder certainly doesn't disappoint. The engine is the same one used in the previous generation Civic, making 140hp and 128lbs of torque, including drive-by-wire throttle and an Eco-Assist function, allowing slight improvements in power and fuel efficiency. The improvement in fuel efficiency is also due to the use of Honda's continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), achieving an EPA-estimated combined 33mpg (30 city/ 38 highway) with the LX compared to the 28mpg (25 city/ 35 highway) used with the 6-speed manual transmission. The CVT helps to keep the engine at an optimal rev range, improving both fuel efficiency and the engine's responsive acceleration. The LX model applies much of Honda's Earth Dreams Technology. This includes the use of a high compression piston amongst other components, reducing friction and a resulting increase in fuel efficiency. Additionally, the LX model uses an aluminum engine block, reducing mass and further helping in fuel efficiency. At the same time, the engine doesn't use premium fuel despite its high compression, saving minor cost for the driver. Honda's goal for the 9th generation Civic was to deliver driving performance equal to or better than previous generations and with the LX model, they've still done a commendable job.

2.2. Sport model engine and performance

The Sport model has some impressive engine features that help it differ greatly from the LX model. The Sport model is available with a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission, which leads me to think that it's a slightly modified version of today's 2.0L engine. This engine has been rated to have an increased peak output and is available with a refined 6-speed manual with an ultra-short shift throw or a Continuously Variable Transmission. Sadly enough, they didn't elaborate on how much power or from which range the engine did, in fact, see an increase in peak output, but we can assume it's around 10hp from the previous models from comparable increases of the Type-R and SI versions. This engine option is topped off with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for simulated upshifts and downshifts for the CVT version. This could be a nice feature for some of you. The info we were all looking for, though, is whether or not the engine option for the Sport model is going to open up the door for an Si variant in the future of this platform. From prior years, it's possible. The Sport model comes ready to factory option a turbocharger! Honda has claimed this would allow buyers to take an already lofty handling chassis and increase the power to outperform it. Any turbo Honda enthusiasts are probably all smiles now. This could be the real initial starting point to bringing the Honda Civic back to its old graces. The Si model currently has the same 1.5T engine as the regular hatchback and a coupe could possibly borrow the 1.5T while the Sport model continues with the 1.5T and the regular coupe/hatchback models use a detuned version of the engine. Time will tell, but this announcement is promising for diehard Civic fans.

2.3. Handling and suspension differences

The Honda Civic Sport model has a more tightly-tuned suspension that gives a firmer, less compliant ride compared to the LX sedan. "Tightly-tuned" is Honda's way of saying the Civic Sport will be a bit less comfortable, and this is a hallmark of its positioning versus a base-model vehicle. We found the ride to be borderline stiff, which will appeal to some consumers. Honda's chassis tuning provides great handling in return for ride comfort compromises. It's the classic sport-compromise, although Civic EX and Touring owners should be perfectly happy to give up slightly better handling in favor of a more comfortable ride. This may seem antithetical to the core Civic values of years past, but keep in mind that selling a separate, more focused model is generally easier than trying to sell the public on a "sport" variant of an existing model.

3. Interior Features and Technology

Honda has provided multiple technology features across both the LX and Sport models. The Civic now comes with an electronic parking brake as a standard for both models and no longer uses a conventional handbrake. To assist in wet weather, the base model LX now comes with automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, which is a feature that was not available even on top-line Civics in previous models. The Sport model comes with a higher resolution 7-inch display touchscreen, Honda Link, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, SMS text message function, and a camera and voice recognition. This is a huge leap in technology compared to the previous Civic and comes with no increase in price. Both models have the option to stream Pandora and are multi-angle rearview camera ready.

The Sport model has all the features that the LX model has, plus more. An 8-way power driver's seat with 2 adjustable lumbar settings and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob give a premium feel to the interior. It also has a higher quality 180-watt audio system with 8 speakers compared to the LX's 4 to provide better sound quality. The extra cargo space inside the car comes from having no spare tire due to using the tire repair kit and also a slight weight reduction of 68 lbs. Honda has provided identical safety features with no omissions in either of the models. Both the LX and Sport models provide fantastic value for the price in terms of utility and features on the inside of the car.

LX model, on the other hand, focuses on practicality and cost-saving with features such as keyless entry, a 5-inch color LCD screen, and a 160-watt audio system with 4 speakers. On the interior, it comes with integrated heating and air conditioning, a backup camera, and an adjustable driver's seat. Trunk space and utility remain the same throughout both models with 15.1 cubic feet and 60/40 split folding rear seats and an auto trunk release. Both models are also installed with Honda's latest suite of safety technology to give drivers peace of mind when on the road.

3.1. LX model interior amenities

The LX model is the base model for the 2024 Honda Civic set up. Although the EX and other models may have more in store for interior design and technology, the LX model is decent for a base model. The seats are gray cloth and the steering wheel does not have any special design on it. Both the seats and the steering wheel look to be the standard set that any car would get with no added designs. The interior is also made with a minimal carpet on the seats and a heavy plastic material for the floors. Next to the cup holder is a cheaper feeling e-brake and it is not given a center console armrest. The e-brake and center console take space for a 6-speed stick shift on the base model Hondas. The 2024 Honda Civics LX should only come in automatic and the actual LX model is not given the option in 6-speed. This specific model comes with a 7" color touchscreen that is stuck to the dash. This is an upgrade for the 5" standard that Honda gives to their base models. The touchscreen still does not look to be the center for the car and would not look right for something like GPS. Overall, the interior for the Honda LX model looks to be plain and minimal. This may be good for those who do not like have a flashy interior and want easy access to everything.

3.2. Sport model interior amenities

This particular model of the Civic offers a lot for its price in terms of interior features. The first thing that stands out when walking up to a sport model is the keyless entry and push button start, which is a nice convenience feature to start off with. The Sport model also comes with an automatic climate control, which more accurately controls interior temperature. When comparing the LX and Sport, the LX model has a manual single zone with an air filtration system, which helps keep dust and other contaminants from getting into the vehicle from the outside. The Sport model, however, has a more full feature set which, in addition to the automatic feature, has dual zone climate control. Dual zone climate control allows the driver and passengers to set and maintain their own temperatures, which is a nice feature that is often more common in higher-end vehicles. The sport model also comes with rear seat heater ducts to help alleviate cold conditions by providing warm air to the back passengers. This is a lot more effective than the LX model heater, which is basically a fan that pulls heat from the engine, while much of the heated air goes away with no specific duct system. Overall, the climate control and comfort of the cabin seems to be much better in the sport model of the Civic. Honey spotted carpet and textured aluminum pedals and a leather-wrapped steering wheel also add to the interior aesthetic and feel. One downside, especially for those in colder climates, is that the sport model only comes with cloth seats as compared to the LX, which has a standard cloth and option for heated leather. The heated seats are also accompanied by a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel. This is somewhat compensated for performance lovers as the heated cloth seats in the sport come standard with an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, while the LX model offers a 6-way. This is a benchmark in terms of comfort compared to a more standard manual adjustable seat. The sport model also features a full 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback as compared to the more standard single rear seat fold-down in the LX.

3.3. Technology features comparison

The LX model features a 5-inch color LCD screen, which is comparably small to the upgraded 7-inch touchscreen that the Sport model features. Both models feature Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and Streaming Audio, as well as speed-sensitive volume control. However, the LX model only features 4 speakers. The Sport model features 8 speakers and has an output of 180 watts, which is an improvement from the LX model. For connection ports, the LX model features a single 1.0 USB device connector, which is upgraded to a 1.5 amp port in the Sport model. With the increasing reliance on electronic devices, a higher power USB port is advantageous as it charges your device faster. The Sport model also features a 1.0 HDMI device connector and is equipped with SMS text message and email function. The LX model does not feature this function, and the 7-inch display audio system provides a better platform for the application of these technological features.

4. Pricing and Value

LX will have a starting MSRP of $21,250 and Sport will have a starting MSRP of $22,500. On average, the price difference will be $1-2k more than the LX model and this can be a deal breaker for some people. The first aspect of value that everyone should consider is the aesthetic value to the owner. LX will feature hub caps over steel wheels while Sport will have nice 5 spoke 18" alloy wheels. Although some people are not concerned with what their car looks like as long as it gets them from point A to point B, many people have a sense of pride with their vehicle and will appreciate the better looking wheels every time they approach their car. The next aspect of value is the long term reliable transportation and Honda's strong reputation. More money up front does not necessarily mean the extra $ will be worth it in terms of a better vehicle. However, the Civic Sport model will have a few features that are expected to increase its resale value down the line. These are alloy wheels, a center exhaust, and a rear chrome garnish on the trunk. Vehicles in the compact segment with these features are perceived to be sportier looking and in turn have a better resale value. For this type of reasoning, it might be seen as a better investment to spend a little extra for the Sport model.

4.1. LX model pricing and value proposition

The Honda Civic LX's manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) starts around $18,000, right in line with the rest of the category and is typically higher at dealerships. Regardless, this is excellent value considering all the car that one gets for that. That's the price for a five-speed manual transmission; an automatic adds $800. No option packages are available. The DX's price, despite the deletion of standard air conditioning and audio, is only a couple hundred dollars lower than the old LX's price. Value-oriented Civic shoppers should note that the Civic HX coupe starts just a couple of hundred higher than the LX sedan. The case for a de-contented LX, then, is really a case for an upper-level EX with its more powerful engine and nicer standard equipment. Unfortunately, Honda makes that case difficult by raising the EX's price considerably in recent years but still, when compared with other cars in the lower-mid-price category, the 2005 Civic represents a good value. Carrying a base price of around $18,000, there's a slight increase. Still, a Civic is an excellent value in the sense that it handles more like a premium compact. An LX with an automatic transmission, then, is really an ideal middle-ground compromise between saving money and not punishing oneself. For another $20 a consumer is spending per month, for example, we would highly recommend the LX over the DX because adding an automatic and audio to the DX only saves about $500 and gets one a car with several features less. An HX or VP (Value Package) may represent a better blend fuel efficiency and features but those wanting a balanced driver's car with added comfort should want little to do with those.

4.2. Sport model pricing and value proposition

Looking at the value provided in comparison to other 10th generation trims, it is again clear that the Sport model has much to offer to its prospective buyers. For those who are looking to purchase a new vehicle, but who are still quite budget conscious, the base LX model at 19.3k is a bit bare bones and doesn't include a whole lot of excitement. The extra 3.4k spent on the Sport model is a bit of a game changer and here's why. With more and more younger auto enthusiasts turning towards purchasing newer economy cars that aren't going to drain their wallets, the Sport model provides a good balance between driving a sporty car and still maintaining the affordability that the Civic has always been known for. Coming in at just over the 23k mark, the Sport model's value indeed gets a bit more questionable when comparing it to the EX and EX-L Navi trims. For those who don't wish to have a manual transmission or the firmer ride of the sport suspension, the extra features of those trims may not justify purchasing the Sport. Usually however, those types of buyers can simply choose the base LX or regular EX model. Where we feel the Sport model may not hold a truly strong value, is when comparing it to the future 2022 Si model that is intended to be positioned just above it. If it holds true that the next Si will have a small bump in power over the current R18 Civic, it might be hard to justify only a $2000 difference between the Si and Sport model.

When pondering the value of any particular trim level, it is important to look at what said model provides in comparison to others within the same generation, as well as trims in previous generations. Honda has made a smart move here with the current generation and the Sport model. Since the Si has been temporarily put on hold while Honda gears up for the 10th generation Civic, the 10th generation Sport model has essentially taken the place of the Si as an enthusiast oriented trim level. In comparison to the Si trims of the 8th generation, the current Sport model provides several improvements and special features that justify the price gap between the two. Included in the 22.7k price, the Sport model comes with the advanced performance features of manual transmission, a tightened sport suspension and dual outlet exhaust, as well as increased horsepower over the LX with the 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC engine.

The pricing and value of the Sport model is a hot topic, and rightfully so as the 2022 Sport model is a bit of a different animal than the 8th Gen Si. With an MSRP of about $22,700, some might find this number a bit lofty, considering this figure doesn't include any dealer markups or other fees. When looking at the value the Sport model provides, it is however quite obvious that it more than lives up to its price tag.

4.3. Factors to consider when choosing between LX and Sport models

LX model's pricing strategy gives buyers an initial cost savings of approximately $1700, along with the added benefit of lower future costs due to fewer repairs and lower depreciation because of its cheaper cost relative to the price of the car. Employees, managers, and anyone who spends a significant amount of time on the road may favor the LX, as these people are prone to accidents, speeding tickets, and it may not be uncommon to have their cars stolen. These unfortunate circumstances may lead one to incur substantial repair costs or cause the car to be written off, both of which the owner will want to avoid a hefty loss. This is also an excellent vehicle for sending a student off to school, as accidents with this demographic are also far from uncommon. In this particular case, the parents may be enticed to choose the Sport model, whether it is for themselves or the student, but the student's safety is clearly more important than the style of the vehicle. Therefore, the more cost-effective option of the LX would be the better choice.