Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: 2014 Honda Civic 2.0 EL MUGEN

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Editor’s Note: Click here for our review of the 2012 Honda Civic EL.

The Honda Civic is in a very peculiar situation. Next to its other stable mates: City, Jazz, and Accord, it’s quite pedestrian in every sense of the word. Designed during the 2008 economic downturn, Honda banked that buyers would opt for a simple compact sedan with solid but unremarkable virtues: spacious, frugal, and reliable. Instead, all of its competitors moved in a completely different direction, offering cars with features a class or two higher. The initial supply problems (Thai floods) didn’t help things either. And though the Civic is still selling pretty well, it’s not anymore as lauded as its predecessor (at least for critics). Knowing very well that the compact segment is shrinking and the battle getting all the more competitive, Honda rushed in to refresh the Civic this year. The question is: is it enough?

Most of the changes to the 2014 Civic happen outside. The range-topping 2.0 EL now receive a complete MUGEN body kit straight from the factory. Although some have criticized this move as “ricey”, there’s no denying that the revised look fares much better, successfully lifting the Civic out of compact sedan mediocrity. The MUGEN kit gets you spoilers including one that sprouts out the back. All in all, it highlights the Civic’s angular styling better and creates a more lasting impression than the pre-body kit 2.0 EL. With all those MUGEN emblems, you will never, ever mistake it for a 1.8-liter model. Contrary to popular opinion, the MUGEN kit doesn’t reduce the Civic’s ground clearance that much. It can still go through the usual humps and steep driveways without much of a scrape. One criticism though: given Honda is adding that dash of MUGEN magic to the Civic, they should have opted for more aggressive alloys. Don’t get it wrong, the two-tone 17-inch alloys look good, but 18-inch rollers would have done it more justice.

Controversial yet familiar at the same time, the Civic’s interior has been largely kept untouched for this update. Say what you want about the two-tiered gauge cluster’s design, but it’s actually user-friendly. It makes deciphering through the different displays much easier since important once are at driver eye level while secondary ones are slightly below. Making full use of the i-MID multi-information display, Honda is debuting a new touchscreen panel system for the infotainment system. Though it has its roots in the Touch Panel display found in the City and Jazz, the execution in the Civic is decisively more aftermarket in feel. Though the response is snappy enough, the resolution of the screen itself is clearly a notch below. The same can be said with the rear parking camera where its low light clarity is lacking. Unlike the City or Jazz’s system, the system had to reboot twice without warning and for no apparent reason. And let’s not forget that unlike Honda’s sub-compact offerings, this range-topping Civic still doesn’t have a Smart Key push button start/stop or even three-point seatbelts for all occupants (the rear center passenger only has a lap belt).

So while the new touch screen display and lack of interior tech toys make this Civic not so convincing, at least the revised interior materials are welcome. Though there’s still a good abundance of hard plastics, they are better wearing and the color palette’s much more consistent. Finally, it’s an interior befitting a P 1.2-million-plus compact (P 1,368,000 to be exact). The awful rubberized plastics have been shown the door and are replaced by high-luster piano black accents. Like any other shiny plastic surface, they are prone to scratching, but at least they won’t peel off after just a few thousand kilometers.

Because Honda engineers opted to go for simplicity and familiarity rather than cutting-edge with the Civic, they’ve eschewed any sort of engine tricks or fancy gearboxes in favor of ECU tweaks to make the Civic performance comparable to its fancier competitors. Mechanically, the 2014 Civic retains the same 155 horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed automatic transmission with roots that can be traced as far back as 2004. And while paying a princely sum for what’s essentially a decade-old drivetrain sounds crazy, at least there have been some changes to improve fuel economy. The biggest is the new ECON button that changes the throttle mapping, shift pattern, and even climate control with just the push of a button. The 2.0-liter does 9.91 km/L with ECON on and 8.28 km/L with ECON off. These are great figures considering the more advanced Mazda3 2.0 R does 10.20 km/L with idle start/stop and i-ELOOP. New for the Civic this year is cruise control. Although unused during this test drive, this is a welcome change for those who drive long distances.

With the MUGEN body kit, one expects the Civic to handle like a hot sports sedan, but it’s actually more of a warm sporty family sedan. It’s largely unremarkable. This is welcome news for those who’re looking for a “set it and forget it” car, but the select few who want an engaging driving experience will be disappointed. Sure, it’s refined and comfortable with much better NVH but in the bends, it’s a humdrum performer that neither encourages nor rewards enthusiastic driving. The steering is much more stable but feels less energetic during turn-in while the suspension has been tweaked for comfort but feels numb through corners.

Everyone puts Honda in such high regard mainly because of its reputation for producing fun-to-drive and well-engineered cars. As such, the 2014 Civic can be seen as a hiccup—a car lost in translation between design brief and execution. Although it’s still a seller, it has lost so much of its defining character. The Civic is a Civic because of the sporty experience behind the wheel. Sadly, the new Civic simply doesn’t have this. Still, kudos for Honda for trying to turn the tide with this year’s update. Adding the MUGEN kit adds a sporty style and this is certainly a step in the right direction. Now, if only Honda updates the drivetrain and the Civic will develop into a winner.

2014 Honda Civic 2.0 EL MUGEN
Ownership 2014 Honda Civic 2.0 EL MUGEN
Year Introduced 2012 (Facelift: 2014)
Vehicle Classification Compact
The Basics
Body Type 4-door sedan
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.0
Aspiration NA
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 155 @ 6,500
Nm @ rpm 190 @ 4,300
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 5 AT
Cruise Control Yes
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,525
Width (mm) 1,756
Height (mm) 1,430
Wheelbase (mm) 2,670
Curb Weight (kg) 1,272
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires 215/45R17
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors No, Reverse Camera
Exterior Features
Headlights HID
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights No
Auto Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjustment Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat No
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control Yes
Audio System Stereo
No. of Speakers 6
Steering Wheel Controls Yes


  1. Brace yourself. The ricey comments are coming.

    1. More like brace yourselves. The mazda fanboys are coming.

    2. AHAHAHA...

      L O L ! ! !

    3. I'd rather get this than mazda 3. >.>

    4. I'd rather get this than mazda 3. >.>

    5. It depends on your taste and the money that you have from your pocket. Civic is a legend, however this year Honda have'nt produce the necessary changes which can put the Civic on top again, same what they did last 2005 or 2006. Last year, I was choosing between Toyota, Honda, Mazda & Ford, and ended up purchasing the Mazda3 simply because its a total new model of Mazda3.. fresh in the eyes equipped with modern technology.

  2. Very ugly looks nothing compare to mazda 3. It looks very old car,

  3. i like hondas. I like mazdas too. Im a fanboy of both.

  4. I dont like the tail lights design

  5. This civic looks better than the mazda 3 and the altis, that's my honest opinion.

  6. Ninth generation Civic is the worst Civic ever and ugliest too. Facelifted less than a year when it was launched then facelifted another year.

    No amount of bodykits will make this car great.

    Hopefully they can make it right on the upcoming 10th generation Civic.

    1. Ugliest? I don't think so. The shittiest looking civic was the overrated Civic SIR.
      Civic EK ata tawag ng mga ricer sa body na yun.

  7. My Nissan Sylphy is way better than these ricey Honda Civic and overrated Mazda 3

    1. Hahaha. Really funny dude.

    2. Wow, really digging deep there whoever you are.

      You sure as hell are not 17Sphynx17. But hey, whatever floats your boat. The admins, kindly ban the ip address, if possible, of the one claiming to be me, 17Sphynx17. (I use that as a username for most philippine based forums). This site does not have a registration process so I can't lock in that username here.

      He just wants a dumb flame war to happen against me for some reason and I don't really know why.

    3. Buti na lang nakita mo agad. Hahaha. May galit siguro sa iyo kung sino man yan.

    4. Anonymous October 1, 2014 12:25pm

      I'm just guessing that person hails from TGPh as I've been very open and vocal about my views when it comes to cars and policies thereof.

      But this is the first time I've experienced a literal troll who wants to make it appear that I made the comment. I just don't want it to affect me in other forums where I also post. So if the admins could, kindly do so. Or can there be a registration process before posting? I really don't mind registering before I can post.

    5. Corny mo dude! Sige na nga, mas maganda na yung Sylphy mo. :D

    6. @ Anonymous October 2, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      Ikaw yung vios lover doon sa honda city review. Tumigil ka nga dyan.

  8. What? Sylphy? Better than Civic? Hahaha! Looks alone the Civic is thousand miles against your bland, dull boring Sylphy.

    What a tool!

  9. Now that the Sylphy has been mentioned, I wonder when its review is going to come out.

    If there's a car that needs a thorough review, it would have to be the Nissan Sylphy, considering its one of the newer cars out there and many are still hesitating whether its a good buy or not.

    1. I meant wondering, not hesitating. Sorry.

    2. Actually most of them know already its not a good buy. You won't see any forums comparring between the Nissan Sylphy against like the Toyota Altis, Honda Civic or Mazda 3. Even on youtube you won't see the Nissan Sylphy included in most comparo reviews against other top compact cars. It is that boring car.

      Honestly, I havent seen any Sylphy came across the road since it was launched here. Despite driving in Manila almost everyday. Sales must be lower than expected.

    3. I saw two Sylphys and yes, they're not quite the head turners. Still, its good to know what the critics think of the Sylphy.

    4. Probably inside a nearby Mall.

    5. I saw them on the road obviously, and on a separate occasion but after that, I never encountered one again. They're like mythical creatures.

      I heard the Sylphy has rear aircon vents, or is it like in the Almera where its just a fan blower? Really hope a review would be done.

    6. @Anonymous october 2,2014 11:54am

      I am 17Sphynx17 over at Tsikot forum and TGPh, not the one claiming to be here of the same alias here in carguide.

      The rear aircon vents do blow cold air but they are dependent on the fan speed of the front. They do not appear to have an independent blower from the front vents as setting it to the lowest fan speed results in very very weak air coming out of the rear aircon vents (albeit same temp with the front).

      The temperature of the rear aircon vents is also dependent on the driver side temperature setting (in case you enable the dual zone climate control). There is no way to independently control the rear aircon vents separate from the front.

      I don't know about the Almera blower though as I've never sat in the back to check. If the Almera is only blowing air that is not cold, then the Sylphy has a different system in it.

      To those that read my comment, I only am checking out this page because of the existence of someone claiming to be of the same nick/alias here in carguide. And stumbled upon this comment. I am not saying the Sylphy will be better for you than the Civic. So please keep that in mind when you do read my comment.

      Thank you.

    7. the first one to comment said

      "Brace yourselves. Ricey comments are comming."

      and then someone replied

      "more like brace yourselves. mazda fanboys are coming."




  10. @AnonymousOctober 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    We don't care man if someone is using your alias here

    Just stick around maybe Uly will release his review on the Sylphy these coming weeks

    For now stop hijacking and bragging your car on this thread A--hole!

    1. @anonymous October 2,2014 4:56pm

      Thanks if that's the case. Just was surpising that someone would deliberately do it. Not bragging, but someone asked so I thought of replying to clarify just for that item. Anyway, hope that's the end of it as well.

    2. ahaha..lol..bragging with a sylphy...


      L M F A O...


  11. I think Anonymous October 2, 2014 at 4:56 PM didn't understand the situation to well.

    Thanks for the info about the rear aircon vents.

  12. I see a pattern with the Civic that all odd numbered generations after the 5th blows. The EF and EGs were great and in their own rights the EK and FD models as well. But the 7th and current 9th gen are way below the civic standards of old. I always have a civic in my garage alongside my other cars from other manufacturers and i've kept my FD up to now (which replaced my EK) because the FB just doesn't meet my standards just like ES. I hope the 10th gen will go back to it's civic roots so that it will succeed my aging FD otherwise for the first time there won't be a honda in my garage

    1. The honda city is the new civic, if you catch my drift.

    2. honda city CAN NEVER replace NOR match "THE" (once upon a time) honda civic...

      that is " "IF" YOU catch my drift"

    3. News flash. The honda city already did, sa panahon pa lang ng civic fd, talo na siya ng honda city.

    4. oh?..really?..

      well if that's the case...

      then congratulations!...you're the car expert now...well that makes you a "CARSPURT"...

      (but honestly, you did not get my point)

      (and honestly, i disagree with your "news flash")

    5. oh?..really?..

      well if that's the case...

      then congratulations!...you're the car expert now...well that makes you a "CARSPURT"...

      (but honestly, you did not get my point)

      (and honestly, i disagree with your "news flash"...by the way where did you get your info? CARSPURT)

    6. One word: SALES

    7. SALES?!...fuck that!!!

      you know what...we're definitely NOT on the same page...

      and you know what...you are a poser...

    8. Poser? How so?

    9. how come?

      G F Y ! ! !

    10. The honda city is a better value than the civic. Mechanical parts are superior in the civic obviously but at the end of the day, the sales are where it matters and the city is way ahead of the civic.

      The overall packaging of the honda city is hard to beat. In these times, the civic is already irrelevant.

    11. this guy is obviously an asshole...im not talking about value MORON!...i'm talking about PERFORMANCE bcuz this review is about civic mugen which is dressed like a high performance car you fucking moron...



    12. If there's a moron here, that's you.

      You keep using the word "poser". I don't think you even know the meaning of that word, totally out of context. Don't try to be a smartass. For all we know you're the poser here. Trying hard ka pa mag english, mabuti pa mag tagalog ka na lang. Ang sakit sa mata ng english mo.

    13. basahin mo nga coment mo..sino ngayon ang trying hard at nagpapaka "SMARTASS"?...

      now who's the moron trying hard to be a smartass here?..WOOOO!

    14. Ok, I read my comment. Now point out what's wrong with my statement.

  13. Here's a few things that the more expensive civic should learn from the honda city:

    1. CVT transmission
    2. Better touch screen
    3. Bigger trunk space and leg room




    2. by the way...i bet you own either a fortuner or a montero...

    3. No one can understand you because you're an uneducated dumbass that's trying his best to convey his message in english but fails miserably.

      Poser poser ka pa dyan. Pwe!

    4. What the fuck? Where in the world did you come up with a conclusion that I own those vehicles?

    5. LOL! cant understand SIMPLE english?...read my comments and then read yours...now who's "TRYING HIS BEST TO CONVEY HIS MESSAGE IN ENGLISH BUT FAILS MISERABLY"?..

      all of my comments were "IN SIMPLE ENGLISH"...


      CARSPURT and at the same time GRAMMARSPURT!...

    6. You can't even understand the word "poser". What's worse, you're confident using it. Do us all a favor and shoot yourself in the head.

    7. Yeah they were simple english alright. You constructed sentences like you're in a first grade class. Congratulations to you!

      By the way, have you ever started a sentence with a capital letter? I don't intend to lecture you but damn, you really do suck at constructing sentences. Totoy, ang sakit talaga sa mata. Grabe.

    8. yeah..do us all a favor here..go fuck yourself before i shoot you in the head..

      L O L ! ! !

      masyado ka nang high blood TATANG!!!...

      ikaw naman talaga ang nag.umpisa nito e..kasi yung gusto mo lg intindihin e yung opinyon mo!..

      one more thing..comment section to!..hindi to review section na dapat nka kapital letter yung umpisa ng sentence...

      ikaw ang miserable...ikaw ang taong parang alam mo lahat at ayaw patalo e...pero ang katotohanan isa kang IGNORANTE!

      sa totoo lg..wala ka namang punto e...gusto mo lg ipagyabang siguro na meron kang honda city...



      LOL! LMFAO!

      oh relax lg...baka ma-cardiac arrest ka nyan...

    9. I didn't claim that I knew everything but one thing is for sure. I know a hell of a lot more than you.

      Besides, you can't deny that the city is a better overall package than the civic. If we're talking performance, look elsewhere because the civic, even before, sucked shit.

  14. oh boy... away na naman. ano ba yan.

    1. Hoy umpisahan mo sa capital letter yung sentence mo kung hindi pagagalitan ka rin nyan. Ayan ha naka-capital letter yung sa akin. Huwag nyo akong idamay dyan. =P

  15. We have 2 idiots yet again ruining this nice review. Please naman, huwag na kayong magpakita dito. Sayang gawa ni Uly eh. Huwag niyo na patulan ang isa't isa, kahit tingin niyo na tanga yung comment ng kabila. Everyone else here prefers to have smart conversations about cars.

    1. The three idiots. Kasali ka na doon.

    2. LOL affected way too much by Anon 529pm? Sorry sir but you just appeared to be the biggest idiot here

    3. nice one..at meron ditong may superiority complex..meron din syang issue sa sarili nya bukod sa feeler sya..hay naku..ba't ganun?

  16. Imbecile Honda Fanboys fighting each other... LMAO! :))

    My Nissan Sylphy trumps all of these you mentioned against the Civic and the City

    1. Better CVT transmission/Better acceleration
    2. Better touch screen
    3. Bigger trunk space and leg room

    No wonder the Nissan Sylphy is the best looking and fun to drive in the market today. Best on its class... :D

    1. Eto ang totoong poser.

    2. To the guy still pretending to be 17Sphynx17 here in carguide.

      What do you hope to accomplish by using my username here in carguide? Don't you have your own?

      You don't appear to have a Sylphy which is why you want to use my username as I have admitted to owning such in other forums.

      So what is the point of your attempts really? You don't add to the discussion and just want to appear arrogant.

      Is it envy? Or simply because you know you don't have any logic to stand on which is why you want to lower the discussion to your level of discourse?

      If you really think you can provide for healthy discourse, then use your own username and stop pretending to be of the same username in this site.

      A troll is a troll no matter what name he tries to hide under.

    3. Boss, yung gumagaya sa iyo at yung vios lover doon sa honda city VX review dito sa site, iisang tao lang yan.

      Troll talaga yan. Walang magawa sa buhay.

    4. @Anonymous October 6, 2014 8:49am

      Hi there. 17Sphynx17 of TGPh and tsikot forums here. Thanks for the heads up. Duda ko din na siya nagrereply ng anonymous sa ibang post niya para lang madagdagan "traffic" sa comments niya. Hindi ko maintindihan ano ba mapapala niya sa ganyan.

      Sayang lang kasi yung comments section ng carguide. Walang moderator other than Uly I guess na pwede magayos ng sitwasyon na ginugulu lang naman ng ibang tao.

      Hindi naman lahat ng comments section ng article ganito kagulu pero once pumasok yung mga pasaway, wala na talaga makakapigil sa kanila unless delete yung starting comment na pinagsimulan.

      Anyway, sana maayos pa comment section dito sa carguide. Binabasa ko pa din yung articles dito at pati din naman sa ibang site. Another point of view ika nga kung tawagin nila. And wala naman masama kung magkaiba ang pananaw ng manunulat sa iyo or sa ibang nabasa mo.


  17. Para lang katulad dati nung review sa 2014 Mazda 3.

    Umepal na naman yung naka Nissan Sylphy.

    Ata't masyado sa exposure. Hehehe.

  18. My Nissan Sylphy just won the 2014 Car of the Year in Japan

    Take that to all haters

    Nissan Sylphy best Compact Car today

    1. Get a life, you troll. Vios lover dati, ngayon nagpapanggap na naman na ibang tao. Loser talaga.

    2. Tanga mo naman, Sylphy Owner nga eh!

      Honest opinion walang kadating-dating yung Sylphy kahit saang angulo!


    3. Bobo ka ata, di marunong magbasa ng previous comments. Yang taong nagyayabang ng sylphy niya, nagpapanggap lang yan! Tignan mo sa honda city na review, siya din ang gumagawa ng gulo!

    4. I have a feeling na isang tao/bata lang ang may gawa ng mga reply na to at yun si vios fanboy.

    5. Oo nga. tingin ko rin sya yung mahilig mag thumbs down sa lahat ng comments dun sa topgear ph. makati talaga yung kamay nyan at walang magawa sa buhay. sayang mukhang matalino pa naman kaya lang di nya alam kung saan nya gagamitin. sisihin dapat dyan yung magulang nya kasi nagpakabit sila ng internet tapos hindi ginagabayan yung anak nila. sa mga magulang ni vios fanboy, tangina nyo at pinabayaan nyo anak nyo at naging salot or magiging salot n yan sa lipunan. sana maagapan nyo pa.

    6. Dapat dyan sa vios fanboy pinapalo ng kawayan ang daliri niya. Nagkukunwari pa na ibang tao. Di rin masyadong matalino eh, kasi kung talagang matalino siya, hindi sana nabisto na siya at yung fake sphynx ay iisa lang pala.

  19. The compact car segment is actually my favorite car segment.
    So please tell me which one you prefer the most.

    1. toyota altis
    2.nissan sylphy
    3.mazda 3
    4.hyundai elantra
    5.honda civic
    6.ford focus
    7.mitsubishi lancer
    8.subaru impreza
    9.kia forte

    1. If you are looking for the best compact car right now. Go for the Nissan Sylphy. Its sportier than the Focus, more elegant than the Altis, better handling than the Mazda 3 and probably the best looking too.

      I have the Nissan Sylphy 1.6 CVT and its more fuel efficient than the top of the line Nissan Sylphy. And probably as fast as the Mazda 3 2 liter on the open road. No kidding.

      So if you want value for money go get a Nissan Sylphy. You won't regret having one of this beast.





    3. The vios loving kid/fake sphynx needs to stop. Its not funny. Its extremely annoying. Stop trolling and get a life.

  20. 17Sphynx17 and AnonymousOctober 19, 2014 at 6:31 PM are in the same IP address

  21. What's the actual ground clearance with this mugen variant? Kung 140mm or less, baka sasabit ang body kits.

    1. According to Honda, the ground clearance hasn't changed from the pre-MUGEN body kit. Ground clearance is 150-mm shared between the MUGEN and the Modulo models.

    2. I think Honda measured the civic mugen's 150 mm ground clearance based on the stock form.. With bodykits installed, the ground clearance would be reduced to more or less 140 mm, which is manageable enough on most road conditions...

    3. Hi, at 140-150mm, you will have trouble dealing with most non standard wheel stoppers in parking areas. It is best to back in to the slot rather than park head first as your front bumper will tend to clip the top of the wheel stopper and be "Stripped off" as you back out.

      Just my advice if you are going to work with that low a ground clearance.

      Doesn't make it a bad car but just best to know what to expect with that setup

    4. Happened to me once when I was parking our honda city. I thought the wheel stopper was low enough so I parked front first. The bumper popped out just when we were leaving. Establishments should follow a standard for wheel stoppers and speed bumps. They can cause harm to the underside of cars with low ground clearances. These establishments must be fined for not complying should there be a regulation for this in the future.


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