You’ll recall that shortly after the 2012 Honda Civic landed on our collective consciousness like a half-pound bucket of Play-Doh dumped onto a tabletop—soft, amorphous, just lying there, and with even less play value—the company hastened a refreshed 2013 model. We characterized the compact sedan’s exterior and interior styling upgrades and tautened steering and suspension as baby steps that made the Civic “28 percent closer to the car Honda should have built in the first place.”
It turns out Honda didn’t think the job was finished, either, so we have a 2014 Civic sedan with further alterations. Changes are most extensive for the performance-oriented Si model that didn’t benefit so much last year. Still, the sedan range (base LX, HF, EX, EX-L, and EX-L with Navi—Honda regards the Si as a separate model) gains three useful if not particularly dramatic enhancements: A freer-flowing exhaust squeezes three more horsepower and one more lb-ft from the 1.8-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder (now with 143 horses and 129 lb-ft); a CVT replaces the aged five-speed automatic to eke out a bit more fuel efficiency; and a new, more capable seven-inch touch-screen audio and navigation system takes center stage on the dashboard. The latter allows you to talk to and, for all we know, fall in love with Siri, provided the Bluetooth device you’re linked with is an Apple iPhone 5 or newer.