Should You Take the Honda Civic Off-Road?

The Honda Civic will do you right as a daily driver but it’s worth looking elsewhere for an off-road vehicle. Read more here.
Written by Cassandra Hamilton
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
background
The
Honda Civic
is one of the most popular sedans of all time, and for good reason. This car is known for its reliability and practicality, but if you’re looking for an off-roading champion, you’ll need to move along.
Does the idea of tearing through the woods to your favorite mudhole fill you with excitement? Does your job require you to power through gravel and rocks to reach the worksite? If off-roading is a major part of your life, you’re going to need a vehicle that can keep up. What are the markers to look for to determine great off-road performance, though?
Jerry
isn’t just a
car insurance
comparison
super app
—we’ve also got a great guide on off-roading in a Honda Civic that will help you decide if the Civic is right for you or not. We’ve got information on ground clearance, torque, and details on how those factors and more play into what makes a vehicle great for off-roading.
icon
Make safe driving pay
Get rewarded for safe driving. Earn points and unlock benefits. Totally free.
Start earning now

Can the Honda Civic go off-road?

No, the Honda Civic needs to stay on the pavement to keep it in good working condition. If you’re looking for a reliable daily driver that’s great on gas and has enough room for the whole family, the Honda Civic is a great choice—just not for those off-road camping adventures. Take it down a trail and you’ll find yourself with a hefty repair bill.
A new Honda Civic won’t break the bank starting at $22,550. This sedan combines practicality and sports styling into a sedan that offers the best of both worlds. In short, the Civic is fun to drive and easy to care for.
Let’s go over the factors that make a vehicle the right choice for off-roading and how the Honda Civic compares.

Ground clearance

One crucial aspect of off-roading is a vehicle’s ground clearance. Ground clearance is the measurement between the vehicle’s lowest point and the ground. The Honda Civic has a ground clearance of 6.7 inches.
The vehicles that are best suited to off-roading have ground clearances between 8.8 and 10.8 inches, so you can see how the Honda Civic doesn’t quite measure up. Drivers whose vehicles have high ground clearances can get over rough terrain without damage to their undercarriages.
You could get away with a ground clearance of 8.5 inches, but that’s the bare minimum! This is just one reason why taking your Honda Civic off-road is a bad idea.

Torque

Another thing off-roading vehicles need is lots of power at low speeds to get them across obstacles and over rough terrains. You want your off-roading vehicle to have high low-end torque, which is a lot of torque at low RPMs. Your vehicle’s torque tells you how much turning power your vehicle has, which is extremely important in off-roading—far more than speed.
The Honda Civic’s 2.0-liter I4 engine has 138 lb-ft @ 4200 RPM. If you’re not sure what that means, here’s the sum-up: there’s not enough power for off-roading here.

Tires

The Honda Civic comes standard with P215/55HR16 tires. This is no surprise because these are practical all-season tires, which are a great choice for daily drivers. All-season tires balance performance and durability against longevity and ride feel.
All-season tires aren’t durable enough for off-roading. If you’re taking a vehicle off-road, you’re better off buying hardy
all-terrain tires
.

Drivetrain

When it comes to off-roading, the best drivetrain options are AWD and 4WD. These enable each individual tire to gain traction independently of one another, which is important in case not all the tires are making contact at the same time. 
The Honda Civic has FWD, which only gives power to the front wheels. If you find yourself in a position where your front wheels are in the air, you’re stuck!

Angles

Important angles in off-roading are the approach angle and the departure angle:
  • Approach angle: The maximum angle at which a vehicle can climb without interference 
  • Departure angle: The maximum angle at which a vehicle can descend without interference
The Honda Civic has not had its approach or departure angles officially measured and you’d be lucky to find such information. That’s a big reason why you should keep your Honda Civic on the pavement. 
The minimum angle for mild off-roading is at least 20 degrees, with more of an angle required as the terrain roughens. It’s not recommended to go off-road if you don’t know the approach and departure angles of your vehicle.

Off-road rating: Don’t Try It

We’ve rated the Honda Civic using
Jerry’s
super-technical DIRT rating system, broken down in the table below:
Rating
Meaning
Description
D
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
I
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
R
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
T
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
Compare quotes from 50+ insurers with Jerry in under 45 seconds?
icon4.7/5 rating on the App Store | Trusted by 5+ million customers and 7 million cars
icon4.7/5 app rating | Trusted by 5M+ drivers
The Honda Civic earns a D rating for off-roading. This practical sedan is well-suited for many activities and chores, but off-roading is not one of them. If taking your vehicle off-road is of the utmost importance to you, consider purchasing a vehicle designed for off-roading, like a
Toyota 4Runner
or
Jeep Wrangler
.

The best alternatives to the Honda Civic

Maybe you’re not the off-road type and are more than happy to keep your Honda Civic on solid ground. If you’re not excited by the Civic but are looking for something with similar vibes, we’ve got some suggestions.
These are the best alternatives to the Honda Civic:
Alternative
Model
Price
Description
Best economy alternative
Nissan Versa
$15,380
Same reliability and performance as a Civic with fewer features and options at a major price break.
Best off-road choice
Subaru Crosstrek
$22,245
The Crosstrek comes standard with AWD and a ground clearance of 8.7 inches.
Best upscale option
Mazda3
$21,150
Mazda strives to give their customers the most luxury features for their dollar and they’ve found success with the Mazda3.
MORE: Cheap off-road trucks
rating reverse-full
"I’m earning
awesome rewards
every week, just for driving safe!”

How to find affordable car insurance for your Honda Civic

Insuring a vehicle for off-roading is expensive due to the risk the vehicle takes on when going off the road. Insuring a Honda Civic is expensive too—Civic insurance is higher than the national standard! Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an easy way to save on car insurance?
That’s
Jerry
’s cue—Jerry is a car insurance comparison super app specially designed to make shopping for affordable insurance easier than ever. It takes less than two minutes to get great quotes after entering some basic information. Once you choose a quote, the expert team at Jerry will set up your new policy and help cancel your old one.
It doesn’t stop there though—the average Jerry user saves $800 per year or more on their car insurance! All that in less than two minutes? It might be time to sign up.
Jerry
was spot on. I’m young with one rear end on my record. Still, they dropped my monthly insurance rate from $468 to $250. This really saved me money.” —Jason M.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings