There are certain cars that, even in a eventuality of a sum fall of civilization and humanity’s skirmish into a post-apocalyptic hellscape, will still be sole by a tens of thousands any month. The Honda Civic is one of them. But even nonetheless a Civic’s sales are as certain as genocide and taxes, when was a final time one was unequivocally value buying?
(Full disclosure: Honda sent me a 2016 Civic with a full tank of gas for a week.)
I had this examination with a crony in a marketplace a few years back. She had a Civic once, afterwards a fibre of hapless tiny General Motors sedans, and wanted a Civic again. Our contention went thusly:
Me: The Civic’s always an fine choice, yet have we deliberate a Mazda 3? It’s my favorite, and…
Her: Nope. Honda Civic. Four doors, automatic.
Me: Well, sure, yet also a Hyundai…
Her: No. Civic. CIV-IC.
Me: Yes, yet these days Ford…
Her: CIVIC CIVIC CIVIC.
And so on, given Civics are customarily those cars that people buy as a matter of course. Honda contingency have figured that out, given a final Civic—and substantially a one before that—was a entirely phoned-in product.
It still sole well, given it was a Honda Civic, yet it was a extravagantly uncompetitive, boring, low-tech charity in a shred it once led though question. Even the puncture update didn’t assistance it to not suck, and nonetheless a automobile still sole 335,000 copies final year. Somehow.
Honda aims to do even improved with a all-new 2016 Civic. And after spending a week in one, we can tell we Honda hasn’t customarily succeeded, they strike a enormous home run.
Honda seemed peaceful to nuke all and start over, and that starts with a design. Gone is a Civic sedan’s long-running three-box snoozefest; it’s transposed with a tapered, faux-hatchback/coupe look, even nonetheless it is unequivocally most a sedan with a case and not a hatch.
Honda’s gigantic, repulsive front defense aside, we like a approach a automobile looks. It’s a initial Honda Civic that’s even remotely visually engaging given that uncanny aged Civic Si hatchback of a early 2000s. Some have likened it to an Accord Crosstour; we consider that’s a bit harsh. It’s not as elegant-looking as any of a stream Mazdas, yet it’s distinguished and different.
Striking! Different! Honda Civic? Waaaaaaah? Stranger things have happened.
My tester was a installed top-trim Civic 1.5T Touring model. It sported a new 1.5-liter turbo 4 with 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. In 2016 we find ourselves in an epoch where a tip engine is a smaller turbo one; a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter 4 goes on a bottom car, yet it’s had some problems lately.
The 1.5 turbo’s a one we wish anyway. It’s no old-school VTEC high-rev screamer, yet it provides loads of midrange torque good for discerning city maneuvers or highway pulls. It’s a smooth, punchy, able engine that never once felt underpowered or like a inexpensive economy automobile motor.
Instrumented contrast during Car and Driver puts a 0 to 60 mph time during 6.8 seconds, that is unequivocally not bad during all. Faster than a final Civic Si, apparently! The indicate is, a Civic is finally flattering fun to expostulate again, and that in and of itself is a win.
Right now, however, a customarily delivery choice with a 1.5 turbo is a CVT; a primer is coming, and one can be had now on a 2.0 bottom engine. The thing is, a CVT here is really not that bad.
I know that’s like observant “I have one of a some-more preferable forms of irked bowel syndrome,” yet hear me out. This CVT does a good pursuit of simulating a “step-down” feeling underneath acceleration you’d get with a required automatic, generally during turnpike speeds. Around town, it’s a tad some-more sluggish.
There are no paddles or a rigging push to copy a act of shifting, like Subaru offers, yet Honda’s CVT is a improved unit, some-more bearable and reduction frustrating to drive. Of all a CVTs I’ve sampled, this one worried me a least. we didn’t mind it much. Would we still advise we to wait for a primer version? Absolutely.
Inside, it’s tasteful, clean attractive, and unequivocally clearly directed during tech-savvy younger buyers; it’s a outrageous step adult from a aged Civic’s explosion of screens everywhere. But it has a quirks. There’s no earthy buttons for a A/C controls, customarily a symbol that says “climate” and triggers those operations on a hold screen. There’s no radio volume buttons on a lurch when a large hold shade is opted for, either. And that slidey volume switch on a left side of a steering wheel? You’ll strike that with your ride a lot by mistake.
But overall, it’s a good place to spend time. Most of a plastics and other materials feel upscale. Like a engine, this new Civic never feels inexpensive on a inside. The seats are morally bolstered and there’s a ton of room in a behind seat.
Speaking of, we couldn’t shake how uncanny it felt that this new Civic got so big. Unlike millions of other drivers, we never owned a Civic; yet my initial automobile was an early 2000s Corolla, a competitor, and this new Civic is by comparison wider, taller and longer than that by roughly half a car. If you’re used to a Civic being a “small” car, a approach this one feels some-more like an Accord is kind of unsettling.
Despite being heavier and bigger than a automobile it replaces, it’s some-more fun to drive. The steering is light and accurate, turn-in is comparatively quick, and it’s plain and stoical during all times. It can’t utterly compare a dynamics of a stream king, a Mazda 3, yet it’s in a same ballpark. Better than we could contend for a final one.
Where it does measure a large win is all a tech, that I’m certain will assistance with those desired immature buyers. Hell, I’m a final chairman to covet a garland of tech facilities in my car, yet even we walked divided tender with a side perspective camera that engages when we flip your spin vigilance right, radar journey control, puncture auto-braking, lane-keeping assist, and Apple CarPlay (a apart examination of that is entrance yet it beats a ruin out of all a other infotainment systems out there, including Honda’s, that is since we didn’t disaster with that much.)
I incited a lot of those reserve nannies off, yet a fact that they could be had on a common Civic during all is utterly impressive.
The new Civic starts during $18,640. Those reserve features, and leather, sunroof, front AND back exhilarated seats, a reward audio system, and some-more put it during $27,335, loaded.
You are removing a LOT of automobile during that price, and a automobile that happens to be lissome and fun to drive, engaging to demeanour at, and hopefully Honda-reliable. Fuel efficient, too. we managed 30 MPG in a week of churned highway and city driving, and Lord knows we don’t expostulate slow. All of that together is adequate to make me indeed wish to suggest a Civic to people again.
More than that, we missed this Civic when we had to partial with it. That customarily usually happens when I’m in an F-Type or something, yet versed during this turn during this price, a new Civic was a automobile I’d be flattering happy to live with and expostulate each day. You’re going to see these everywhere, given it’s a Honda Civic, yet a buyers indeed finished a intelligent preference this time around.
I would, however, cite cave with somewhat improved handling. And a manual. And maybe an Si chronicle north of 220 HP. Or the full-on Type R diagnosis for America, finally.
Oh wait, we’re indeed removing those things later. You finished alright, Honda. You finished alright.