By on October 28, 2015

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (15 of 34)

2016 Honda Civic Sedan

2-liter K20 DOHC I-4, i-VTEC, port injection (158 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm, 138 lbs-ft @ 4,200 rpm)

1.5-liter DOHC I-4, turbocharged, direct injection (174 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm, 162 @ 1,800-5,500 rpm)

6-speed manual transmission [2.0] or Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) [2.0, 1.5T]

27 city/40 highway/31 combined (EPA Rating, MPG) [2.0 6MT]

31 city/41 highway/35 combined (EPA Rating, MPG) [2.0 CVT]

31 city/42 highway/35 combined (EPA Rating, MPG) [1.5T CVT]

Price: $19,475-27,335* (U.S.)/$17,585-$28,685 (Canada)

* All prices include $835 destination fee (U.S.) or $1,595 destination fee, PDI and A/C tax where applicable (Canada).

It only took Honda 15 years to get the Civic right again.

After Honda, a company known for engineering prowess in the 1990s, attempted to make the Civic a more palatable option for plain jack and janes — enthusiasts either hung on to what they had or went elsewhere.

To me, the last real Civic was the sixth-generation model, which Honda sold from 1996 to 2000. It was also the last generation that Honda sold as an honest to goodness hatchback in North America. Sure, the British-built Si came to our shores later, but you needed to shell out big bucks for Honda’s pride and joy from Swindon.

Thankfully, the automaker is going back to its roots — 15 years in the past — to deliver a driving experience I’ve missed since saying goodbye to my 2000 Honda Civic Coupe many, many years ago.

And, to top it all off, there are now two flavors — regular and turbocharged.

To get to a 10th generation, a nameplate needs to have good roots — and the Civic does. Starting in the 1970s, the Civic entered the market technologically ahead of the rest. Its CVCC engine, a marvel of emissions-cheating wonder and a curse for mechanics afraid of vacuum lines, would go on to show the domestics that imports could play to the clean air regulations better than Detroit — and right on their doorstep, too.

Fast-forward to now, Honda has been behind its rivals when it comes to whiz-bang engine technology. The Japanese automaker has become a more conservative, risk-averse company. For many years, it was hard to find the fun that made the Civic popular in the first place.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (27 of 34)

The 2016 Civic sedan is a foreshadowing of the entire Civic lineup. Honda’s compact will be released first in four-door guise before again spawning coupe and hatch variants at various points on the Scoville scale: normal, Si, and Type R.

Say what you want about the Acura-fication of the Honda’s nose, but nothing can be worse than the phoned-in front end of the last generation.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (25 of 34)

Would you just look at that cute little pug face?

Sure, it’s a bit awkward, but so was the new Corolla when it debuted, and the Chevrolet Cruze, and virtually every other other modern vehicle that has attempted to strike its own chord in an automotive market increasingly filled with sameness. The compact segment doesn’t need another rhythm guitarist. It needs a lead player; someone that can pluck notes in new and intriguing ways.

The new Honda “wing” grille aside, Civic does make use of LED daytime running lights like almost every other car these days. In top Touring trim (pictured above), you can get full LED headlights instead of the standard projector beam lighting.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (16 of 34)

Around to the side, the new Civic shows its growth, bordering on midsize sedan territory. While the car is longer overall, the front overhang is actually shorter than the outgoing model. The rear, however, gives the Civic most of its extra length and accompanying additional cargo room. That extra length also allows for some interesting packaging in the passenger cabin, but we will get to that later.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (26 of 34)

The rear of the new Civic is just as polarizing as the front. Its new LED tail lamps are massive and futuristic. The top-most inner points of those lights blend into a built-in spoiler that ties the sides together. For the first time, Civic gets dual exhausts when paired with the turbo engine (normally aspirated 2-liter models still get the single exhaust), though they are hard to notice as they’re tucked away under the lower bumper for aero efficiency. Also, since the new Civic will be sold in Europe, there’s a large, flat area for those long, skinny European licence plates.

Considering how wild the normal Civic looks now, it will be interesting to see how Honda visually sets apart the future Si and Type R models.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (19 of 34)

The Civic has never been a car with the best interior. Either it has been completely utilitarian or, like the last generation, cluttered.

Honda has tried to clean things up a bit. Gone is the two-tier dash and, for better or worse, Honda has removed as many physical controls as possible. That means there is still no volume knob in upper trims (though it does make an appearance on models equipped with the basic display audio system). There’s also no tuning knob.

However, where Civic has nailed it is in comfort.

The driving position is almost infinitely adjustable. In no other car have I been able to sit that low in the cabin, unless it was a sports car. Also, since the driver’s seat is mounted so low, rear passengers are given an almost theater-like position that provides a view of the road ahead. Oh, and there’s more headroom, which means 6-feet and taller passengers ride comfortably — and I mean comfortably — in the rear seat.

An extra 3.2 cubic feet is earmarked for passengers within the Civic’s new wrapper. And if you’re the type of person who carries around multiple hockey bags in the trunk, an extra 2.65 cubic feet of space is dedicated for that purpose.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (23 of 34)

Honda has thrown more technology at the Civic than a Google engineer does at a San Francisco Victorian resto-mod home.

Infotainment, while not completely new, does feature Apple CarPlay (which I’ve glowingly spoken of before) and Android Auto (which I got to use for the first time in the new Civic). Both are stellar. Android Auto is better if you want a fuller feature set, but that requires owning an Android phone which is totally uncool. In addition to the new Silicon Valley riders, Garmin was tapped to develop Honda’s new navigation system, which is also excellent.

Those looking to pump tunes will be glad to hear there is a 10-speaker (including subwoofer), 450-watt audio system fitted in Touring models. Lesser trims receive either a 160-watt, 4-speaker or 180-watt, 6-speaker setup.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (22 of 34)

Moving away from the center console, the Civic is fitted with a new LCD-based instrument panel that comes with a number of different pages including a driving computer (for mileage, etc.), smart maintenance monitor, audio (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, too), and navigation and telephone displays. Lesser trims are given a more basic LCD arrangement with analog tachometer.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (33 of 34)

Honda has put a renewed focus on safety with a new suite of active features to keep you out of trouble. Called Honda Sensing, the features can be added to almost any Civic as an options package or as standard equipment in upper trims, and includes Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (8 of 34)

In a world of downsizing and turbocharging, Honda is both following the market and going against it. What does that even mean?

Well, the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine found in the current Civic is gone. Goodbye. In its place is a larger 2-liter K-series VTEC motor with 158 horsepower (+15) and 138 lbs-ft of torque (+9). Those in the tuning community will be incredibly interested by the new base model motor as it will be the basis of the next Type R power plant. When we asked “How much boost can it take?”, the powertrain engineer attending the launch said, “Lots. Much boost.” So, there you have it.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (34 of 34)If you don’t want to build a turbo setup for your Civic, Honda will do it for you in the form of a new 1.5-liter non-VTEC turbocharged four-cylinder mill good for 174 horsepower and 162 lbs-ft of torque. While it doesn’t have the high output numbers or the manual transmission option of Volkswagen’s 1.8T, the new 1.5 turbo is more than adequate for the Civic, even if its paired exclusively with a continuously variable transmission.

And about that transmission and engine, power delivery is oddly smooth for a turbo mill because of the CVT. Put your foot down and it scoots, but in a way that takes all the torquey lumps out of the power delivery. Foot flat to the floor, there will never be wheel spin, but top trims of Civic aren’t about who can leave the tallest elevens on the pavement.

That said, the 2-liter mill with the six-speed manual is a sweet pairing. Shifts are just heavy enough to make it feel a little racy, but not so heavy that you’ll be looking to get a gym membership after your first drive. Same goes for the clutch; engagement is crisp but forgiving. Also, you can hear VTEC kick in, because that’s important yo.

Fuel economy for the two mills is scarily similar, though you can eke out a little more distance from a tank of dino juice with the turbo (as long as you stay out of the boost). With the manual, the Civic is rated at 31 mpg combined. Both the 2- and 1.5-liter mills are rated at 35 mpg combined when paired with the CVT, though the turbo gets one more mile per gallon on the highway cycle for a total of 42.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (5 of 34)

It must be said the new Civic is just that — new. Forget your preconceived notions based on the last couple of generations. The 10th-generation Civic is a 10 at least when it comes to the driving experience.

Power isn’t the ultimate headline, but it never has been with the Civic. Instead, you feel much more involved in the act of driving, even if the car is dutifully handling a bit of that for you. Stability was Honda’s top goal for the new Civic and it shows. On-center feel is excellent and its suspension is confidence inspiring in longer sweepers and tighter corners. You won’t be setting a record lap time on the ‘Ring, but you’ll at least have fun attempting to do so.

Thankfully, the Civic doesn’t punish you for that confidence either. The ride is still be totally acceptable to the plain jack and janes.

Honda says this is the “epic Civic.” I think the jury is still out on that. However, if my short time with Honda’s newest compact is any indication of what’s to come, we could be in for a whole new generation of Civicnation.

Pricing for the new Civic starts at $19,475 and goes up to $27,335 in the United States. Production of Civic has just started at Honda’s two North American Civic plants — Alliston, Ontario and Greensburg, Indiana — and first-run units should arrive at dealers in November.

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104 Comments on “2016 Honda Civic Sedan First Drive Review – Pick Your Flavor...”

  • avatar

    Now that is a good looking civic. Maybe this can by my next car. When I get a real job, I mean. :p

  • avatar

    I’m not really in the market for this car, tho as a 90s kid who grew up in a 91 Accord EX with a stick and loved it when I started driving, plus a kid with many friends with 90s Civics, I to this day still have a soft spot for a Honda and can appreciate what the cars have become.

    But know what interests me most in this car?? We are about to get a real world comparison of smaller displacement turbo engines and larger displacement NA engines. And I’m excited to see how real world mpg will compare.

    I enjoy the torque from something like a 2.0L VW gasser, but I must admit the simpleton in me also appreciates an engine that stays simpler and builds power the way a normally aspirated engine does. I’m the one who laments the loss of 6 cylinders being replaced with turbo 4s. I get the torque, I get the power delivery, I get the more power with the 4+turbo, but I still remain highly skeptical real world mpg between a V6 and turbo 4 of similar power really exists in any meaningful way and the turbos just score better in tests while giving up smoothness and luxury feel you can only get from more cylinders.

    So yeah, a guy who doesn’t care too much about mpg is excited to see the real world mpg in a new Honda Civic.

    • 0 avatar

      I just don’t like Turbo because this is extra parts

      • 0 avatar

        More things to break, plus the smaller engine is going to work harder PLUS force-feeding = reduced longevity and possible increases in maintenance and repair costs, while potentially giving less mpgs when it’s not being asked to game the numbers on a test.

        This has been my basic argument against these zinging gerbil-wheeled whatevers all along. I’ve only added my political angles to it when O-you-know-who executive-ordered impossible CAFE numbers, which forced the auto companies into this gamesmanship to be able to boost their numbers up enough to say “we’re trying,” thus giving themselves negotiating leverage for “real-world” numbers in the high-30s/low-40s, as has been discussed.

  • avatar

    Looks just like the new Cruze and kind of like the new Malibu, but most cars do resemble each other, so that’s no big deal.

    Now, if this really IS a car driving enthusiasts like, it’ll take about two weeks for the boy-racer crowd to start screaming for fart cans, various poorly-fitting primer gray body aero panels and wings, not to mention blue neon underneath, and illegally-tinted-already-turning-purple window tints because they were using Windex to clean them with!

    Anything I missed?

    Anyway, sure is nicer-looking than the current Civic, so that’s a good thing!

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t forget using black spray paint ruining perfectly good alloy wheels to give them that ghetto look.

    • 0 avatar

      Hopefully they’ll wait until the Si comes out because as was pointed out by a professional tuner on “” after him having seen a cut-down of the engine, that turbo mill isn’t going to do very well with any aftermarket tweaking; in particular, the connecting rods are a bit thin. It should be OK in normal use, but unlike even the K20 in the LX, that 1.5T is not overbuilt.

    • 0 avatar

      TBH, to me this looks like a 2012 Altima with modern day enhancement surgery.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think I’ve seen a Honda past about model year 2005 that has had any of those stupid mods, and certainly not done to a brand new car. I guess stereotypes die hard.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque

    If there’s 3.2 cu.ft more interior room, then the Civic is firmly midsize (~98.1 cu.ft). In fact, National Resources Canada now uses the same volume calculations as the US and lumps the Corolla with the Camry and Avalon in the midsize passenger category.

    Because heaven help you for buying a compact car like an ILX or TSX.

  • avatar

    I just wish they’d change the name of this Civic to “Accord” and the Accord to, I dunno, whatever “Cressida” or “Avalon” would be in Honda-speak. Maybe bring back Vigor? Use the Japanese Inspire nameplate?

    Bottom line: this looks more like an Accord than a Civic to me. Then again, I’m from a generation where compact cars used to be compact.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree, its very Accordy and looks too big to be a “Civic”.

      • 0 avatar

        Isnt the new Civic built on the Accord platform?

        Talk about redundancy!

        • 0 avatar

          The Civic and Accord will share a common platform going forward a la the VW MQB platform. Probably one sausage, different lengths, and based on the new FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel-cell car being shown now, the general design language of this Civic will probably translate to the next Accord.

          Which is OK as long as the overall quality of the Accord, which has always been a step above the Civic, doesn’t diminish. (Kind of like the Integras of yore, which were Civic-sized, but Accord-quality on the inside.)

      • 0 avatar

        But is it… SportyAccordy!

    • 0 avatar

      The new Civic has a wheelbase of 106″, which is closer to the Euro-spec Accord (106.5″), better known in the U.S. as the TSX. The U.S. Accord is still a bit larger.

      So we now have a Civic that aspires to be a TSX, which in turn aspired to be an Integra successor. If a new ILX would be built on this Civic platform, well… we just might have something interesting from Acura. :)

  • avatar

    Glad to hear the new Civic drives better. Back in 2001, I was in the market for a car in this size range. I drove the Civic, the best way I can describe how it drove is with an analogy. Does anyone remember generic products? They were always packaged with a white label, with the description of the product in plain block print, such as “Paper Towels” or “Beer”, and no obvious branding, but a prominent bar code. That’s how the 2002 Civic I tested drove. They should have all been painted white with a prominent barcode, and the hood badge should have said “Car”.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s not much in this category that will give you an exciting or characterful driving experience, so I’m curious what you settled on.

      I’ve never driven the 7th generation which you drove FF, and I’ve only driven the Si from the 9th, but I own an 8th-gen, and yeah, it’s just a penalty box like any other, plus some extra noise, driven slowly.

      But, if you actually try to use it, it will do with only moderate prodding what some other cars will fight to the bitter, understeering end to prevent. Suspension tuning is not really a problem as mine takes a set and rides the dampers just fine, even after 100k miles, it’ll rotate if you want it to, and it’s plenty stable at speed- I plan to go square or toed-out rear on my next alignment (if I keep it that long) because I want more movement.

      So that said, the section on driving dynamics rings hollow to me. What’s actually improved? The second paragraph in particular sounds like it could have been written without actually driving the car. Stability was their “top goal”, it’s “confidence inspiring” [sic] and thus now “fun”. That all sounds like a contradiction to be honest, stability and fun aren’t necessarily synonymous. If it’s quieter and more powerful that’s enough to solve its biggest problems, but if you want to say that the previous versions handled badly and now this one does not, I’m going to want a little more to go on.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed on all points.

        How does it compare to the Mazda3 and Focus?

      • 0 avatar

        The post-90s non-Si Civics were never anything to write home about as far as driving dynamics go, but neither were many of its competitors. We still had cars like the Prelude and Celica around to draw in those looking for engagement. The Mazda 3 I think is the one that busked the trend, and everybody else has been playing catch-up as far as that’s concerned. I still think the 8th gen Si is the last good Civic, but this one looks to be extremely competent and with the push towards inclusion of real luxury features and full feature infotainment in the C segment, I’d be happy to DD one.

      • 0 avatar

        What I wound up with was a Mark I Focus, which had a marvelous chassis that was enjoyable even at moderate speeds. Like I said to a friend of mine, you know you got the right one when you speed up for turns.

        I kept it for 12 years and didn’t have any major issues. There were two plastic cooling system parts that had to be replaced twice, and the clutch master cylinder had to be replaced twice as well, but that was about it until the 10 year mark, at which time I was typically having a $600 repair each of the last few years. I’m guessing that the Civic would have been a bit less expensive to repair, but the Focus was a good bit less expensive to purchase.

        I did drive the 2014 Focus when I went looking for a car last year, but didn’t find it nearly as enjoyable.

        • 0 avatar

          I had a similar experience back in 2006. I drove a non-Si Civic, because I could not find a dealer who would let me test-drive an Si, and found it to be an appliance, point A to point B car, totally lacking in character. I wound up with a 2007 Focus ST, which I still have and still adore. I would not even have looked at the Focus except that a lowly rental Focus I drove for a week was a true joy to drive.

          I recently looked at the latest crop of compacts, and decided to upgrade my Focus instead, and plan on keeping it until it gets too demanding of repairs.

          I may have wound up in a Civic Si at the time, but with dealers being too proud of them and the Focus being so cheap at $14k(after rebates and below invoice pricing), while being a true joy to drive, it just didn’t happen.

          May have to give the Civic another shot in a few years…

          • 0 avatar

            I should say, never would I ever defend the non-Si 8th-generation Civic as a strong proposition for the performance-oriented driver. It has some headroom at its limits, so to speak, where it never really seems to fall apart and become unpredictable, but it doesn’t exactly handle well. Put it on its nose aggressively and turn in carefully and it can do good things, but if you’re just messing with off-ramps you’d better be willing to devote some attention to it or you’ll look like an idiot (ask me how I know.) Its most remarkable trait is the amount of abuse the important parts can withstand; some interior bits might feel a bit thin, but the suspension and drivetrain are built for some hard cycles.

            I’ve heard only great things about the first generation of Focus, but when I had to buy my Civic, both the Focus and Mazda3 were in their dark ages, wherein the former didn’t even have folding side mirrors (I mean **** you Ford, seriously? I’d have replaced a few of those by now,) and brand new Mazdas were still rusting through in two years or so. Wanted an Impreza but the CPO options in my area were sketchy and inconsistent, so I went with the safest choice that wasn’t a Corolla, because I’ve had one of those too, and I’ll fight anyone who likes that car.

            This whole segment is about compromise. If you want a small sedan, with four doors, for small money, you’re not going to get a sports car, or a luxury car, or a lot of space. Honestly this new Civic looks pretty legit: it has more power and it’s quieter by all accounts, and these were the pressing issues with previous generations. Our trusty auto-journalists are even saying that it handles GREAT! Which is GREAT! But, if you’re going to tell me this is bigger, quieter, and also a vastly superior dynamic proposition, I’m going to want details or I’ll assume shenanigans.

          • 0 avatar

            “but the suspension and drivetrain are built for some hard cycles.”

            I think this may be one of the biggest changes in Honda’s moving away from their fabled double wishbone front end, a big jump in durability. “Za Rulem” (Behind the Wheel) Russia’s Car and Driver and Consumer Reports rolled into one, lauded the 8th-9th generation of Civics has having a remarkably sturdy suspension that can be run into high mileage territory even on Russian roads before it needs any attention. Wheel bearings, ball joints, tie rod ends, control arm bushings, all last a very long time. Older DWB Hondas were always a bit weak with ball joints and tended to tear CV boots earlier than similar era Toyotas.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I’m loving the Russian perspective of durability on moonscape roads. I wonder how the much adored Mazda3 would hold up over there?

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I agree entirely. I tried a 2008 Civic back then and have occasionally driven an in-law’s and I didn’t connect with them at all. It’s a fine car, but dull in a way the car magazines refused to acknowledge.

            A rental 2007 Focus was my first eye opener into what basic driver involvement is. Even at city speed that car had a personality and spunkiness to it. I couldn’t believe that I was smiling taking right-handers through downtown San Jose.

          • 0 avatar

            Mazda 3s are okay, more or less. Mazda’s vaunted multi-link rear end gives people headaches just due to how many damn bushings there are to go through when when one wears out and starts making noise. As in the US, stabilizer end links are a sore spot, but even more so due to the rougher conditions.

            Over there, traditionally Toyota sedans take the cake for most durable and simple to work on suspensions, although I have an uncle that absolutely swears by his W210 mercedes. He has 500k km on his current ’98 E320, a lot of that on totally awful rural Siberian roads (worse than even the “usual” Russian conditions) so I’d give his opinions some credence. He does all his own work and his description of the merc running gear is “built like a locomotive.” Electrical systems and sensors are another story.

  • avatar

    Damn, I really wanted to like this new Civic but this is the first time I get a glance at the rear and I don’t like it. K20 is port injected? I like this but only 174hp? K24 is rated at what? 205hp?

    I agree 28… It is big! At least this is the impression I get from the pics. :-(

    • 0 avatar

      According to wikipedia it is direct injected. However, according to the specs & features table on it is Multi-Point.

    • 0 avatar

      it’s probably related to the K20A3 from the base RSX and 7th Generation Si (EP3). It’s a K20 with VTC for fuel economy and low end torque, but without the big-cam high rev action of performance VTEC. Those same blocks make ~200hp when paired with the better flowing heads and high lift cam profiles (real VTEC).

      Honda did themselves kind of a dissevice or at least created a nomenclature salad when they called 3 or 4 different things VTEC.

  • avatar

    How was the interior noise level?

  • avatar

    As an Australian living in Canada the Civic has always fascinated me. I would love someone professional to get to the root reason why the Civic is so immensely popular here and so non-existant back home.

    The Corolla, Mazda3 , Cruze and Focus all run sales rings around the Civic back home, i’d guess it to be towards the bottom end of the top 100 selling name plates yet sits firmly at number 1 in Canada.

    Keep in mind both countries are very similar, highly urbanised, huge distances and not a lot of population. The only real difference is the climate (and the inherent conservatism of the Canadian market) and i wouldn’t think that impacts Civic sales.

    Any ideas Mr Editor?

  • avatar

    I know it’s almost Halloween, but eek ≠ eke. This bugs me whenever I see it. That is all, thanks.

  • avatar

    With just how sloping and “hatchbacky” the rear end of the sedan looks, why not just get rid of the awful mail-slot trunk and give it a legit hatch ala-Saab 900 or Honda’s own Accord Liftback? That I don’t get. The “5 door” the speak of is most likely going to be a hatchback of the “chopped off trunk” variety which I don’t particularly care for to be honest.

    I’d definitely strongly consider the good old K20 with the stick shift in some lower LX-type trim, much like I currently drive a 1.8L equipped LX civic sedan with a stick shift. By the 158hp, it sounds like it is incredibly mildly tuned and running port injection, something I see as a plus and not a minus. More power (for those who want it) is probably simply a Hondata reflash away, let alone the turbocharging possibilities.

    • 0 avatar
      Ashy Larry

      I just don’t get Americans’ aversion to the hatchback, especially when packaged like this. Looks like a sedan, but pop the trunk and you can actually load a TV in there.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly. I’d go as far as to say that if I could get that 2.0L stick shift in classic ‘liftback’ format, this would be my next car right here. I’d be able to carry my 2 larg-ish dogs with ease, not to mention all sorts of other bulky items. The 12.5 cu ft and small opening on my current 2012 Civic are a real problem for me every now and then. On these 2016s, it looks like the ‘mail slot’ opening issue is further exacerbated. Shame.

  • avatar

    How’s the visibility out? (my major complaint about my ’08 Civic, leading me to take all but the driver headrest out, which helps alot.)

    I assume there was none of the rev hanging described in today’s Piston Slap, a problem with my Civic as well?

  • avatar

    I know you get a lot more car for the money than the 94 LX sedan that I used to drive (Dad’s car–purchased after his 85 Sedan DeVille was totaled), but, wow, 27K for a top-tier Civic? And you know Honda won’t discount them much.

    Perhaps I just have to adjust my thinking on this, but just as recently as April of 2014, my wife and I purchased a new Accord EX-L (no nav) for 25,800. Unless you really want a turbo or require a smaller footprint in the city, wouldn’t the Accord just be the better buy?

  • avatar

    Great write up! I really, really like this car the more I learn about it. The K20 and 6-speed combo in particular make it sound like the true descendant of the base RSX and the first gen TSX. Looking forward to hearing more about the ’16 Si, too. (Unless they sleeper-ize it, couldn’t care less about the Type R.)

  • avatar

    No mention nor pics of the ridiculous trunk opening? Fishing cargo out of it requires a spelunking certification.

  • avatar

    I honestly kind of love this. The overall shape is fantastic. Why on earth would anyone buy a Corolla? And the new Cruze might as well just give up now. I swore I wouldn’t go back to a vehicle without AWD, but this car might do it for me. But since so many components are new, I’d be VERY hesitant to buy one right now, especially since Honda’s track record lately in that regard hasn’t been great.

    • 0 avatar

      To be fair, the K series is well proven and nearly bulletproof. I had one of the very first K20A2 cars in the US, and it never had a single engine issue in the 14 years I owned it, despite its high compression and redline as well as more complex VTEC. I still wince at the memory of missing a 5-4 downshift at about 70 on the way home from the dealer and less than 20mi on the odo, grabbing 2nd instead and finding the fuel cutoff in the first 30 min of ownership.

      I’d be very curious how the 1.5T drives with a six-speed, but it sounds like we’ll never find out.

      Agree they did a great job with the shape, though.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Not only are the Honda K series engines reliable, they’re fairly refined for a mass-market 4 cylinder. Good NVH most of the time and willing to rev without complaint.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      OTD the Corolla would probably go for $4-5k less, an important factor for many in this size market.

      Except for the unibrow and maybe a little too over-the-top tail lights, this is a great looking car in and out.

  • avatar

    Yeeeeccchhhhh…looks like the spawn of sloppy sex between a CrossTour and a new Maxima. The interior is vastly improved, though.

  • avatar

    Your English teacher called. She says it’s “eke out” not “eek out”! She also said this was a good write-up.

  • avatar

    So, I was trying to read this article and noticed that my computer was acting wacky and the browser wasn’t responding, and then I noticed this:

    Come on, guys. I *want* to read this web site, but as things stand, some kind of crap – my guess is it’s Flash, because it crashed shortly thereafter, and my guess is it’s part of your ad platform – is *actively preventing me from doing so*. I could run Adblock, I guess – but is that the solution you want your readers forced into? Somehow I doubt it. This combined with video ads that start blasting audio while off-screen and in an inactive tab, combined with text input boxes that crash… the content is great but the back end needs to be purged with fire. Fire!

    • 0 avatar

      Email me your complaint, please. mstevenson (at) thetruthaboutcars (dot) com. The more times I send this up the chain, the better chance I have of getting the ear of our dev ops folks.

    • 0 avatar

      Even RUNNING AdBlock (sorry), I can’t have a bunch of tabs with this site’s contents open in IE — my Dell laptop’s fan runs constantly, the browser gets sluggish, and I get high memory-usage in Task Mangler..err..MANAGER on each tab, so in my case, there’s some sort of JavaScript running (my guess, anyway) unnecessarily; after the page is rendered, what more active stuff is needed? (That’s one good thing about the simple nature of this site’s front-end: there shouldn’t be tons of stuff going on in the background, especially if you’re running an ad-blocking program. That being said, I used to use AdMuncher, which dropped support for IE11, so I had to downgrade, IMHO, to AdBlocker, and that’s when I really noticed the issues.)

  • avatar

    As a Honda fanboi (who strangely does not like DOHC VTEC 4 banger mills) I’m a little disappointed, both in this car and the article.

    The “real Honda” meme is beyond played out. The strut suspension in the front of the 2006+ Civics is as good as the old DWBs, as is the steering. The rear suspension is just as good as the old multilink, while taking up like 1/2 the space. Steering is pretty good too. And while the higher center of gravity and overall weight take those cars out of contention against the old rice paper chassis Civics from the 90s, the 2006-2015 Civic handily trounces all DWB Accords, which are much closer + logical competitors.

    As for this 10th gen, lot of little fails. More overhang. More weight. No more top spec trim with a manual box (all of my Hondas but one have been EXs with manual transmissions). Front and rear ends are busy without being good looking. The wheel wells and wheels look depressingly undersized. And the worst bit? Seems Honda was unable to let go of the Crosstour profile. Once you see it you can’t unsee it. All the “bad driver assist” tech in the world can’t make up for those equipment/aesthetic/dynamic shortcomings. Honda has done with the Civic what BMW did with the 3 series. Its appeal is definitely broadened, but that broadening came at the expense of what made it special. And even worse, there is no “purist” model like the 2 series in Honda’s lineup for folks to transition into. Thank God my Civic is as common as dirt. I will be holding onto it for a long time.

    • 0 avatar

      >>More overhang. More weight. <<

      Less overhang overall, courtesy of the front. Less weight too.

    • 0 avatar

      “Seems Honda was unable to let go of the Crosstour profile.”

      The profile looked goofy on the Crosstour (and Acura ZDX) because it was so jacked up. The new Civic, however, wears it low. I need to see it in person, but I’m inclined to think the profile works on the Civic.

    • 0 avatar

      Civics have always been the 3-series younger, fwd, lower priced and more sensible sibling.

      I personally love the styling of this one, but I quite like the Crosstour as well.

      If anything, I find the styling almost too “nice.” Just as current 3-series cars don’t really take to ratting out with BBS rims the way E30s did, I can’t really imagine this almost jewel like Civic taking kindly to fart cans and 5 inches of lowering. I mean, seriously, this Civic has now gotten so “elegant” it would look less out of place driven by Paris Hilton than by a gaggle of smacked out Sublime fans. I have no doubt Honda considers that a triumph, but I can’t help but feel something may have been lost in the gentrification.

  • avatar

    1) I’m curious what the breakdown will be between the loaded upper trims and lower trims. I feel like LOTS of Civics sold are bare bones models. They seem to have a higher ration of base : loaded models sold than most other cars. But that’s just off my casual observations in Socal traffic; I could be wrong. But a “loaded” Civic just seems weird to me.

    2) Too much chrome on front clip. <– This from a Cadillac driver

    3) Don't like how "C I V I C" is spaced on the trunk lid. Too wide. It looks like the letters were re-applied wrong by a cheap repair shop.

    4) The lower-trim real tach looks cooler than the fake LCD one.

  • avatar

    I’m somewhat surprised about the opening comments on driving experience. I’m looking forward to some comparisons with the Mazda3…

    Looks wise, the front and rear I think could grow on me. I am struggling with the sides though, in particular the creases above the front wheel and the sloping rear roofline.

  • avatar

    Here is how this Civic will be scratched from my shopping list – Honda will require me to buy sunroof if I want to have split-folding rear seat.

  • avatar

    I’m a Civic man–1991 hatch (base, with dealer installed AC, 4 speed stick, and a plastic plate where the radio goes), 2002 Si (UK built hatch), and now a 2007 Si sedan. My wife had a ’98 EX sedan. Conveniently, the Civic has grown with my family. If my lanky 11 year old son has room to grow in the back seat, this 10th generation sedan may be my next.

    I’m really bummed that automatics now get better mileage than sticks, though, which seems to be true for all cars.

    I never had the slightest desire to “upgrade” to the 9th gen.

    • 0 avatar

      >>I’m really bummed that automatics now get better mileage than sticks, though, which seems to be true for all cars.<<

      It's a function of the tests. Read an article awhile back which came to the conclusion that manuals got on average 17% better than EPA w/ real world driving. Turbos did worse than EPA.

      • 0 avatar

        ^ True.

        You should be able to hit low-to-mid 40s for highway fuel economy on the flatlands with the stick.

        The looks of this car aren’t great for me, but the 2.0 engine with a 6-speed manual really hits the sweet spot for both me and my gear-rowing wife. I may actually have to go and test-drive one of these.

        One of my current daily drivers is a 1996 Civic LX with the non-VTEC 1.6l and a manual transmission. I get about 35mpg on my daily commute with it, but it certainly isn’t a powerhouse or a canyon-carving special.

      • 0 avatar

        I wouldn’t sweat the rating, my ’12 with a stick shift is rated for 28/36, I’ve never had a tank dip below 30 even in the “worst case scenario” sort of frigid winter driving with long warm ups and wheel-spinning my way through intersections. Summer highway driving regularly yields tanks of 39, 40, 41 mpg. Key to those numbers is to limit cruise control use and keep speeds at around 71-73 mph. I’ve also just plugged in the cruise control to 73 mph in cooler weather and it returns right around 35-36 mpg on long highway trips. If the actual rating is now 40 highway with the stick, that’s crazy as to what real world highway driving might yield, 45mpg? I assume they were able to drop the highway RPMs a bit with the torquier K20. Mine spins at about 3000 at 72mph.

    • 0 avatar

      My Mazda3 5MT Rated 33Hwy but makes minimum 36. Looks like real world numbers are better for MT.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Well, this thing pretty much kicks in the Corolla’s teeth in just about any aspect.

    C&D clocked the 1.5T w/CVT at 6.8 seconds to 60. VW, Mazda, and now Honda are providing some nice engine choices in this segment.

  • avatar

    Not digging the side look which reminds of the ugly Crosstour bred with a current Nissan product with a big fat chrome lip. Does it also speak with a lisp I wonder?

  • avatar

    Mark, the CVCC was nothing to brag about. I owned 2 back in the late ’70s/early ’80s. Before 25K miles, they burst cylinder head gaskets, one cracked cylinder head, leaked oil through the auxiliary valve to the intake system; to say nothing of the poor driveability and mediocre fuel mileage. Except for assembly quality, the Hondas we had were no better than the Vega my ex had before we were married. Worst cars I’ve ever owned. I’ll consider a new Fit for my next car, but these CVCCs were absolutely terrible.

  • avatar

    “Going back to its routes”

    I guess this is the latest buzz-phrase, for me a “going back to routes” Civic would be a gutless, feature-less, modestly basic hatchback with a touch of rust in the rear wheel wells, and a bizarrely high price tag.

    This latest Civic has more in common with a Dodge Neon than the old rice box, it even kinda looks like the latest Dart! Or Mazda 3, or a BMW, or a Mercedes, just pick one!

    I think I’d rather have the Fit before it too gets a slopey rear-end.

    • 0 avatar

      You realize that in the late 80s-early 90s, the Civic was an aspirational vehicle for young people making decent money? Relative to the rest of the compact class they handled incredibly, had amazingly smooth engines, and excellent interior ergonomics. Sure driving a 25 year old 200k mile example now it seems like a dangerous rattle trap, we’ve made huge strides in NVH engineering and chassis rigidity. But they were truly ‘gems’ of cars. An Si hatchback got you a nicely trimmed interior, CD players and moonroofs were optional. A ’91 EX sedan got you a lot of power accessories, a very smooth multi-port injected D16A6 engine. You have to consider the historical context, not the barely running survivors of the F&F years that you look around for on craigslist.

      I think the author’s assertion is correct that Honda is trying to rekindle that dominance of the class, where the Civic’s content and engineering is head and shoulders above the rest of the compacts. We’ll see in the next year or so how that plays out. The incredible numbers (fuel economy, 0-60) for the 1.5T/CVT cars seem to suggest really impressive powertrain engineering.

      • 0 avatar

        So true! My first new Honda out of college was a ’94 Civic EX Sedan slusher in Torino Red Pearl. Rode great, revved to the moon, not a lick of trouble! It was a “mini Accord” in most respects (though being a step down in overall quality relative to it), but Honda sweated the details back then; you’d swear, for example, from the rear 3/4 view, you were looking at an E-Class Benz!

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “you’d swear, for example, from the rear 3/4 view, you were looking at an E-Class Benz!”

          What goggles were you using? I owned a 93 Civic and I don’t think I could squint hard enough to mistake it for an E-class. Frankly, that’s not an insult to the Civic. That generation of Civic has been, by far, the best looking one. Very clean, very cohesive, very unique.

          The ride/handling balance of our 93 was spot-on, but the crude 1.5L engine in the LX trim and the godawful road noise made it an NVH nightmare in my book. Since Honda has stubbornly been clinging to the road noise paradigm ever since, the Civic hasn’t really appealed, though this new one may finally be different.

  • avatar

    I disagree with every assertion about the styling of the new model. Lookswise I’m perfectly happy I got a 2015.

    • 0 avatar

      I prefer the more restrained styling of the ’15 too. I do like the new dash. Not sure about that steering wheel, more buttons than an x-box controller. Could be very cool, or a hot mess.

      No manual for the turbo makes me sad. I expect that from other companies, but Honda?

  • avatar

    There’s probably a reason for lowering the car by 20mm, and lowering the front-seating position even more. My guess is that they want to sell more CUVs, because old knees don’t want lower ingress/egress heights.

    This version of the normally-aspirated K engine finally nets the customer dual overhead cams instead of the SOHC R18, but is in a limp state of tune. Only 9 lb-ft more torque for a 10% bump in displacement (you’d expect 13 or more given the extra cam and easier to implement i-VTEC). Makes you wonder why they bothered. Still, better than nothing – it seems more like the Accord Hybrid engine with the Atkinson-cycle valve timing removed.

    Will have to drive one to see if it’s a step up from the incredibly boring 2009 I’m familiar with. That’s if I can bend that low to get in.

    • 0 avatar

      “There’s probably a reason for lowering the car by 20mm, and lowering the front-seating position even more”

      Because racecar!

      Ok, a serious guess would be to provide more headroom inside for taller drivers. Also, lower vehicles have a lower cd which leads to improved mpg. Lastly, it offers a lower cg which improves handling.

      • 0 avatar

        Hmm. yes. So that’s also why Honda fitted it with cheapo Firestone tires for the C/D test. Poorer braking and ultimate roadholding than the old model.

        And all the people breathlessly gawking at the 6.8 sec 0-60 time above, forgot to note:

        “Some distance also made it harder for us to see the questionable panel gaps of our preproduction car.”

        Pre-production car, but we swear an actual honest-to-goodness production motor. No tweaks, none. We wouldn’t do that. We’re Honda. Pure, clean and full of Earth Dreams. Honest, Captain. What Pontiac GTO?

        A Canadian road test of the Civic turbo found “Still, the turbo engine sounds rather coarse and noisy under hard acceleration, particularly accelerating up a hill.” and “Honda wouldn’t tell us what the official 0 to 100 km/h time is, but they did say the Civic 1.5T is one second faster than the 2.0L model.”

        I think it’ll be a few months before we get reports of what the car is really like, because all that’s been penned so far is a lot of breathless prose from old Civic owners delighted that Honda finally churned out a new one ten years on.

  • avatar

    I’m surprised so many people find this thing attractive. I think it’s horrid.
    Honda used to have some of the nicest, tasty designs in the automotive world. I think that’s been passed over to Kia now.

  • avatar

    ” Sure, the British-built Si came to our shores later, but you needed to shell out big bucks for Honda’s pride and joy from Swindon.”

    This is a bit revisionist history. I remember vividly Honda dealers in my area (tri-state NYC) having these sit on their lots for a long time. They could be had for $15-17k all day long brand new. In fact, I was set to buy one but the salesman told me to go take an S2000 out for a spin and I wound up in that instead.

  • avatar

    Gee, I guess Toyota started a taillight design trend when it released the 2012 Camry…

  • avatar

    The problem with Civic’s is, I want the Si engine and transmission with the EX-L styling. I don’t want styling that screams “90’s rice rocket” and an interior of faux suede with fake red stitching. I want to buy a normally styled car with a fun engine and the sportier suspension setup.

    • 0 avatar

      “The problem with Civic’s is, I want the Si engine and transmission with the EX-L styling. I don’t want styling that screams “90’s rice rocket” ”

      Acura built the ILX for you. It’s a grown up Civic SI, but you might want to wait for the next version that’s built on this new Civic’s platform.

      But why limit yourself? The Mazda3 is stylish, and with the 2.5L engine, lots of fun. Or what about the VW Golf? Ford Focus?

      Want to stay in the Honda family? Consider the Accord Coupe which is just a bit bigger than this new Civic. If it’s in your budget, go for the V6.

  • avatar

    Those taillights looked familiar, and then I realized where I’d seen them… On a ’68 Plymouth Satellite I was behind recently.

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