By on October 11, 2015

2016 Honda Civic Sedan Touring

While Honda has traditionally been a company of engineers pushing the boundaries of their know how, the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine in the 10th generation Civic almost didn’t happen for 2016 due to some reluctance within the company, reported Automotive News on Sunday.

The new mill was initially slated to be offered as part of a mid-cycle refresh in 2017 or 2018 (possibly for the 2018 or 2019 model years), but with the Civic getting such a thorough overhaul, key people involved in the Civic project made a case for the turbo engine to be offered earlier.

“The thinking was that the new Civic needs this engine to go where we want it to go, to make this model such a leapfrog event, such a strong competitor, not just in North America but around the world,” Gary Evert, the Civic’s chief engineer and North American development leader, told AN.

Such a powerful engine in the Civic wasn’t seen favorably by many within the company. However, Mitsuru Kariya, global development leader for the Civic, was able to make a case for the engine based on the success of turbocharged mills in Europe.

“It was a very efficient engine but people weren’t evaluating it highly,” Yuji Matsumochi, chief powertrain engineer on the 2016 Civic, told the trade publication. “I heard several times, ‘Hey, where’s the Honda-like characteristics? Where’s the Honda DNA?'”

Horsepower figures for the new engine have not yet been published. The same engine will be used for other models within Hondas lineup, though for what models and when is unclear at this time.

The 2016 Honda Civic, which will go on sale in November, is the first generation to get turbocharging in North America. It will be launched as a sedan but will be offered later as a coupe and hatchback with no less than four different engines.

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114 Comments on “The 2016 Honda Civic Turbo Almost Didn’t Happen...”


  • avatar
    MBella

    We all knew it was coming. Another small turbo engine to game the CAFE system. Buy your 2015 while you can. The Type R might be interesting though because that’s where turbos belong. In enthusiast performance vehicles, and not everyday appliances.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I hate these EPA specials as much as anyone but it’s not like they’re taking away a V8 here. 1800cc of N/A gutlessness with a CVT besides won’t be mourned by anybody.

      • 0 avatar
        laphoneuser

        As a former owner of a 2014 Civic LX with a FIVE SPEED MANUAL, I completely agree with you that nobody will mourn the loss of that 1.8L engine. It was a true POS, in my opinion. Or perhaps it was a poorly matched transmission. I don’t know and I don’t care. I took a $2500 bath on that car to get out of the lease early I hated it so much.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      I wouldn’t generalize from Ford Ecotec to what Honda could do with a turbo. It is all in the execution. the problem with new turbos is, they give people more power. if people use more power (and they do), mileage drops.

      I imagine the outdated 1.8l non-DI is due for replacement (I haven’t seen DI versions?). so an all new 1.5l DI-turbo may be more efficient at giving more power. while i don’t beleive they offer 4 engines, chances are they offer a regular NA engine at least for a while. Maybe the 1.8 with DI?

      As usual, avoid the first model year for engines and models. In this case both will be new, so get a 2017 model…

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      Agreed, turbo is inevitable. It was a marketing decision — wait and have something to introduce in a mid-model year to keep people interested, or launch with everything Honda’s got. The new 2016 Chevy Cruze is due out, and there are rumors of a MazdaSpeed3, so it seems Honda had no choice but to introduce the turbo earlier than planned.

      But Honda still has stuff to keep people interested further down the road: namely the hatchback models and Si models.

      And regarding all the competition, it’s important that the 2016 Civic not be held back by the Acura ILX… which it now surpasses from a value, style, and performance (turbo) perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        “Agreed, turbo is inevitable.”

        Even for automotive schlubs like me who only want to drive the speed limit? Won’t there always be an old, multiply amortized and bullet-proof NA engine for base models?

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          “Won’t there always be an old, multiply amortized and bullet-proof NA engine for base models?”

          Turbos are inevitable not in the sense they are better suited for real world needs. They are inevitable because they answer CAFE while allowing manufacturers to advertise POWER.

          And that helps sales. German and U.S. automakers have switched to 4 cylinder turbos well before Honda. But I’m sure there will be NA vehicles to be had. They’ll just be as rare as the twin blade razor (which are way better than the 5 blade silliness).

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Well, even if I someday have to accept a turbo the way I drive will make it last longer than my license will.

            Thanks.

        • 0 avatar
          SimRacingDan

          Why do so many people associate power with speeding? Power is safety.

          I assume you’ve never tried to pull onto Rt 9 in Massachusetts. You’re at a stop sign with limited visibility due to a hill and there is near constant traffic going 50-60mph. When you see an opening it’s safest to get to highway speed ASAP.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Because many people are morons. The costs to society may be offset by the potential for exploitation – if you’re in an advantageous starting position.

            Equality is a myth.

    • 0 avatar
      tnk479

      Don’t blame the automakers. Place the blame where it belongs: government and their political masters.

      Government bureaucrats will only ever create complex legislation that puts the burden on the peasants and contains plenty of loopholes for their friends.

      If the US Government truly believes that the use of fossil fuels is a strategic threat to the nation and/or the environment they would simply tax it to reduce its use. It’s really very simple. Tax fuels in all of it’s forms. The higher the tax, the less fuel will be used and the more investment will flow into alternatives.

      Politically it’s a non-starter which is why they don’t do it. We have CAFE instead because of politics, not because it makes sense for the good of society or the environment.

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        If the government truly gave a damn about fossil fuel consumption they would be putting a huge push on for public trans. Since they aren’t, it’s obvious that the motive(s) for CAFE is not conservation of fossil fuel.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          public transportation would do nothing. The majority of fossil fuels generates electricity and heats homes in the snow belt, and powers energy-intensive industry (aluminum, steel, cement) that are the basis of the economy. Massive fuel taxes will result in economic collapse and the poor freezing to death in the dark. Before the poor freeze to death, you can be sure they’ll do something about it.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          The problem with putting money in public transit in the US is that most large US cities aren’t laid-out for public transit, and the few that are already have decent transit.

          Realistically, there’s no easy way to offer great public transit in sprawling suburbs built around a decaying core. There’s just not enough population density to break even on that deal.

        • 0 avatar

          You can’t do public trans in most of the US because the population simply isn’t dense enough. And the cost of mitigating a ton of CO2 with public trans is so expensive that you could mitigate most of the CO2 emissions in the US and the marginal cost of abatement still wouldn’t approach that of public transit.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2717159/

          Moreover, personal cars and trucks cause only 15% of US greenhouse emissions. Meat eating causes more emissions.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Public transportation exists where it is feasible. Most Americans drive to work because the sprawled out nature of the American suburban landscape affords no other choice.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Hey, Honda…

      …go f*ck yourself with your EPA loop cycle gaming turbocharged compliance motors.

      Your death as the best automotive engineering company began with the latest batches of overpriced, hideous, underwhelming Acuras, accelerated with glass transmissions and toy-like Civics (even compared to Hyundai products), and now continue, unabated, to that whiny turbo noise.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Deadweight

        It’s not that bad, c’mon. I just drove the jetta 1.4t while my wife was looking at a gti on Friday and my takeaway is what were looking at is a full engine class jump in torque outputs. I can’t imagine the Honda engine will be much different. Looking at the outputs that mini and Nissan are putting out of theirs and its hard to argue the blocks themselves will be stressed.

        We will have to put up with a learning period on the new emissions and fuel systems. Otoh these are already high volume engine overseas.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Deadweight

        It’s not that bad, c’mon. I just drove the jetta 1.4t while my wife was looking at a gti on Friday and my takeaway is what were looking at is a full engine class jump in torque outputs. I can’t imagine the Honda engine will be much different. Looking at the outputs that mini and Nissan are putting out of theirs and its hard to argue the blocks themselves will be stressed.

        We will have to put up with a learning period on the new emissions and fuel systems. Otoh these are already high volume engine overseas.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Your timeline’s all screwed up. Glass transmissions happened and were solved long before Acuras started to get boring or the Civic started to suck.

        And are you really going to be singing the virtues of the Honda 1.8 engine? It’s a turd, not up to the standard set by the K24 or J35.

        • 0 avatar
          theirishscion

          @dal20402
          Heh, don’t be in too much of a hurry to praise the J35 either. The recent versions with the cylinder deactivation have more than their fair share of issues as well. The J35Z4 in my Pilot has been an oil-burner since day 1, and at 88K miles is now fouling the plugs in the rear bank badly enough to be noticeable (oil consumption has started to rise as well). Honda will of course put new plugs in for me under warranty (big of ’em!) if it starts misfiring badly enough to light a MIL, but that’s only until it hits 8 years old at which point I’m on my own. The rest of the car has mostly been a piece of unreliable crap as well. I don’t quite know what happened to Honda, but I’m decreasingly likely to make that buying mistake again.

  • avatar

    Ricers are gonna be so disappointed…

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      Are there even any left? Any Honda guys from the ricer era of 2001-2004 have long since moved on. Any “ricer” today can’t afford a new car, and if they do, they are buying EVO’s and GT-R’s – not anything from Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @BTSR: I doubt there will be much disappointment. Look for a truckload of new aftermarket ECU re-flashes to enhance power. Given the amount of money spent on big exhausts and air-intakes that did very little for the performance of the current and older Civics, having a forced induction engine that can be tuned cheaply will be a welcome change for many.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        Hopefully Honda will add a Ford-style super-CRC checksum to the firmware so buyers on the secondary market can determine just how badly abused that “cream puff” is.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      BTSR, a hot Civic is built by finding the lightest weight body style, removing the stock engine, and bolting in a different Honda engine with more displacement. Sort of like engine swaps into a Chevy II/Nova that used junkyard parts from larger cars. The 2016 Honda Civic is irrelevant on both counts because lighter old Civics and larger CRV/Accord engines exist in large numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      Marone

      “Ricers are gonna be so disappointed…”

      Always surprised to see people still using this language.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “Always surprised to see people still using this language.”

        Why?

        It’s used quite commonly to describe aficionados of all automotive-things Asian.

        It includes White, Hispanic and Black people who love Asian vehicles.

        When I was a kid growing up in Huntington Beach, CA, we used “Kraut-lovers” to describe aficionados of German automotive things, like Beetles, M-B, BMW, DKW, NSU, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          The real trouble for the tuners began when the exhaust manifolds were machined into the blocks. This began with the 8th-Gens in ’06, IIRC.

          You can chip ’em and blow ’em all you want, but if thee engine can only expel so much air, compromises will result.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            True of some more than others. With the addition of the turbo the manifold requirements change pretty dramatically. So far the integrated manifold on turbo cars are still less of a bottleneck than the downpipe. There will be power on the table with this engine either way for tuners.

          • 0 avatar
            duffman13

            9th gen when they went 2.4 actually. I was a k-series guy with my former RSX-S. The community feeling was that Honda had turned their back on enthusiasts entirely when they decided to do that to the 9th gen.

            It prevents the installation of a proper long-tube header without a complete head swap from an older K engine with proper VTEC (the A2 head from the RSX-S is the cheapest easiest to source). The “exhaust manifold” cast into the head is a joke as well. It’s essentially a short funnel/collector, paying no mind to tube equal tube lengths or exhaust scavenging at all. It leaves at least 10-15 HP on the table through its design.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          Well there are many nanny tools watching the site when it comes being politically correct. Some people are very insecure with their own race issues and don’t understand a joke.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I see said the blind man and picked up his hammer and saw.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            “ricer” does occupy some grey area. It depends who says it and how it’s said. I don’t see any “nanny tools” here; just someone raising a point and others asking about it. Sounds pretty adult to me.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        R.I.C.E. Race (as in motorsports) Inspired Cosmetic Enhancement

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rice

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    “will be offered later as a coupe and hatchback with no less than four different engines.”

    Are you sure about the 4 engines? Honda is a master of streamlining and reducing options (i.e. the most sold CRV has one engine and one tranny). This also would go against the trend in the industry (see Mazda 6 down to one engine choice from previous 2). today getting 2 engine choices from a mainstream manufacturer is considered huge selection.

    And which 4 engines? I imagine they use the 1.8 (possibly with DI) for the time being to hatch their bets with the turbo in case Honda buyers are conservative and reject turbo engines. I doubt they offer the 1.5 from the Fit. i also don’t think they make room for the 2.4 (CRV/Accord), which from a power point would overlap with the 1.5 l turbo.

    Offering many engines requires many compromises in the design and engine bay size at the expense of weight and passenger space. I really don’t see Honda hamstringing their Civic that way, not with their history of using single engines for most models.

    I think this needs more information…. the fact Honda is offering 4 engines on one car, that alone would be breaking news. (if they wanted to follow VW to offer 4 crappy engines instead of one good one…)

    And what is the timeline for the hatchback? That would be the only one I even would look at. Just yesterday I walked over a parking lot and saw those sedans with the slanted rear shield and the tiny trunk opening when the lid is open and wondered how they ever get a midsize bag through that tiny hole.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      The outgoing US Civic also had 4 different powertrains: 1.8, 2.4, 1.5 hybrid, CNG 1.8. The latter two have been dropped.

      http://www.caranddriver.com/news/2016-honda-civic-sedan-photos-and-info-news

      2.0L 158hp, manual & CVT (LX, EX)
      1.5T 174hp, CVT (EX-T, EX-L, Touring)

      Per the source article, Si and R will have their own powertrains.

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        I see, with the hybrid and CNG, sure…. I wasn’t aware the 2.4 was offered. I now see, that was the Si.
        So they may offer the hybrid, the 1.5l turbo, possibly the 1.8, and some Si motor unless the fourth engine is the CNG again. Depending on horsepower the Si motor could be redundant. not sure where those front wheels go when you push the accelerator with a 2.4 l motor….

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      How about 4 engines world wide? Does that reading sound more plausible?

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    When you put it that way, it seems possible. Two engines for the basic lineup, and two engines for the performance lineup.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Carlos better whip the sheet off 2016 Sentra quick and shuffle off to fleet before anybody notices. Maybe the VW smell will be plenty diversionary.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Hope they go against all this turdo nonsense for the new Accords in 2018. They’ve indicated that the base models (4-bangers) will be blown (LX, Sport, EX, base EX-L), but not the top-end models (EX-L V6s, Tourings). And that’s my concern — that those wonderful, sleeper V6s will be sacrificed on O’s altar of all things green! (Toyota already has stated such! Honda didn’t go with the DI version of the J35 unit in the Pilot for instance, which could have pushed highway mpgs to the upper 30s, perhaps, in the Accord’s MMC, in addition to the 9-speed ZF slushbox, although, Honda is hopefully using that unit to buy time to perfect their own 9-speeder, as the ZF unit has its own share of suckiness in the Acura TLX which needs a software flash to resolve.)

    I realize that turdocharged motors have come a long way from the exploding gerbil wheels on all things K in the ’80s, but I still don’t trust the durability of a blown motor, even from Honda or Toyota. I want to see the five-year durability of these motors first, under typical American lack-of-maintenance. The V6s in the Accords have INSTANT torque when the pedal goes down whch is not available with the blown four!

    And of course: No! Replacement! For! Displacement!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “And of course: No! Replacement! For! Displacement!”

      HA HA! Yup.

      I’m certain that some of the gullible will buy these emasculated cars with tiny blown squirrel engines. But for the smarter than the average bear buyers there will still be plenty of gutsy vehicles available for a few years to come.

      And if everything else fails, a buyer can always step up to the next higher class with the intense bigger engines and leave the smaller stuff for those who don’t know any better.

      “The V6s in the Accords have INSTANT torque when the pedal goes down… ” Oh yeah! Grandson bought an EX-L for his wife. It goes like a raped ape.

      When Honda revamps the Accord, no doubt tiny blown engines will feature prominently.

      Better get that V6 Accord while you can. Take good care of it and it will last you all the way until all cars are powered by electric motors.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Hopefully it’ll be known what the engine choices will be in the 10th-Gen Accords by March or April of 2017, when there’ll still be a chance for me to grab a Touring with my choice of colors. (Hate to have the last-generation of a car without all the latest stuff, but better that than to be a beta tester of this crap. I’ll hold off blaming all this stuff on the current occupant of a certain brightly-painted house!)

        OTOH, if they revamp the Accord Hybrid with a decently sized (2.5L) gas engine, an equally decent electric motor, and a battery pack placed such as to not make the trunk the size of a postage stamp (and provide the ability for the car to pull off 14 second quarter miles, 6.5-second 0-60s, and still drive home at a nice clip), I’d grab one of those with no complaints. They nailed the basics this last time, but left foglights out to route vents for the motor’s cooling system, and severely cut the trunk for the battery pack.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Supposedly, the future is going to bring us all these great improvements in tech and power-plants, like tiny blown squirrel engines.

          I may be old-school but I like BIG vehicles with ample V8s. Own two of those now.

          OTOH, I also own a 1989 Camry V6 and it is and old sweetie. Love the power-to-weight ratio of the 2.5L V6. Scoot around quickly and effortlessly, even in the mountains.

          And then there’s my grandson’s Accord V6 – lots of bling plus smooth balanced power and handling.

          Were I in your situation I would forego the latest and greatest in favor of that marvelous V6 at a year-end sale.

          That’s what my grandson did when he traded his 2010 Wrangler in on that V6 Accord.

          He still tools around in his dad’s old Tacoma these days, but for road trips with the family? Accord V6!

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          @Joss

          On the contrary, with the switch to MacStruts from multi-link in the front, they cut a few inches off the length, still have a back seat where a 6’2″ person could sit behind themselves, and a decent trunk. Best of all, the handling didn’t suffer as much as we “fanbois” thought it might — it’s not as crisp, but the electric power steering may have as much to do with that as the struts. (I don’t know if Jack tracks his 6-speed stick V6 Coupe, and Lord knows he might have contacts to get a few laps here and there at the Marysville Honda test track, otherwise known as Transportation Research Center (TRC). I’d love to grab a helmet and do the same myself! :-) )

          It will be interesting to see what Honda does with the next Accord since the Civic leapt a size class. Hopefully they hold the line, because the 9th-Gen is just about the perfect size, just like the 2003-2007 7th-Gen. Honda truly lost the plot in terms of quality and “Honda-ness” with the wallowing whale that was the 2008-2012 8th-Gen; despite its being the last Accord with struts, it handled worse than its predecessor, and quality also took a noticeable step back. In the 9th-Gen, the carpet is honestly the worst thing in the interior (remedied with WeatherTech or Husky floormats covering the entirety of the footwells, or even with just a set of Honda All-Season mats, which will be more than adequate in the warmer climes), and some of the plastic seems easy to scratch, so you just have to be careful; it really is only a half-step below the Acura interior, and one hell of a value considering all the tech available.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            If Honda gave the Accord a more supple and quiet ride, even on badly maintained concrete highway surfaces and secondary roads, it would probably become THE dominant mid-to-large size, mid priced, volume selling sedan by a wide margin.

            I don’t understand why neither Honda nor Mazda feels more compelled to make their non-sporting vehicles quieter or softer riding when it seems so easy to accomplish at little additional financial or performance loss,

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DW, “more supple and quiet ride” is often a function of tires as well.

            ANY sedan in that price class is going to be less supple and more noisy than a Lexus of the same size-class.

            No doubt money-saving economics and less sound-deadening foam insulation are the culprits.

      • 0 avatar
        alexndr333

        The future for the lead-footed among us will be electric. For the smaller and smaller segment of performance-oriented drivers, the instant torque and low center of gravity of all the electrics – from the Tesla to the Spark EV – point the way to the future. While the masses ride in their autonomous 0.9L turbo bubbles, the speed-freaks will be burning up tires and electrons.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Anecdotal, but my last job had a number of newer Chevys in the company fleet, both current V6-powered Impalas, and for whatever reason, a few Malibu Turbos. On paper, they’re pretty much neck and neck as far as performance goes. In the real world, the Impala, even with the venerated 3.6L V6, always felt like it needed a second to compose itself and drop down a gear before there’d be any real movement. It sounded good though, and on the odd time I bothered to play with the manual shifting, the power issues went away, because I was keeping it up in the power band. Meanwhile, I’m sure the Malibus had some turbo lag, but ultimately, acceleration felt more instantaneous than the more displacement-gifted Malibu, and there was a definite fuel economy gain (about 1L/100kms) in the primarily highway driving I did. The sound was less impressive, just muted mechanical noises with a bit of whine in the higher ranges.

        Tl;dr – not as simple as more displacement = better response

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      They’ll have to drop the V6 eventually. Making it available means that the 4cyl models have wasted space and extra weight – once everyone else goes to I4 / I4 turbo combinations, cars like the 4cyl Accord will be less competitive.

      Remember how the USDM 2nd-gen Mazda6 was uglier than the same car in the rest of the world? It was specifically to allow for a V6 option. Same passenger cabin, bulkier front clip.

      • 0 avatar
        Richard Chen

        Car design/manufacturing is expensive, and it’s cheaper to engineer the motor, chassis, and crash test for one configuration. AutoNews had a series of articles about how the car industry devours capital in light of Marchioness begging for an FCA tie-up and how much worse it is compared with other industries.

        IIRC the front clip change was done with the first Honda Accord 2.7L V6 over 20 years ago, due to US dealer/customer demand. OTOH, the US 2nd gen Mazda6 was a longer/wider car than the global Mazda6; it wasn’t just a nose job.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Hopefully, the fact that Honda will be going for the gerbil wheels in the lower trims will mean that something special will be kept for upper trims. (Don’t forget that they do intend to bring a Hybrid back, and as stated last time, they got it right with the newer system.)

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        As long as Acura and Lexus continue to borrow heavily from platforms used by Honda and Toyota I’m not sure how they can completely engineer away the V6 capacity on the Accord/Camry.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          I do know that in the same article (which was picked up on here) that stated Honda was going turbo-4 in the base Accords, Toyota was going to be yanking the V6 from the next Camry. (And I’m not sure, but I thought that the current ES is the furthest from the Camry re: parts-sharing; I could be very wrong. Maybe the Avalon and ES are the similar platforms.)

          One thing is sure: Acura is going to have to do SOMETHING to the ILX to justify its existence with the new Civic around! (Unless the new interior LOOKS quality, but ISN’T, or if it becomes obvious that Honda cheaped-out on basic stuff to co$t-cut, Acura will need to swing for the fences with the ILX MMC!)

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      You clearly haven’t driven a 2.0T from BMW or Audi lately. These small turbocharged engines make peak torque barely above idle rpm and hold their flat torque curves throughout the mid- to upper-4000 rpm range. But don’t take my word for it, just look at the torque curve from, say, a new Audi A5 or BMW 428i for example. In comparison, a new V6 Accord engine needs to be turning 4900 rpm to reach its maximum torque of 252 lb.ft. while a 2.0T in an Audi A5 has 258 lb.ft. available at just 1500 rpm. These small turbo engines exhibit practically zero turbo lag and are great for making tons of low-end torque.

  • avatar
    blueflame6

    People bitching about turbochargers reminds me of people bitching about fuel injection, solid state ignition, automatic transmissions, automatic ignition advance, and electric starters. Move along, Grandpa.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Fuel injection, solid state ignition, automatic transmissions, automatic ignition advance, and electric starters are great, with electronic fuel injection probably being the biggest advance in automotive technology (improving efficiency and reliability hugely) in 40 or so years.

      Automatic transmissions are fantastic for those who can’t or prefer not to row their own…it’s subjective (those manual transmission vehicles are generally more reliable as auto transmissions break frequently and are very expensive to repair/replace).

      You left off electronic stability control, which was a “game changer” in terms of automotive safety, and has probably saved more lives and prevented more injuries than airbags & antilock brakes together.

      Turbochargers and cylinder direct injection (absent additional port injection ala Toyota) on daily driver vehicles are steps backwards, as they fail to improve efficiency in real world driving by any truly significant amount, but worse yet, they add a great deal of complexity and maintenance/reliability issues to ICE.

      Enjoy your lower than advertised real world mpg (e.g. Ecoboost), walnut shell blasting of sticky, lacquered valves, and more frequent radiator and cooling system issues in your GDI, turbocharged new vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Amen! GDI done right will yield benefits (and I don’t know how Honda’s K24s with DI are holding up; I haven’t seen anything negative on “vtec.net” or “driveaccord.com,” so that’s encouraging).

        But these blown engines are different! Granted, at a 75mph cruise, they may be OK — MAY!! But “get into them,” and there goes the mpgs! And just last week, I had two incidents where that stump-pulling TORQUE got me out of sticky situations! Both of which could have been different in a four-banger (likely having to ABS to a dead stop behind the panicked sheep at the offramp’s end, instead of being able to haul a$$ out of there and into the opening ahead of the oncoming semi with plenty of room and no emergency action needed from its driver), especially given the possibility of lag if the turbo engine in question was something smaller than the 2.4L in the base Accords! One downshift and MAD-POWAH versus a lazy shift and watching a boost gauge — I prefer the former! (Part of the good thing about the Honda is the effectiveness of their variable-displacement system, which has gotten better through each iteration; it’s a little bothersome in the winter, and I wish that there was a tuning package available to adjust the parameters of operation to deactivate it at around 50mph; Hondata finally has a package to tweak the J35s, but only toggles the VCM on or off. Still can’t argue with mid-30s at Vmax with 2 people on-board and the A/C blowing ice cubes — as stated, adding the DI and more speeds to the transmission would make those numbers even better!

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I agree, to some extent. These turbochargers are designed to pass tests, but fail to justify themselves in real-world driving. Ford, in particular, seems unable to meet anything near advertised MPGs in its EcoBoost range. In fact, I was just thinking that if Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid is a success (and of course it will be), Ford may just resurrect the Escape Hybrid, the previous version of which is known for being extremely durable.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            When used as taxis in NYC, those things rack up INSANE mileage, right? (Like half-a-million or so? Best part, IIRC, is that the batteries are still good!)

            Hopefully Toyota keeps overbuilding their hybrid stuff, because it IS a reasonable alternative to all this turbo nonsense if done right! And they’ve apparently done it right!

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          GDI does NOT yield benefits. It creates nano-particle soot pollution from incomplete fuel/air mixing, the soot is largely unregulated and absolutely awful for human health. It also carbons up the valves in most engines.

          You can’t change stoichiometric ratios and they are still running spark ignition otto cycle. GDI does NOTHING that can’t be better achieved by manifold injection.

          • 0 avatar
            EAF

            I prefer not having the added HPFP and its peripherals nor the P0300’s associated with gum’d up valves / injectors, unfortunately, it seems DI is here to stay.

            I’m having a tough time thinking of a 2015 engine that does not use DI? Toyota’s 2.5 in the Camry | TC perhaps?

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            What is the difference between Otto and Atkinson-cycle engines? (I thought that experimental engines have been built that use both cycles depending on whatever.)

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            Atkinson cycle (a true Atkinson, not the psuedo Atkinson being run by Toyota which simply keeps the intake valve open during part of the compression stroke) uses complex linkages to create variable stroke lengths. The compression stroke is shorter than the power stroke, resulting in more of the energy being utilized from the fuel at the expense of power density.

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          I have nothing against turbos in performance cars, but for every-day drivers, they are an awfully stupid way to go. Toyota has proven that hybrids are better for fuel economy and reducing pollution while increasing reliability, while turbos don’t do any of that in real world operation.

      • 0 avatar
        Von

        You know DW, when you control your rage and don’t start with expletives, your comments are actually insightful and informative.

        This trend towards turbo is all based on the EPA test loop.

        I remember when Toyota added a little metal bar to the Camry’s rear bumper exactly where they did the reverse low speed crash test in order to pass it with high marks. It was about a foot wide, placed exactly where the car would backup into a simulated telephone pole. Which did nothing for 90% of real world drivers that had low speed backup fender benders that hit something outside of that foot width.

        Is doesn’t make what car makers do right, but when the test methods are so specific and poorly designed that they do not reflect real world conditions, it’s almost an invitation to cheat.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          “…when you control your rage and don’t start with expletives, your comments are actually insightful and informative.”

          I agree that it’s generally better to avoid expletives & channel rage into a more constructive form of criticism, but I also allow for the very real possibility that there are times where expletives & rage are warranted, and maybe even constructive (i.e. if some f bombs draw attention to an important issue where those eyeballs would not otherwise be drawn; i.e. if an act of violence or rage is justified or necessary, such as would be the case in thwarting true & substantive oppression – storming the Bastille).

          I often wonder if Americans really have grown too soft, complacent, politically correct, and most generally, delicate.

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        I can’t help but wonder why you are apparently equating direct injection with turbocharging. Don’t look now, but direct injection has no direct correlation to turbocharged engines. There are plenty of examples of DI engines that are both forced induction and naturally aspirated.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I know what each is, and I have and am not “equating them.”

          Turbocharging daily drivers, which allows for easier gaming of the EPA loop test (which is a very poor attempt at replicating real life driving conditions faced by most commuters), is idiotic for the most part, since any “efficiency gains” on the EPA Loop Test turn into losses in the real world (see Ecoboost, Hyundais turbos, or just about anyone else’s turbos as incorporated into commuter vehicles).

          Direct injection into cylinders, without the addition of port injection (which Toyota does) inevitably leads to very heavy carbon fouling of valves, since detergents in gasoline do not get the chance to prevent intake valve deposits.

          • 0 avatar
            White Shadow

            Not all DI engines have carbon problems. Yes, Toyota has been using port injection with their DI engines, but how can you explain other DI engines that don’t have carbon issues? And torbos have been around for so long for one simple reason–they allow a smaller, more efficient engine to perform like a larger, more powerful engine. And because nobody drives 10/10ths all the time, that smaller engine will return better fuel economy, ceteris paribus. It really has nothing to do with gaming the EPA.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I drive German cars, so I’m not inherently scared of any turbo. But I think that if anyone could make a solid, reliable, long-lasting one, it’s Honda. Unlike, say, Volkswagen or BMW, Honda truly values its reputation for durable vehicles. The question is whether this new turbocharged engine will have favorable performance to a slightly-larger naturally-aspirated engine. Whether it’s reliable or not, seals stretch, blades degrade, and a turbo is just one more wear item in the end…not to mention all of the associated plumbing.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “The question is whether this new turbocharged engine will have favorable performance to a slightly-larger naturally-aspirated engine. Whether it’s reliable or not, seals stretch, blades degrade, and a turbo is just one more wear item in the end…not to mention all of the associated plumbing.”

      That’s where we’re going – the cars will do 150,000 miles without issue, but only if done in <10 years; after that, the natural degradation of the rubber bits (due to heat soak, ozone, etc) will require expensive repairs to pass emissions tests (that more and more states will require).

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Having partaken in a engine swap in an older WRX a few years ago, my eyes were opened to just how much extra heat is introduced into the engine bay by a red hot turbo. Anything rubber in the vicinity of the turbo was cooked to a crisp, and simply crumbled when we were taking it apart. To its credit, the car made it to 210k with pretty lax maintenance, before a oil starvation event blew a rod clean through the block. Bearings on the turbo were pretty bad as well, but again this car would sometimes go close to 10k miles on an oil change (oftentimes non-synthetic).

        So I guess my anecdote could be interpreted in either direction: some turbo motors will last 200k+ miles even with bad maintenance habits. Turbo motors will crap out shortly after 200k miles unless diligently maintained, and they introduce a potential slew of issues due to the added heat stress on underhood components.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t frequent Honda forums, but how is the engine in the original RDX holding up? Some of those are coming up on the 10 year mark.

    The RDX is kind of funny because Honda dropped the turbo for the V6 in the second gen because the fuel economy and acceleration on the turbo didn’t really bring anything superior to the table. Now it seems like they might be going back the other direction.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      I recall similarly; the first gen RDX had a 4 cylinder turbo while the second gen went with a smooth V6. Acura’s thinking for the turbo RDX was that former Integra owners had grown up, started a family, but still wanted some of the old Integra fun. Maybe a NA engine with vtec couldn’t make a heavy CUV fun, so they went with turbo… I dunno.

      I think it was Honda’s first attempt at turbo, and it wasn’t very good. Power delivery wasn’t smooth and unbefitting a near-luxury vehicle. Since then, I believe Honda has gotten better at it. Let’s see.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      From what I read, Honda decided to ditch the turbo engine in the RDX in favor of a V6 because it was trying to bring the RDX more “upscale” and at the time their turbo engine wasn’t exactly a model of refinement. I believe they felt that their turbo engine was a bit too rough around the edges with it’s peaky power delivery and such, so a rather mundane V6 would be better suited to the market segment targeted for the new RDX.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I recall reading the turbo RDX couldn’t meet anywhere near the stated fuel economy in real world driving, and that’s why they dropped it.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I have nothing against turbos in performance cars, but for every-day drivers, they are an awfully stupid way to go. Toyota has proven that hybrids are better for fuel economy and reducing pollution while increasing reliability, while turbos don’t do any of that in real world operation.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Engine news doesn’t attract me so I don’t know…

    As long as turbos remain an avoidable option is there a problem here?

  • avatar
    wmba

    About time Honda got around to designing an engine that can do more than barely pull the skin of a traditional rice pudding under 2000 rpm.

    There’s not a soul here who can claim with a straight face that the R18 which has huffed and puffed its way through the last ten years in Civics, and which has finally met its complete match attempting to motivate the HR-V, is even a decent engine. It has no brio whatsoever, doesn’t like to rev and is leaden under-foot.

    So the cheap grade Civics now get the non-Atkinsonized 2.0 liter from the Accord hybrid. It has no turbo, so quit yer grouching and satisfy the need for an actual DOHC engine. For those of us like me who like turbos, and who don’t assume that they are nascent engine designers while typing rubbish at a computer keyboard, the turbo is welcome news. My rides since 1990 have had them with no trouble. And i like them a lot.

    Oh yes scream the “experts” from the design sanctums in the basement, turbo engines get poor mileage. The BMW 2.0t, Mercedes CLA 2.0t, Lexus NX200t, WRX – all these get very good mileage. If we’re talking recycled last generation Mazda engines reworked by Ford into Ecoboosts, sure we may have a problem. I do expect decent engineering and not half-as*sed attempts from Honda.

    In three years from now or less, people will be bragging about their Honda turbos and the mileage they get, and all this pointless frothing at the mouth will be forgotten. Decent low end torque instead of nothing at all will change the armchair experts minds. And if not that person(s) can be regarded as completely incorrigible Luddites who want to return to the the hand-reaping of wheat, because hey, it works!

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I’ll agree with you that the R-series motors are not the most “Honda” motors that they’ve stuffed into an engine bay! They’re agricultural in the old Buick 231 (3.8L prior to the 3800 — think ’80s G-Bodies) idiom, meaning lots of noise, sound and fury when pressed, signifying little in the end. (Unlike the D16s which powered such delights as the 4th-Gen CR-X Si and 5th-Gen Civic Si and EXs (now with VTEC).)

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      What makes you think Ford is using recycled Mazda engines? If you’re talking about the 2.3-liter EcoBoost in the Mustang and MKC, which has the same displacement as the (troublesome) 2.3-liter turbo variant of the Mazda L engine…I don’t think they’re at all related.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I don’t get the R18 bashing and old D16 nostalgia. The newer Civics are matching or beating the old cars’ excellent fuel economy (okay, maybe not the HFs or VXs), while having about 40% more power (106hp for an old d16 under 1990s ratings vs 140hp under revised 2008+ SAE ratings). The R18 is super smooth, chain driven, and aside from an initial batch of porous blocks that lead to coolant leaks, rock-solid reliable. I suppose it doesn’t have as eager of a pull up top nor sounds as frentic, but it is a very nice and linear powerband. I typically short shift mine at 2200rpm and it scoots around just fine. Credit the low curb weight (by modern standards). I just got back from a drive to Chicago, the Civic returned 38+ mpg for the tank, with an average cruising speed of 75 mph down I-65 (3200rpm on the tach). Driving similar routes in rental cars, the only vehicle that’s gotten better was a Prius that returned 47, driving a bit slower. A CVT equipped Lancer came very close at 37 mpg, but again that was with driving at 72-ish mph.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        The K24s are OK, but the Rs just seem not as smooth to me; they have a “gritty” sound and feel in the higher revs.

        OTOH, the D16s and F22s in the 4th-Gen Accords were like buttah throughout the range. And they had the classic sound on the boil!

        Just MHO here: to each their own! :-)

    • 0 avatar
      oldjackbob

      Best post in this thread, bravo!

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    The Civic turbo was totally inevitable. If all had gone according to plan, we would have had a viable turbo Honda F-1 program, a halo turbo NXS and a mainstream turbo. The marketing would have been in place. In a huge part, this is also why its such a disaster that the Mclaren partnership is so woefully behind the competition. Go back to the heyday of the 90’s, F-1 Honda engines were screamers, and so were the consumer cars. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday.

  • avatar
    chris724

    As a commuter in need of a new car, I’ll definitely check out the turbo Civic. Is Honda DNA just lack of low end torque? I hope not.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      It’s also road noise and warped rotors.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Honda DNA hasn’t existed for a decade. Test it, see if you like it, but don’t go in expecting anything special or you’re bound to be disappointed.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        True dat — when the beancounters took over, it was all over.

        Only with the latest Accord, Pilot and possibly this Civic is that starting to come around. (The CR-V MMC was OK, considering that the first three years of this generation were nothing to sneeze at, yet they still sell like hotcakes, outselling the Civic AND Accord some months!)

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Thank goodness there is still Hyundai/ KIA for those of us that just won’t buy turbos or CVT’S

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      I realize you jest but I love the Soul.

      If only it were about 20% larger. Wearing a winter coat inside one makes you feel like you’re also wearing the car.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Well Hyundai’s beginning to push the 1.6T into their Sonata, and they’ve gone whole hog with direct injection.

      Sounds like there’s going to be a naturally aspirated 2.0L engine, possibly delegated to more basic trims. But more than likely it too will be direct injected.

      I haven’t heard too many DI issues on EarthDreams Accords, we’ll give it another few years to see if it really is a non-issue.

      I’m also keeping my ear to the street about GM’s “High Feature” 3.6L V6, which has been fitted with DI in the Lambdas and W-body Impalas (and Camaros, CTS, etc). While I’ve heard of issues with timing chain stretch, I haven’t heard of a bunch of DI problems, so that makes me hopeful. These very bread and butter mainstream cars having DI will serve as the ultimate durability/neglect test seeing as many Chevy buyers will just take their vehicle to Jiffy-Lube for servicing and its a much wider pool of vehicles than the German cars that were having so much trouble with DI earlier on.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Reading through these rants really does make me despair about the quality of red state education. Maybe TTAC should make reading comprehension a prerequisite for the ability to post comments.

    Those who actually read the article would come to understand that it is about Honda’s decision to accelerate introduction of a more powerful engine. But somehow, a few of the “B&B” took this as an excuse to attack the U.S. president, take issue with the EPA, and bemoan Honda’s reduced commitment to performance and label Americans soft and delicate.

    Just bizarre.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      It IS CAFE, which was raised to a level which may prove impossible to meet, by a “green-obsessed” president, which is the root cause of the automakers having to rely on technologies such as this which may prove worse in the long-term in terms of real-world efficiency and reliability.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Even if CAFE standards prove impossible to meet, it’s better to at least make an effort and produce some kind of gain than to do nothing at all. What alternative would you propose?

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Again, we’re back to reading comprehension. First of all, Honda is introducing this engine globally; it isn’t focused on the US market. Why would Honda introduce an engine in so many countries outside the US if the purpose was to meet CAFE? Secondly, Honda is already easily on track to meet CAFE – it doesn’t need to game the system with turbos.

          Thirdly, and most importantly, the purpose of the engine is performance, not economy. Please read the article before polluting the site with your politics.

          Finally, blaming a ‘green-obsessed president’ for Honda introducing a performance engine is absurd. Nixon was many things 30 years ago, but green obsessed was not one of them, unless you mean envy.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Did Ford have to do the same thing with the EcoBoost in the Fusion, for instance? The last-generation V6 was reasonably competent.

            Now we have the new one (since 2013 anyway) with engines running all-out all the time to do the same amount of work, and yet can only meet these standards on a standard test; to make the car pass that test, everything else, from “real-world” fuel-mileage to drivetrain longevity, is a potential compromise. (As much as I like to hate on VW, this may be what they were trying to avoid at least to an extent, and got caught with their hands in the cookie jar.)

            As to responses up this thread on German turbos, they make have superior performance to the flat sixes, but I sure wouldn’t want to trust that reliability outside a warranty, unless I had a second mortgage or offshore fund to dip into for repairs!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Honda should really stop using this photo. The car is clearly not actually there. And the bright blue light and varied colors on the building are both distracting and clash with the color of the car.

    That bright bug zapper light which would be washing over the entire rear half of the car isn’t there – but is replaced by a white light source on the driver’s side (obviously fake as well).

    But mostly my eyes go to the bug zapper.

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