HONDA: The Greatest Civic Ever

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Honda will undoubtedly look back on the ninth-generation Civic, that unlovable lump of cheapness, as a lesson in continuous improvement. In so repeatedly flexing its renowned rapid-product-development muscle—overhauling the all-new 2012 Civic just a year later and then adding substantial equipment including a new transmission for 2014—Honda has surely grown stronger. It certainly righted the ship from a business standpoint. Civic sales boomed over the past three years, even if enthusiasts, ourselves included, haven’t much praised the product of Honda’s face-saving efforts. Yet this is not the sort of company to content itself with popularity. Honda has traditionally sought critical acclaim as well, with cars that are more like Spielberg films than blockbusters from Michael Bay.

Fade in, then, on the 10th-generation Civic.

Resembling nothing so much as a shrunken Accord Crosstour, this sedan only appears to be a hatchback. (Additional body styles, including a coupe and a four-door hatchback, also will be available.) And the new Civic rides on a platform that will be shared with the next Accord.

As with other recent Hondas, the top-of-the-line Civic is now called Touring. It’s an apt moniker for a car that plants all four tires on the practical side of a compact-segment continuum that ranges from the appliance like Toyota Corolla to the apex-predator Volkswagen GTI. But this is also to say that the new Civic is well planted. Among its remedies to the outgoing model are the abilities to go and turn quite well.


A new 1.5-liter four-cylinder available in the pricier trims makes 174 horsepower at 6000 rpm. Fitted with a single-scroll turbo­charger pumping up to 16.5 psi of boost, its 162 pound-feet of torque makes it a small-displacement Honda engine with heretofore unheard of grunt from a stoplight. The power is felt but not heard, the engine’s voice corked by the turbocharger and the new car’s extensive sound isolation. Lesser Civics get a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter with only 158 horsepower, which still shames last year’s 143-hp 1.8-liter four. The 1.5-liter engine, the first turbo the Honda brand has offered here in a car, is good enough to speed the 2924-pound 2016 Civic from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, cutting two seconds off the old car’s run.

Honda replaced its much-maligned two-tiered instrument panel with a single ­binnacle containing a bright and cleanly arranged display. The interior materials are far richer-feeling than in the ninth-generation’s cabin, with a layered dash design that makes the plastics seem unexpectedly sophisticated. Inside and out, the car gives the impression of being bigger than the specs would indicate. But despite the cabin’s airiness and the exterior’s big overnight-mailer envelope, interior space is only slightly larger than before while the trunk grows two to three cubic feet, depending on equipment. In terms of useful volume, though, the Civic now lives on the larger side of the compact class.

Ultimately, to us, it’s the driving that matters most, and this is where the new Civic acquits itself best. But as Honda has continued to throw everything but the kitchen sink at the Civic in the cause of continuous improvement, it also flirts with overwhelming the Civic with too much styling, too much equipment, too much concern for efficiency, and too many models. This is still just a compact car, after all. Honda has delivered a satisfying rough cut with the new sedan, but it’s the director’s cut we’re keen to see, a car with more focus.

We are eagerly awaiting for the Type-R performance version to be released!

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Source: Caranddriver