Turbo Power and Active Safety Tech for the 10th-Gen Civic
We Like: Its roomier cabin, swanky interior digs.
We Don’t Like: The busy exterior design, needlessly complex infotainment system.
“Honda‘s Civic made its reputation by being small, light, and unpretentious,” Angus MacKenzie started his notes. “Its designers would not recognize the new 10th-generation Civic.”
Bigger, flashier, and more technologically advanced than ever, the new Civic impressed us. Honda paid more attention to the interior than anywhere else. With the Civic’s adult-friendly back seat getting 1.2 extra inches of legroom, the more luxurious Civic makes a strong argument for itself. Our top-level Touring test car featured a futuristic interior design, swanky leather, and standard active safety tech. “This has to be the best lane keep assist and active cruise control for the price,” Ed Loh said.
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The new Civic’s exterior design didn’t find as much favor with judges as its interior. “There’s too much surface activity with the lines and surface breaks,” guest judge Tom Gale noted. “The ‘humpy’ feel of the front fender and quarter panel is most bothersome.” Other judges commented that the Civic’s nose looked “Acura-y” and that the profile was reminiscent of the old Crosstour.
Although most Honda buyers will likely care more about how their cars look than drive, they’ll still enjoy the Civic’s two powertrains. The volume engine is a 2.0-liter I-4 producing 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. The optional turbocharged engine is a North American first for Honda cars. The 1.5-liter, turbo I-4 is paired with a CVT and makes 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque.
“The first thing you notice when you start the Honda Civic is the quietness of the engine and its smoothness,” observed guest judge Chris Theodore. “The 1.5-liter turbo is a little slow off the line, but it gathers itself up at about 3000 rpm and pulls strongly from there. The CVT has artificial shift points built into it and, at least on acceleration, responded surprisingly well.”
The new Civic represents a strong evolution. Although its original designers may not recognize it, buyers sure will. “There’s little question,” Jason Camissa said, “that this is the best car in its class.”
|2016 Honda Civic Touring|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$27,335|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||1.5L/174-hp/162-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|TRANSMISSION||Cont. variable automatic|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||182.3 x 70.8 x 55.7 in|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||2,925 lb (61/39%)|
|ACCELERATION, 0-60 MPH||7.2 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.5 sec @ 92.4 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||123 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.83 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||27.5 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||31/42/35 mpg (est)|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||109/80 kW-hrs/100 miles (est)|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.55 lb/mile (est)|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||27/45/33|