Now in its mid-40s, the Honda Civic remains one of most popular vehicles in the automobile industry. For 2016, the Civic has been redesigned inside and outside and is available as a coupe or sedan and in 10 trims, five in each model.
The redesign further moves the Civic away from its once stodgy reputation as drivable box with four wheels. The 2016 model has a sharp-edged appearance, a sloping roofline and a overall European style that resembles the appearance of appreciably higher-priced vehicles. It’s no longer just a fall-back car for buyers seeking basic transportation at a value price.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
As one of the best-valued cars around, the 2016 Honda Civic is also among the most varied. The Coupe is available in LX, LX-P, EX-T, EX-L and Touring trims, and the sedan is available in LX, EX, EX-T, EX-L and Touring trims.
The Civic comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual transmission. An automatic transmission (CVT) is available. EX-T and higher trims have a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired exclusively with a CVT.
Lengthy standard features list
Standard features include a rearview camera, automatic climate control, Bluetooth, Pandora internet radio compatibility, and a USB port. Available features include heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, a moonroof, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, an eight-or 10-speaker audio system, a touch-screen infotainment system, satellite radio and navigation. There’s also the Honda Sensing package, which includes forward collision warning, automatic pre-collision braking, active lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.
The EX-T, EX-L and Touring trims (my test vehicle) are powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 174 hp. Acceleration in the standard 0-60 mph test in 6.7 seconds, the quickest vehicle in its segment.
During my week with the 2016 Honda Civic, several friends commented on the car’s appearance, most with the same general question comment: “That’s a good-looking car. That’s a Honda Civic?”
In addition to new modern lines, the 2016 Honda Civic is 3 inches longer and 2 inches wider than its predecessor and the wheelbase is also longer. All of which means that while the previous model might hsve be too small for anyone at least 6-feet tall, that’s no longer the case. The extra interior space is also good for family needs, like large child safety seats.
Further space improvements include a deep storage bin under the console and an expanded overall interior capacity to 15.1 cubic feet from 12.5 cubic feet in the previous model.
Beyond its improved appearance, the 2016 Honda Civic offered a substantially improved driving experience. The CVT power is seamless. The sportier suspension provides keen handling. The new Civic is surprisingly quiet and the overall ride is refreshingly pleasant.
Strong gas mileage averages.
Multiple trims and fuel options.
Long list of standard features.
Handsome new exterior design.
Facts & Figures: 2016 Honda Civic (Touring)
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 6.7 seconds.
Fuel economy: 31 mpg (city), 42 mpg (highway), 35 mpg (combined) continuously variable automatic transmission.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $26,500.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: honda.com.
Price As Tested: $27,335.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.
What Others Say:
“No longer a strong buy on name recognition alone, the 2016 Honda Civic is a genuinely good car that is now leading the compact sedan class.”— LeftLaneNews.com.
“The all-new compact is a return to the kind of car that made the Civic a favorite with generations of Americans: fun to drive, fuel efficient and.” — DetroitFreePress.com.
“Aggressive targets and excellent engineering have wrought a Civic that should be one of the best cars in the segment to drive and live with.” — Autoblog.com.
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“Fuel efficiency to engineering to driving fun to overall value, the 2016 Honda Civic may be the best new car on the road today.”
Article Last Updated: June 20, 2016.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.