The 2016 Honda Civic sedan is absolutely miraculous. We had no idea Honda would go do-or-die on this model redesign, but are thrilled with the results!
The new Civic is the biggest compact in its class now by interior room, is more than two inches longer and wider than before, yet chops nearly an inch off the roofline. Available full-LED headlights complement the standard LED brakelights on the sci-fi tail, while the nose sports new LED DRLs for most trims this year.
The design is hard to fully comprehend — or was before we had this mega photo set of the new Civic sedan in action. Truth be told, it looks massively more appealing than even the current Si Civic range-topper. But it can feel derivative of other car designs, at least in photos.
First thoughts on the nose obviously go to the previous-generation Ford Fusion, with both the new Civic and that old Ford sharing a full-width chrome grille bar. Around the side, we get a Chevy Cruze feeling pretty strongly from the front fenders. The profile and tail are refreshingly unique, with a slow-fading roofline in back that is a bit Audi A7-ish. That is a generous comparison for a compact with pricing from $20k.
The profile and tail look remarkably grown-up and premium, proving the proportion changes were smart. We like the new carved sill accents and the octagonal trunk face. The pointy back side of the four-door’s glasshouse will become a Civic trademark for this generation: the upcoming Civic Coupe will take this spear-like design detail to new sharpness when it is revealed in the coming months, likely for or at the Detroit or Chicago auto shows in Jan/Feb.
The new Civic looks far better, yes, and promises a much livelier drive too. The standard engine is a 2.0-liter four making 148HP and 138 pound-feet of torque. Manual or CVT autos come on these LX and EX trims, with pricing rumored to climb up about $1,500 from the current $18,200 Civic base price for 2015 models.
The EX-T, EX-L and new Touring trimline feature the really exciting news: an all-new 1.5-liter turbo! This little slugger pushes an impressive 16.5-psi through its boosted internals, jumping up to 172-horsepower. An even bigger leap is the turbo’s torque count and profile: 162-pound-feet arrive from just 1700-rpm. This will make the turbo Civic urgent in a way that no current models are — Si included.
The economy numbers for both engines deeply impress: 31-city/41 highway is the EPA estimate for the base motor, up to 31/42-mph city/highway for the turbo. One caveat: the turbo appears to come only with a revised CVT automatic.
But fear not… with more torque, the CVT might just make a case for itself.
Inside, the Civic is massively upgraded. Stung by the relentless criticism of its Civic austerity edition for 2011-2015, Honda has thrown the sound-deadening and tech books at the new model. Another treat for drivers: ultra-thin new A-pillars to avoid missing any pedestrians in the left-turn crosswalk!
The new Civic’s arrival to dealerships is not confirmed. We’d estimate mid-November for the first few to make it nationwide.
Honda is currently offering fire-sale pricing on the 2015 Civic range, which is interesting. It shows that dealers have sampled the new model, and can’t imagine any soul picking the old one if given a choice. Therefore, they are clearing lots with major motivation. By the end of this month (October), Honda dealers can be really bent over the barrel by shoppers on a 2015 model.
But if it were me, the 2016 turbo seems like the clear choice to get next-gen Honda power, tech and comfort.
2016 Honda CIVIC Sedan