Honda didn’t get the ninth-generation Civic right (2012-2015). In fact, the automaker could have continued building the groundbreaking eighth-generation Civic (2006-11) and it is entirely possible that nobody would have noticed. That’s why the redesigned tenth-generation Civic (2016-TBD) represents such a big leap forward for one of the most popular cars in America.
New from the wheels up, the 2016 Honda Civic is roomier, more powerful, more fuel-efficient, and more technologically advanced than ever. Perhaps just as important, it is also genuinely stylish, looking more like an Acura than…an Acura.
Arriving in showrooms this fall, the Civic Sedan comes first, followed by the Civic Coupe, which was shown in concept form at the 2015 New York Auto Show. A five-door hatchback will also join the lineup, and the sporty Si models will return. Even better news for enthusiasts is the addition of a performance-tuned Civic Type-R for the American market.
Honda has confirmed that the Civic Sedan will come in the following flavors: LX, EX, EX-T, EX-L, and Touring, a new top-of-the-line version with all of the bells and whistles. The new EX-T reflects the turbocharged status of its 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, and the EX-L and Touring are also turbocharged. All three of these trim levels will include a continuously variable transmission (CVT) as standard equipment.
A new 2.0-liter four-cylinder debuts in the LX and EX models, paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox in LX trim and a CVT in EX trim. The CVT is an option for the Civic LX. Power and fuel economy figures for both power plants will be announced closer to the Civic’s on-sale date, but for now Honda promises that each engine will get better than 40 mpg on the highway.
Interior room grows by 3.7 cu. ft., with rear seat passengers enjoying two extra inches of legroom. The trunk has been expanded, too, by 2.6 cu. ft. Do the math, and that means a 2016 Civic Sedan offers 15.1 cu.-ft. of cargo space, more than some midsize cars.
Cabin materials aim for a more upscale look and feel, and Honda has taken numerous steps to quiet the interior. Thanks to a 23-percent increase in torsional rigidity, the automaker was able to fine-tune the new Civic’s ride and handling to make the car more comfortable and more athletic.
Standard equipment for all Civics will include automatic climate control, one-touch operation for the front power windows, an adjustable thigh support cushion for the driver’s seat, and a new feature called Walk Away automatic door locking. Move up the trim level ladder for leather seats, heated front and rear seats, heated side mirrors, and more.
New for 2016, the latest Honda touchscreen infotainment system is offered for the redesigned Civic, featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration technology. Connect your compatible device to the system using the USB port, and the 7-inch dashboard display transforms into a version of the connected smartphone. Selected applications will be easy to access and use while driving, and the system includes Siri Eyes Free voice control.
A Honda Sensing option package also debuts for the 2016 Civic, containing adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking systems. These features, combined with the new Civic’s more robust architecture, are certain to help Honda preserve the car’s “Top Safety Pick” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
In announcing the all-new 2016 Civic, Honda said that it set out to create the world’s best compact car, one that sets new standards in the class. Once we get a chance to get behind the wheel, expect a full report.