2016 Honda Civic: Even More Fun to Drive Next Year
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 1, 2016
The Honda Civic has long enjoyed a reputation for being respectably sporty, at least as far as regular small sedans are concerned. This fully redesigned 2016 Honda Civic keeps the tradition going. In fact, you might say it kicks it up a notch. Armed with the available 174-horsepower turbocharged engine, our long-term Civic Touring can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, quicker than any other standard-level (i.e., non-performance-tuned) small sedan we've tested in recent years. And when the road bends, the new Civic can go around turns with a relatively high level of precision and stability.
Sounds good, right? Well, next year promises to be even more interesting if you're the type of small-car shopper who really likes to drive.
Why? Because Honda will introduce a four-door Civic hatchback to complement the sedan and coupe, and the turbo engine will be offered with a manual transmission on all three body styles. For 2016, the turbo is only offered with a continuously variable transmission. While it's hard to say whether a manual-equipped Civic will be any quicker (CVTs are actually really good at getting the most from a turbocharged engine), it should provide significantly more driver engagement, as Honda is known for making great-feeling shifters.
Also waiting in the wings are the high-performance Civic Si and Civic Type R models. There's little official information available for them at this point, but both will be turbocharged, and it's fair to expect the Type R will produce more than 300 horsepower. These sport-themed models will have higher price tags, of course, likely competing with luminaries like the Volkswagen Golf GTI (and Golf R) and Ford Focus ST (and RS).
In any case, it's nice to know that your Civic shopping options are about to get even more enticing in six months or so.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 9,345 miles