2016 Honda Civic: Monthly Update for February 2017
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
No, this time it really is the end of the line for our 2016 Honda Civic. We said this last month, too, and meant it, but the Civic picked up some extra miles in February anyhow. Not just a few miles, either, but almost 1,850 of them. We've since listed the Civic for sale, so now the sun has truly set on our test.
We didn't venture out much with the Civic in February — just a lot of around-town driving and commuting. We had some heavy rains in February, which gave us a chance to see how the Civic handled wet roads. We also spared some time to reflect on where the current Civic fits in the timeline of this iconic Honda nameplate.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
In February we added 1,847 miles to the Civic's odometer, using 54.7 gallons of 87-octane fuel over six fill-ups to do it. That worked out to a tidy average of 33.8 mpg, which boosted the lifetime average of our test by 0.1 mpg.
Average lifetime mpg: 33.1
EPA mpg rating: 35 combined (31 city/42 highway)
Best fill mpg: 49.4
Best range: 435.3 miles
Current odometer: 21,808 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I grew up driving golden-age Honda products in the '90s (Accord, Integra, Prelude) and tend to think recent Hondas have lost the plot. But this new Civic gives me hope. You sit close to the floor, sports-car style, yet the view over the dashboard is expansive. It feels lighter and more responsive than most rivals; only the Mazda 3 and maybe the Ford Focus compare. That's how Hondas used to be, except this one has the firm, reassuring brake feel that I yearned for in those older models. I don't dig the CVT (I don't dig any CVT), and I wish the otherwise wonderful manual-transmission Civic hatchback didn't have those dorky honeycomb plastic inserts in the rear fascia, because they would legitimately stop me from buying one. But overall, this car is a strong return to form for a brand that I feared had lost its way." — Josh Sadlier, Senior Manager, Content Strategy
"The Civic feels sure-footed in the rain and through surprise highway puddles. Traction control seems to modulate torque well in slippery situations, and I never felt out of control despite many potential opportunities to hydroplane." — Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant
"The Civic's suspension does not like the pothole-marred streets or uneven highways of Los Angeles. Similarly, the steering is too tight, causing the Civic to wander off-center just enough to annoy. The engine is good, though, with decent torque and a powerband that never leaves you wanting." — Calvin Kim, Road Test Editor
"Good grief, does this adaptive cruise control system need work. It's too slow to react, and when it finally does, it's too aggressive with the gas and brakes. It also doesn't provide enough warning when turning itself off below 20 mph." — Calvin Kim
"There's some sort of interference with the audio system when you're using Bluetooth. It's like a skipping sound — pretty annoying and happens consistently when I'm in this car. Doesn't do it all the time, but when it does, it can be hard to hear what your caller is saying." — Michael Massey
"One Civic high point is definitely its design. The beltline is strong and ties the front and rear halves of the car together nicely, while the silhouette makes the car seem fast and purposeful." — Calvin Kim
"I'm not sold on this car. I tried. I diverge from Calvin and Josh's opinions a bit. Like Josh, I lived through a handful of golden-era Honda/Acura models, and even wrote about them extensively in the early 2000s. This Civic feels like the first step back in the right direction after a decade of shapeless, forgettable designs and off-pace feature offerings. So now a factory turbo Civic? OK! But this thing feels too overstyled. As a boring adult parent today, I can still envision myself driving almost any Civic from before about 2008, even the hatchbacks. I can't see myself in this thing for more than a few hours. It feels made for a very specific, very young driver." — Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
"This is probably a 'get off my lawn' moment but ties into my opinion of this car being overwrought. To wit, a photo of the 2016's gauge cluster — a center tach with two half ears — paired with a photo of the gauge cluster in a 2005 Civic. Three dials never go out of style." — Dan Frio