by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
It's the end of the line for our long-term 2016 Honda Civic. It's been a full year and we just passed the 20,000-mile milestone. Josh's Central Coast adventures overlapped with the beginning of January, but the Civic spent most of its time this month in the Central Valley with Brent, who's the sole member of what we like to call our Fresno office.
Dan Edmunds chimed in with some maintenance-related updates on the power surge issue, the rain-sensing wipers and an unexpected issue with the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Otherwise, our Civic cruised over the finish line trouble-free.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on February 1, 2017
The following is not a case of déjà vu. Or maybe it is. It harks back to a recent incident I had with our 2016 Mazda Miata, in which the tire pressure warning system (TPMS) issued a false alarm I eventually linked to a DIY tire rotation before a long trip. This surprised me because I thought indirect TPMS — the kind that continuously monitors wheel rotation speeds to guess the tire pressures — was dead and buried. Turns out the Miata had it, but I hadn't pressed the reset button after my rotation.
A few weeks later, it was our 2016 Honda Civic's turn. Like the Miata, I was taking care of maintenance on the morning of a long road trip. But in this case it needed an oil change, too, so I took it to Hardin Honda, my local dealer. The folks there changed the oil and filter, rotated the tires and sent me on my way.
But the TPMS warning light came on about five minutes down the road.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 27, 2017
Rain-sensing wipers are useful in Southern California, but we can go months at a time without the need for any sort of wipers at all. I know, cue the tiny violin.
This enviable atmospheric reality explains why we didn't immediately realize that the reason our 2016 Honda Civic's rain-sensing wipers didn't work during my rainy Thanksgiving road trip was linked to a windshield replacement carried out the previous July.
I eventually put two and two together after doing some internet sleuthing upon my return and was able to visually confirm that the rain sensor wasn't making proper contact with the windshield. Presumably, this was the result of a goof-up by the windshield installer.
So Mike Massey, our vehicle testing assistant, called Safelite, the company that did the original work. Our problem didn't sound wholly unfamiliar to them, and they happily agreed to send a mobile glass replacement truck to our location to sort it out.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 24, 2017
You may have already read about the subtle yet annoyingly persistent surge I experienced while cruising on flat highways during my Thanksgiving trip to Oregon. The car has been in high demand since my return, so I've never found time to have it looked over.
I had always suspected this was down to a minor software glitch, and that indeed proved to be the case. An alert reader wrote in to tell us about an official Honda service bulletin #16-028, and a brief internet search turned up the details and a familiar-sounding and remarkably descriptive title: "2016 Civic 1.5L Turbo Surges at Highway Speeds (45-70 mph)."
Yes, it does. Ours, at least.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 2, 2017
A very predictable thing happened on a recent 2,000-mile round trip to Oregon in our 2016 Honda Civic: It rained. A lot.
Not all at once, mind you. Sure, the rain came down in buckets at times. But it also sprinkled, splattered and sprayed at intermittent intervals. It turned out to be the perfect real-world environment in which to test our Civic Touring's automatic rain-sensing wipers.
Except they didn't work.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on December 28, 2016
I just returned from a 2,000-mile journey to Oregon in our 2016 Honda Civic. It was an illuminating trip, but I didn't come away as enthusiastic about the Civic as I had been going in.
One of its more surprising and annoying traits became apparent during four long days behind the wheel.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing
Where Did We Drive It?
November was a big month. Our drivers added a total of 2,778 miles to our 2016 Honda Civic, with yours truly accounting for a large chunk of them. My wife and I drove the not-so-little red Honda north to Oregon to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, and our round trip consisted of 2,036 miles.
The usual route we take amounts to just over 1,700 miles, but this time we spent some time off the freeway on picturesque two-lane roads in Gold Country and out east of Mt. Shasta. Such voluntary detours added about 300 miles and several hours to our trip, but it was worth it.
Almost all of these miles qualify as some version of highway or interstate travel. But we did make several stops and poke our way through a few small towns. And I drove from the coast up the steep road to my parents' 1,600-foot hilltop home a couple of times, one of which was after a pizza run into town.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on November 9, 2016
If you've been driving long enough, you've likely had a moment just like this. You walk out to your car, expecting everything to be exactly as you left it. Keys in hand, mind on wherever it is you're going. Then, you spot it.
A scratch across your bumper, a crack in your windshield, or in this case, a big ol' dent in your door. No note, no security camera footage to catch the culprit, nothing. That's what happened to our new Copy Chief, Kathleen Clonts, when she drove our long-term 2016 Honda Civic home for the night.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on August 5, 2016
We're six months into our long-term test with the 2016 Honda Civic and we're on course to meet our target of 20,000 miles by the end of the year.
Over the first half of its stay, the Civic has pretty much fulfilled its promise of trouble-free operation.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on July 27, 2016
During my recent highway-heavy drive-fest in our 2016 Honda Civic, there were a couple of instances when the Civic's adaptive cruise control system (ACC) suddenly stopped working. At the time, I wasn't sure if it was an isolated problem or something more systemic. Then it happened again yesterday.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on July 18, 2016
As our 2016 Honda Civic approached 7,500 miles on its odometer, a notification appeared in the car's gauge cluster driver information display: an "A1" service was going to be needed soon. In Honda-speak, this is an oil change and tire rotation.
I booked an appointment at my local Honda dealer to get it taken care of.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on July 7, 2016
When last we left our long-term 2016 Honda Civic, it had a cracked windshield and it needed a new one. After weeks of trying to locate some new glass, Safelite came through with an OEM replacement. The windshield showed up and we were ready to have it installed, but it wasn't meant to be.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on June 20, 2016
When last we left our long-term 2016 Honda Civic, I was waiting on a new windshield to arrive. Brent Romans had a run-in with a rock on the highway and thanks to the Civic's adaptive cruise control (and other forward-camera based systems) the windshield was tough to find.
After deciding that I'd have Safelite do the job (for multiple reasons, including parts availability — see that story here) I set an appointment for the replacement. Unfortunately, things didn't go as easily as I'd hoped.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on June 7, 2016
"Hey Travis, here are the keys to the Civic. I cracked the windshield, hope you don't mind. See ya later!" That might not be exactly what Editor Brent Romans said when he and I swapped cars last week, but it's pretty much how I remember it.
Brent was driving our long-term 2016 Honda Civic for a week and on a freeway drive back to Los Angeles, a semi-truck kicked up a rock that caused the chip/crack you see here. The crack was big enough that we couldn't repair the windshield, we'd have to replace it, so I started calling around. Hilarity did not ensue.
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on February 22, 2016
With the 2016 Honda Civic recently arriving to our long-term garage, I was curious what the break-in procedure looked like. Most car buyers get to experience the glory of a break-in a few times in their life, and the process (and its complexities) can be an important part of establishing a relationship between car and owner.
I pulled the Civic owner's manual from Honda's website and searched for "break-in." Nothing came up, even after trying different variations. So I started reading.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on February 18, 2016
When Honda redesigned the Civic in 2012, it felt half finished. It was still a strong, solid entry-level sedan and coupe, but it was no longer the clear-cut choice in the segment. Honda quickly updated the Civic and sales improved, yet it never had the cohesive feel of the many Civics before it.
The 2016 Honda Civic, now in its 10th generation, is a significant improvement over not only the previous Civic, but almost everything else in the segment. We came away impressed during our recent road test and gave the Civic an "A" rating. It recently walked away with the North American Car of the Year trophy, so we know we're not alone in our praise.
The new Civic draws influence from other recent Honda successes with a well-appointed and cleverly designed interior and a handsome, sporty exterior. There's also a unique new turbocharged engine that promises strong performance, along with the efficiency we expect in a Civic. Twelve months in our long-term fleet will go a long way toward determining how far this Civic has come, so we didn't hesitate to go out and buy for ourselves to get started.