Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2016 Honda Civic's departure from the fleet is fast approaching, and we're doing our best to hit the usual 20,000-mile target despite a few out-of-service weeks due to damage repair. As I write this from a coffee shop in rainy Mill Valley, California, we've got about a month left with the Civic and roughly 18,500 miles on the odometer. I still have to drive the thing back to Los Angeles, so there's a decent chance that we'll reach the magic number with the rest of my trip plus a handful of commutes.
How's it been? On the whole, we're all impressed by how far Honda's come with this car after the previous-generation Civic's forgettable run. It's a top contender in the class, and we haven't said that with conviction about a Civic in quite a while. We've also recorded some hiccups with various technology features, however, so the report card isn't perfect. More on that below.
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.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on July 22, 2016
Over the last seven days, I drove our 2016 Honda Civic about 1,400 miles. This wasn't a straight shot like Dan's recent haul to Oregon in our long-term Honda Pilot. Instead, I drove back and forth from southern to northern California for both work and personal reasons.
Our Civic was a pleasing companion the entire time.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on June 30, 2016
After driving our long-term 2016 Honda Civic 1,100 miles over a long weekend, I've got a few distinct impressions. As Dan Edmunds noted, the car deserved a good road trip, and a lazy cruise up and down California was perfect for that.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on June 1, 2016
We still haven't taken any multi-day road trips in our 2016 Honda Civic, but I've taken it on a couple five-hour drives recently. Based on those drives, I think the new Civic will be an agreeable companion should one of my coworkers decide to head out of California this summer. In another interesting twist, our Civic Touring has both adaptive cruise control and lane departure intervention, two features that are rare for small sedans and can influence long-distance driving comfort.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on May 30, 2016
The 2016 Honda Civic is staggeringly good. Perhaps our loaded Touring trim and the accompanying turbocharged engine represents its best foot forward, but nevertheless, to me, the new Civic exists on a pedestal high above all others in the segment not named Mazda 3.
In fact, when driving the Civic the other day I found myself comparing it to our departed Mercedes-Benz CLA250. Similar size, also turbocharged ... and you know what? I'd take the Honda Civic. Happily. Instead of a Mercedes-Benz. Sure, the CLA is a bit crummy, but really, it says more about how fantastic the 2016 Civic is.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on May 10, 2016
The best Honda Civics through the years have always had a reputation for being entertaining to drive despite the car's transportation-for-the-masses mission. Pleasingly, this reputation holds true for the redesigned 2016 Honda Civic.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on May 3, 2016
Back in March, Ed Hellwig wrote that the engine in our 2016 Honda Civic "feels great." Here's another example of what it's like to drive.
Yesterday, I was piloting our Civic and needed to pull out from a city side street onto a major thoroughfare. Looking to my left, I could see some approaching traffic, with the nearest car in the far-left lane. There was a suitable gap for the closer lanes, though, so I entered the thoroughfare and hit the gas. The Civic's 174-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged engine quickly spun up towards redline.
Driving a typical small sedan, I would have largely expected that nearest car to sail past in my peripheral vision and get ahead of me. But it didn't happen with the Civic. In fact, the other car only pulled about even with me before we were of equal speed. The other car? A gray eighth-generation (2006-'11) Civic Si coupe. Two young guys were in it, and the both looked over at me. Based on their expressions, I'd like to think they were at least a little impressed by our new Civic's vitality.
A whole lot of vehicles these days employ fuel-efficient continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), and that's generally bad news for the driving experience. Many CVT-equipped cars are only too happy to peg the tachometer needle near redline during acceleration, making the engine sound like a distressed vacuum cleaner until you ease off.
But I've finally found a CVT-based powertrain that I enjoy interacting with, and it's right here in our long-term 2016 Honda Civic.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on March 16, 2016
This isn't the first time we've tested a 2016 Honda Civic, but this is the first test for our Rallye Red long-term car. Honda, a company known for its high-revving, naturally-aspirated engines, fitted a turbocharger to the new Civic's 1.5-liter four cylinder engine.
This is a significant step for a company that has only sold one other turbocharged car in the U.S. We're interested to see how the Civic performs during its 12-month stay, but first we need to see how it performs at the track.
This is the optional turbocharged engine in our 2016 Honda Civic. As you can see, the engineers who designed and built it didn't think twice about how it would look. And that's ok, because it feels great from the driver's seat.
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 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.