The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2016 Honda Civic Sedan Heels on Wheels Review


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE CIVIC VEHICLE
The Honda Civic gets revived for 2016, putting this compact sedan back in the limelight with sharper exterior styling, a turbocharged engine, and welcomed adjustments to the infotainment system. For now consumers can consider the four-door sedan until the high-performance and the new Civic Type R are available.

I drove a 2016 Honda Civic sedan with the all-new 174-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with the Continuously Variable Transmission and Eco Assist. The Civic sedan is offered in five trims – the LX, EX, EX-T, EX-L, and Touring. My Civic Touring trim featured the following standards: leather-trimmed upholstery; heated front seats; power driver’s seat; leather-trimmed upholstery; premium ten-speaker audio system; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; HondaLink: Bluetooth; Honda satellite-Linked Navigation with Voice Recognition; seven-inch touchscreen display; SMS text reading function; Pandora Internet radio; USB and auxiliary input jacks; multi-view rearview camera with LaneWatch; power moonroof; push-button start; fog lights; remote engine start; power trunk; Honda Sensing Package (safety technology); and seventeen-inch alloy wheels. Price as described came to $26,500.

A great year to get excited about the Civic again, main 2016 compact sedan competitors with similar value and style include the Kia Optima, Ford Focus, and Chevrolet Cruze.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: For the cost, what the Civic puts forth in terms of style, materials and streamlined technology undoubtedly makes it a sound compact sedan purchase (I thought an Acura had pulled up when this test drive arrived). Touch-sensitive audio volume controls at the steering column that require a simple swipe gesture shows Honda’s alertness at executing technology that matches popular device instincts. That includes ditching two stacked screens and just offering a once vivid and re-organized mobile connectivity system that provides Apple CarPlay and Google Android Audio. Some consumer reviews have stated issues with the media system on working. In terms of space, the Civic offers more room as the body is three inches longer and two inches wider, and kids can easily strap in seatbelts.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 2016 Honda Civic sedan ratings of “Good” in all crash-test areas, making it a Top Safety Pick. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards the sedan with an overall score of 5-Stars. Standard safety equipment includes Vehicle Stability Assist, anti-lock brakes; Electronic Brake Distribution, and a rearview camera. The Honda Sensing Package (Collision Mitigation Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning) is standard on the Touring and optional for other trims.

Cost Issues: A base LX starts at $18,640 with such standard features as the smaller 158horsepower 2-liter engine, multi-angle rearview camera, five-inch color screen, Bluetooth, and the safety technology suite as an option. Again, my top-of-the-line Touring trim reaches $26,500, which is a respectable amount of what’s delivered. Consider the fact a loaded Kia Optima can reach $35,790.

Activity & Performance Ability: With more than 30 extra horsepower from the all-new 174-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Civic has the performance chops to be viewed as sportier compact contender. For regular road driving, you get some added zest, although you might find signs of strain when really pushing for pickup due to the CVT. Fuel economy is still a major ability of the Civic at 31-city and 42-highway for a combined 35 miles-per-hour.

The Green Concern: The Honda Civic sedan with the new turbocharged 1.5-liter again has a fuel economy of 31-city and 42-highway for a combined 35. While the Kia Optima’s turbocharged 2-liter does deliver a more enticing road experience, fuel economy falls short at 22-city and 32-highway for a combined 25 mile-per-gallon.

FINAL PARTING WORDS
Significant achievements in performance – while maintaining the same old incredible fuel economy – gives the 2016 Honda Civic much attraction, not to mention its Acura-like stylish exterior redesign and newly streamlined media system. This is the model year to buy, and a fully loaded Touring trim tops out at under $27k.

©2016 Katrina Ramser

The Most In-Depth Honda Vehicle Shopper's Research - Anywhere!