Real-World Review

2016 Honda Civic: Real World Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Rob Nestora February 2016

The Honda Civic has been one of the most popular compact cars for over 4 decades. A perennial leader in its class, the Civic built a reputation for reliability and affordability that made it a smart choice for buyers -- but not necessarily an alluring one. However, if you were expecting the latest iteration of the Civic to be anything less than exceptional, you are sadly mistaken. The 2016 Honda Civic sedan ups the ante on the entire compact class by combining beauty, brains, composure and even a bit of muscle. Our staff spent a week behind the wheel of the new Civic and found out how much this all-new compact has to offer.

Style for Days

It seems as if the entire editorial team is infatuated with the new styling of the 2016 Honda Civic sedan. While most agree that the new design reminds them of a smaller Accord, one staff member saw design cues in the rear end reminiscent of the now-discontinued Crosstour. In addition, our Touring model came standard with LED headlights that look like they were borrowed directly from its luxurious Acura cousins. Lineage aside, the redesigned exterior is impressive. It made a significant impression on our staff with its swooping roofline, aggressive stance and chromed front fascia.

Awesome Amenities

The interior of the latest Civic is as impressive as the exterior, with sporty leather seats you'd expect from Lexus or Infiniti. Even the rear seats on our Touring model were heated and provided ample legroom for full-grown adults. The dash has been completely restyled with a 7-inch color Driver Information Interface display that presents drivers with a digital speedometer, analog tachometer and other selectable information. The HondaLink system has been updated in the new Civic with improved response time and a brighter, more colorful interface. Some functions of the infotainment system require too many commands to get to the desired function, but in comparison to the slow and clunky system in our 2015 Honda Fit, this version is a much-welcomed upgrade.

The steering wheel seems to be the sole point of contention among staff members. Whereas Data Specialist Dwight thought that the wheel looked cheap and found the button placement to be awkward at times, others felt that the steering wheel was comfortable to grip and manipulate, with controls placed in intuitive locations. Honda even included a plastic tactile slider to control radio volume on the steering wheel, which our executive editor, Brian Moody, considers "an elegant solution" to the lack of a volume knob on Honda infotainment systems.

Ample Performance

Our team universally praised the Civic for its peppy yet fuel-efficient engine. The Honda Civic Touring comes standard with a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, which seems to be more than enough gusto to pass slower traffic and keep things entertaining. Turbo lag is at a minimum, giving drivers plenty of power precisely when it is needed. The athletic engine particularly impressed us in terms of its miserly fuel consumption. Our data manager, Ben Cheney, recorded hybridlike fuel efficiency of 35.3 miles per gallon in his time in the Civic. While being near perfect in terms of powerplant, our staff did notice a bit of engine noise from the diminutive 4-cylinder. When coupled with the more-than-satisfactory engine performance, the stellar fuel economy creates a more-than-compelling reason to get behind the wheel of the new Civic.

Sweet Ride

Despite differences in opinion on the steering wheel, the staff here at Autotrader was in agreement on the ride and handling of the Civic. Our staffers enjoyed the smooth steering response and found the Civic to be highly maneuverable, whether on the highway or winding back roads. While most cars excel on open roads, the new Civic seemed to also stand out during rush hour. Due to its compact size and catlike quickness, the Civic felt particularly adept at weaving through gaps in traffic, making the morning commute feel more like a video game than a slow creep to the daily grind.

Our Take

The 2016 Honda Civic offers styling, amenities and fuel efficiency that rival any car in its class. While its elevated sticker price of $26,500 as tested might be steep in comparison to other competitors such as the Toyota Corolla, we feel that the new Civic is by far the best car in its segment. So if you're looking for an amazing new compact car, we highly suggest that you add the new Civic sedan to your shopping list.

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Used 2016 Honda Civic Touring Sedan
Used 2016 Honda Civic
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Used 2016 Honda Civic EX-T Sedan
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Used 2016 Honda Civic Touring Sedan
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Honda Civic: Real World Review - Autotrader