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2016 Honda Civic: Used Car Review

Buying a 2016 Honda Civic is a smart and safe used car purchase. The Civic was completely redesigned for 2016, growing in size, power, sophistication and style. Although a hybrid model was not offered in 2016, the standard Civic returns excellent fuel economy regardless of engine choice. It’s also available with a 6-speed manual or a CVT automatic.

On the safety front, the 2016 Civic offers a number of advanced features including forward-collision warning and emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning. We should point out that while these driver assists are now standard on new models, in 2016 they were optional on all but the Touring trim.

What We Like

Handsome styling; excellent resale and reliability; good crash test scores; advanced driver assists; turbocharged engine; precise handling; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

What We Don’t

Audio system’s touch controls for volume and tuning; LX trims’ one-piece folding rear seat; no manual transmission for the turbocharged models

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The Honda Civic comes with two engine choices. On base LX and EX trims, power is supplied by a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine rated at 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual is standard, returning an EPA estimated 27 miles per gallon in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Upgrade to the CVT automatic, and those figures rise to 31 mpg city/41 mpg hwy.

The better-equipped EX-T, EX-L and Touring trims have a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine good for 174 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. Available only with the CVT automatic, the EPA rates this engine at a respectable 31 mpg city/42 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Civic can be found in five trims, starting with the base LX and EX and graduating to the better-equipped EX-T, EX-L and Touring.

The LX includes a 6-speed manual transmission, 2.0-liter engine, power windows and door locks, power mirrors, automatic headlights, cruise control, a rear backup camera, a 4-speaker AM/FM stereo with a 5-in color LCD display and USB port, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, rear-seat heat ducts, a remote trunk release, single-piece folding rear seatback and power side mirrors.

The EX adds a CVT automatic transmission, a 7-in touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HondaLink, a LaneWatch blind spot passenger side camera, heated side mirrors, a power sunroof, keyless access with push-button start, remote start, 16-in alloy wheels, variable wipers, a rear-seat center armrest, lighted visor vanity mirrors and a 60/40-split folding rear seat.

The EX-T brings the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, fog lights, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-in alloy wheels, a body-colored decklid spoiler, SiriusXM satellite and HD Radio.

The EX-L brings leather seating surfaces, an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

At the top of the model range is the Touring that adds the Honda Sensing system (forward-collision warning and emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist), navigation, LED headlights, 450-watt 10-speaker premium audio with a subwoofer, a 4-way power passenger seat, heated rear seats and rain-sensing wipers.

Pricing

The 2016 Honda Civic holds some of the best resale values of any car, regardless of size or segment. As such, finding a good price on a low-mileage car is going to require your best negotiating skills.

To get a good idea of the Civic’s price range, we suggest using the used car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has issued the following recalls for the 2016 Honda Civic:

  • A recall was issued due to the possibility that the electronic parking brake may not engage if it is set immediately after turning off the ignition.
  • A recall was issued for a possible failure of the side marker lights to illuminate.
  • A recall was issued for a possible problem with the clips that hold the piston wrist pin in place. Should the pin fail, the cylinder wall could be damaged, causing the engine to seize.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website; simply enter your vehicle’s identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The Honda Civic sedan’s safety record appears to be quite good. NHTSA gives the 2016 Civic five stars overall, with four stars in its front crash test and five stars in the side-impact and rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2016 Civic with its highest score of Good in its offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests and a Superior in the collision-avoidance and mitigation test when equipped with the Honda Sensing system.

The Civic left the factory with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Both are fully transferable. If you buy a certified pre-owned Civic (CPO), it will have gone through a 182-point inspection and will come with an extension of the basic warranty (4 years/48,000 miles). If the vehicle’s new-car warranty has expired, it will instead come with a 1-year/12,000-mile basic warranty from the date of purchase. The powertrain warranty is also extended by 7 years/100,000 miles from the date that the vehicle entered service.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Toyota Corolla — The Corolla isn’t as racy or technically advanced as the Civic, nor is it as powerful. But the Corolla will cost less, has equally good marks for resale and reliability and has a larger back seat.

2016 Subaru Impreza — The Impreza also holds strong marks for safety, reliability and resale, and despite its standard all-wheel drive, returns pretty good fuel economy numbers just shy of the Civic’s. The Civic, however, offers more power and a more refined interior.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze — The Cruze offers a sleek design, lots of high-tech features and a smooth ride. It’s also available with a diesel engine, but the Cruze doesn’t hold its value as well as the Civic.

Autotrader’s Advice

Frankly, you could buy the base LX model with Honda Sensing and have just about everything you need in a car. But we like the upgraded audio and the few extra luxury touches of the EX. Those seeking more power and upgrades will be happy with the EX-L, but even the top-of-the-line Touring isn’t too expensive considering all it provides. The bottom line is you really can’t go wrong regardless of which trim you choose, although enthusiast drivers will have to settle for the base LX and weaker engine if they want to drive a manual transmission.

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