2016 Honda Civic: A Leap Forward

Honda has never been a company known for taking risks, which doesn’t mean they don’t roll the dice once in a while. Conservatism has paid off so far for the Civic, yet it was time to move forward. Not only has the 2016 Honda Civic been totally redesigned, but it’s changed significantly.

The car’s shape is the first obvious clue that Honda did things differently this time around. The Civic sedan boasts a fastback roofline, yet is still equipped with a proper trunk. This new styling might not represent a bold move for Hyundai or Mazda, but it is one for Honda.

The same design philosophy is applied to the car’s cockpit. The two-level driver instrument panel is gone, but every trim except the base DX gets digital speedometer and tachometer readouts. The fake dashboard stitching in our EX-T tester looks a little cheesy, but you can’t blame Honda for trying to add some detailing to the overall look.

The Civic also gains connectivity features, yet the centre stack touchscreen lacks sensitivity for quick finger tapping while driving, and the button zones are too thin. A proper volume dial is sadly absent, too, despite wheel-mounted controls. The older crowd who appreciated the Civic for its simplicity might not like this.

As before, occupants sit low in the 2016 Honda Civic. However, the seats are comfortable for road trips and outward visibility is good, despite the fat rear pillars. Rear-seat space is fine for two adults, but three people across will fight for legroom. Civics of yore used to offer more foot space. On a more positive note, trunk space has grown considerably from 340 to 428 litres.

Another innovation can be found underhood, and that’s a force-fed engine. The optional turbocharged, 1.5-litre four develops 162 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque. For now, the only transmission choice with it is a continuously variable automatic.

Performance is interesting, but this ain’t no Civic Si. We did manage an excellent average of 6.5 L/100 km during our test, though. Base versions of the Civic get a naturally aspirated, 2.0-litre four that develops 158 hp; fuel consumption is virtually the same as the Turbo’s, but at least a six-speed manual is available.

The 2016 Honda Civic feels solid, built by Canadians in Honda’s Alliston, Ontario plant, and it handles like we except it to. It’s not as sporty or as a Volkswagen Jetta or a Mazda3, but refined and comfortable without feeling spongy.

The new Civic is a significant step forward for Honda, but it’s just slightly ahead of the game in its market segment, as it had some catching up to do. That was enough for it to nab AJAC’s Canadian Car of the Year title for 2016.

The Best Alternatives

  1. Test Drives 2017 Hyundai Elantra 2017 Hyundai Elantra: born to lead
    4.5/5
    The Hyundai Elantra has improved quite a bit in the last few years, to the point where it’s currently sitting near the top of the… Full story
  2. Test Drives 2014 Mazda3 sedan: the new benchmark?
    4.5/5
    The last few years were tough for Mazda. The company decided to focus on developing brand-new powertrains and platforms for its line-up of cars and trucks, which required a massive investment. Full story
  3. Test Drives 2016 Kia Forte5 SX Luxury 2016 Kia Forte5 SX: The Closest Thing to a Kia Sports Car
    4.0/5
    Although the Korean brand’s lineup is pretty complete, filled with sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs, there’s something important missing here. Actually two, if we count pickup trucks. What… Full story
  4. Test Drives 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT: Staying in Top Shape
    4.0/5
    For 2016, the most family-minded Elantra, the GT, gets a minor redesign that includes cosmetic and mechanical changes. Hyundai’s compact car competes in a very well represented segment,… Full story

787 used Honda Civic for sale in your area

  1. 2009 Honda Civic EX $8,695
    HALDIMAND MOTORS
    114,386 km
    Cayuga, ON
    1-888-509-2014
  2. 2012 Honda Civic LX $10,950
    HALDIMAND MOTORS
    83,900 km
    Cayuga, ON
    1-888-509-2014
  3. 2014 Honda Civic LX $13,995
    HALDIMAND MOTORS
    65,676 km
    Cayuga, ON
    1-888-509-2014
  4. 2010 Honda Civic $11,495
    HALDIMAND MOTORS
    106,163 km
    Cayuga, ON
    1-888-509-2014
See all Used Vehicles