For decades, Honda has been able to depend upon their compact Civic as the bread and butter model for the brand. A reliable, trustworthy vehicle delivering much of what the overall driver is looking for in a car, the Honda Civic has been popular. In Canada, the Civic has spent the past 17 years as the best-selling car. Canada is also the proud home of a production facility for the economy car with the Alliston, Ontario manufacturing plant.
A car that long enjoyed the spotlight as the example of efficient small cars, the current Civic in 2015 has arguably lost perspective of the automotive marketplace in the second decade of the 21st century. The ninth-generation Honda Civic launched for the 2012 model year for the North American market was received poorly. In the following year, an unusual early revision of the Honda Civic took care of some problems but issues with the bland styling and dated engine technology plagued the car in recent years. The emerge of the mundane ninth-generation Civic came as drastic gains were made by competitors such as Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan and Hyundai. A parallel with the classic benchmark of automobiles, the Ford Model T, the Honda Civic was accused of falling victim to its reliance to design and technologies that amazed previous generations of drivers but is outclassed over years by enhanced competition. Rather than backing down as the Model T nameplate did, the Civic approaches 2016 as a complete reinvention of itself.
Introducing the 2016 Honda Civic Sedan
After a ninth-generation restyle that was judged by many as too tame, Honda started with a clean slate on the tenth-generation Civic’s exterior. The 2016 Civic Concept first shown at the 2015 New York Auto Show teased us to a redefining era for the Honda compact car. At first look, fans of the current Civic Sedan may have a hard time believing this new car is the descendant of the vehicle they knew. From vanilla styling, the 2016 Honda Civic realizes a modernistic appearance. The overall sedan body style is sleeker with a shorter than ever notch of the trunk lid. Front and rear styling symbolizes Honda’s new approach for the brand’s DNA. Headlights of the new car feature standard LED daytime running lights while the C-shaped taillights also include LED use. Improvements to ergonomics on the 2016 Civic Sedan will be noted at the rear. A larger capacity trunk is accessible by a trunk lid that features a lower liftover height for easier loading and unloading of cargo.
Wider, lower and based on a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase, the 2016 Civic Sedan’s sophisticated, sporty demeanour is said to be 12 percent better than its predecessor. A torsional rigidity improvement of 25 percent thanks in part to the increased use of ultra-high-strength steel provides a safer cabin enclosure as well as a more stable structure. The new Civic Sedan is 68 pounds lighter than the 2015 model despite being larger in size.
In addition to the familiar coupe and sedan model, a five-door hatchback body style will return to the North American Honda Civic line-up. The hatchback presence will mark the first time in roughly 25 years where such a body configuration was available in the United States and Canada (last known as the Wagon or Wagovan).
Economy Driving to the Extremes of Technology
An all-new suspension design is employed on the new, lower floor 2016 Honda Civic. With standard four-wheel disc brakes, the revised handling of the compact car also incorporates a new Agile Handling Assist brake-torque vectoring system. Honda Sensing suite will also be available on the 2016 Civic consisting of features such as Collision Mitigation Braking and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow.
Two powerplant choices will be offered on the 2016 Honda Civic including the vehicle’s most powerful base engine offered on the car. In addition to the standard 2.0-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder being stronger in performance, except better fuel economy from the base powerplant. For the first time, a turbocharged powerplant will be offered on the 2016 Honda Civic Sedan. A promised move by Honda, the introduction of a turbocharged engine with gasoline direct injection technology will result in the most potent powerplant offered outside the Civic Si family for the small car. Fuel maximized fuel economy, the 2016 Honda Civic will utilize continuously variable transmission on most models. A six-speed manual transmission will be offered on the LX trim level of the Honda Civic Sedan.
Details on the future Si models have not been released but should be announced soon. With the increased engine output provided to the conventional Civic, expect a more powerful Si to exceed its 204-horsepower level. North American audiences can also look forward to the debut of the Civic Type-R. An obvious effort to better the Focus RS, the first Honda Civic Type-R destined for Canada and the United States should produce more than 300 horsepower when it arrives. Other suspension, mechanical and aerodynamic improvements should make the Type-R version one of the feistiest Civics ever to leave the showroom floor.
Compact Car with Roomier Interior
The new Honda Civic Sedan’s interior has not been ignored in the evolutionary restyle. With 3.7 cubic-feet more interior space, the 2016 Honda Civic is among the largest in the compact car segment. Rear seat leg room within the new interior grows by a full two inches compared to the 2015 Civic. A body-sealing procedure will lead to significantly less unwanted road noise seeping into the cabin. Acoustic glass, triple-sealed doors and increased sound deadening around the engine compartment will contribute to a quiet ride.
In the driver’s seat, a new control centre greets the motorist. The polarizing two-tier instrument cluster is gone on the 2016 Civic. Instead, the driver overlooks a more compact instrument layout that can be easily-viewed in a single glance. Observed through the high-end Touring trim version of the Honda Civic, the steering wheels features multifunction controls while the remainder of the dashboard appears clean and tidy. A practical display of the new Civic Sedan’s enriched cabin is the inclusion of a reconfigurable center console that provides as much as 7.2 liters of storage room.
Equipped with a Display Audio with a seven-inch high-definition touchscreen, the latest Civic courts the tech-seeking buyer with the gadgets being sought in today’s compact car segment. Like the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is integrated with the new Honda Civic providing a more connected travelling experience.
Scheduled for rapid release this fall, Honda isn’t leaving the 10th generation Civic Sedan with a lot of time to settle on the car magazine pages or blogs.
Information and photo source: Honda North America