Experienced by Marvin Bowser
The 10th Generation 2016 Honda CIVIC is based on a completely new design. Honda’s goals for Gen 10 were to create an upmarket, premium experience while maintaining competitive pricing. How’d they do?
Gen 10 is longer, wider and lower than the previous car while muscular fender flares and character lines convey a level of sportiness. The coupe-like roof tapers to the rear deck, adorned with LED tail lights. Halogen projector headlights and LED daytime running lights are integrated into the chrome-plated Honda “wing” that dominates the front fascia. Overall, the refined, modern appearance is definitely upscale.
My road test was a 400-mile weekend trip from Washington, D.C. to Easton PA. It was cold at 6:00 am so I started the car using the standard remote start. Standard Keyless Smart Entry also came in handy while loading the trunk. My suit bag laid flat across the width of the spacious trunk that is 15.1 cubic feet in volume, which is up 2.6 cubic feet. Gen 10 can easily accommodate 4 adults and their luggage for a weekend trip by my estimation. Release the seat backs to extend cargo capacity further.
I was able to sync my iPhone using Apple CarPlay and navigate using Apple Maps on the 7” touchscreen display. Honda did a great job integrating all audio sources, steering wheel buttons and the touchscreen so the overall result is as good as some high cost OEM navigation systems. You can also dictate SMS text messages, play music and listen to podcasts via Apple CarPlay. No iPhone? No problem. There are several Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options to connect your smartphone to the infotainment system to include Android Auto. The display also supports Lane Watch, (a live video of the right lane) and the Multi-View Rear Camera. Overall, the infotainment system is refreshingly easy to use without first reading the manual.
GEN 10 maintains its composure and stability on par with many premium sedans despite highway roadway irregularities. There is no wind noise at highway cruising speeds and the only noise detected was a reassuringly solid “thump” from bumps in the road. Visibility is excellent as I felt confident driving the car fast. The variable electric steering feel tended to be a little light but the car definitely goes where intended.
Interior surfaces and upholstery are high quality while the “ground up” new design and engineering improve safety, noise and vibration characteristics and fuel efficiency. The huge center console features USB ports, a 12V power socket, the optional wireless charger and a comfortable armrest. It can also hold a couple of tablets or your favorite super sized beverage.
My EX had the new 2.0 liter DOHC port-injected i-VTEC engine that cranks out 158-horsepower and 138 lb-ft. of torque and a CVT transmission. A 6-speed manual is also available. The drivetrain, the most powerful base engine ever offered on a Civic, provides ample power for urban driving, lane changing, hill climbing and highway cruising. It’s also responsive but does get buzzy when pushed hard. Honda engineers have done a great job mating the engine to the transmission and creating a fuel-efficient vehicle that is both easy and fun to drive. The other new engine offered in the Gen 10 is a turbocharged 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected unit pushing 174-horsepower with peak torque of 162 lb.-ft. On the way home I averaged 40.5 MPG over 196 miles despite driving fast enough to keep up with turnpike traffic! The trip cost about $9.10 in fuel. Truth in advertising, I used the Eco Assist system and Honda Sensing which helped the mileage results. Honda Sensing is a full suite of technologies for maintaining speed and safe following distances, alert the driver when drifting across lane markers and autonomously brakes to avoid collisions. I am still amazed that Honda is making this level of technology available at such a price point.
So how did Honda do? It’s a winner! The 2016 Civic EX with Honda Sensing retails at about $23,000. Are you considering Elantra, Corolla, Mazda 3, Cruz or Focus? Well, add the 2016 Civic to your shopping list. You will receive plenty of car for you money.