Way in back in 1991, I received my very first car. It was a trashy hand-me-down from my parents and it was in fact a 1978 Honda Civic. Now a lot has changed since 1978. The Civic has gotten larger and far more sophisticated. Today we’re gonna take a look at the 2016 model, which is a major revision in terms of looks and functionality.
2016 Honda Civic EX Review
Under the hood is Honda’s so-called Earth Dreams engine. It’s a 2-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 158 horsepower through the front wheels through a constantly variably transmission. And this engine proves you don’t need a fancy hybrid system to get good mpgs. Cuz this one will put out 41 on the freeway, 31 around town. It’s pretty darn good.
In the back is probably my favorite angle of this new Civic. We have this just remarkably good-looking taillight arrangement, plus… a trunk with loads of space. I mean seriously, you can put a ton of stuff back there. And if you need more room you can easily put down the second row for complete pass-through. The back seat actually has a lot of space.
This is the real position that my front seat when I drove down in, and I have lots of leg room, I have plenty of room for my head, and I even have a place to put my arm and my beverage. It’s actually much better than one would expect for $22,000 and change. Inside it comes as a bit of a surprise. The Honda that I’ve kind of come to know and expect, it’s just not here.
This is a completely different interior than last year’s model. Previously we had one screen up here and a second screen here. What did they do? Let’s turn it on and find out. In the main cluster you have these three sections on the left you have temperature, on the right you have fuel levels as well as some warning lights, but in the middle you have a single color display that has a nicely integrated tachometer that swoops over the miles per hour.
This car is loaded with safety technology. First off it does have adaptive cruise control, which is cool. It also has lane keep assist, which will help keep you in your lanes. That’s even cooler. It also has collision mitigation and notification, to let you know that you’re driving to close to that car in front of you and warning you if you really need to slam on those brakes. And best of all, it has Honda’s blind spot camera which actually shows me my blind spot to avoid hitting a car.
The steering wheel is completely foreign to me, it’s kind of a hard plastic because this is not the top end trim model, but it has all these buttons over here. The ones on the right make sense, those are cruise control and what not. But the ones on the left, these are new, and they kind of look like the buttons that used to be up here. So if I hit this I can have my fuel gauge, I have service, I have music, okay so, now what used to be in a secondary screen has been integrated into the main dash. Okay that’s pretty cool. Phone, set up, all of that.
This screen is a big improvement over last year’s Honda Civic screen. It’s actually high-definition. And has all new graphics, it has HondaLink system, smartphone connection. Let’s look at audio. We have multiple sources, we can do AM/FM, iPod, it has Pandora built in, Bluetooth streaming, as well as USB interface down here. Plug that in there. Would you like to enable Apple CarPlay? What? This has CarPlay? How old is Taylor Swift? “Taylor Swift is 26.” Taylor Swift is 26, so says Siri. I love CarPlay because it gives me Siri functionality in the car, and Siri is like one of those, actually not just Siri, but also Cortana and all of those systems are so much better than what carmakers can do natively inside the car.
I’m really happy to see that they brought CarPlay to this vehicle. Let’s talk a little bit about the drivetrain. The engine is 158 horsepower, 2-liter, 4-cylinder. It uses Honda’s EarthDreams technology which is basically variable valve timing and direct injection. And what they do, they’ve mated it to a constantly variable transmission. It really is an amazingly economical car. But is it fun to drive? Let’s find out. Looks are always subjective.
Personally, I find the visual updates on this 2016 Civic EX to be very appealing. The nose and tail treatments help give the car more character than the previous models. It’s sporty without looking crazy. But this new Civic isn’t just good looking, it packs in loads of active safety technology while at the same time, moving the goal posts with advanced in-car entertainment options. And then there’s efficiency. 158 horsepower and up to 41 miles to the gallon on the freeway, for $22,875 out the door. It’s more than just a good value, it’s a great one.
I have to say, I’m becoming more impressed with the Honda Civic with every year. Sure in the 2000s, Honda kind of lost their way with the Civic. They seemingly produced one planned revision after the next. But this new car proves that they are once again winning the compact segment. For more on the 2016 Honda lineup, bookmark us.