Having driven the 10th gen coupe (EXL) hands down no contest any way shape or form this is a better more fun to drive car than my current 9th gen coupe. Even from my brief test drive the difference between the new car and old car is hugely noticeable and not just in the quality of materials or the outward style of the car. The handling is so much flatter in the 10th gen. My 9th gen is sloppy... rolls into corners, feels heavy, and has little to no steering heft to assist in pointing the car where you want it to go, leaving it vague and needing constant mid corner corrections.
The 10th gen is so much more a mature car. It's quiet. The suspension soaks up small bumps and road imperfections that cause my 9th gen to jump and bounce and crash over. The steering is noticeably heavier in the new car as well. It has heft, and the shorter lock to lock turning radius has sharpened the steering to make this a very point and shoot car, no mid corner corrections needed. It's easy to feel this cars limits, thus inspiring confidence in the drive. The CVT is much more refined feeling as well in comparison to my 9th gen CVT which has a habit of getting confused, jumping from ratio to ratio at low speeds, which i did not experience at all in the 10th gen.
The 1.5T pulls hard, and is drama free. Put foot down and the car pulls seamlessly, no jerking, to vibration, just smooth continuous power. And very much noticeably faster than my 9th gen.
The 10th gen is (IMO) 300% better in every way than my 9th gen. Quality, style, handling, performance, inspiring confidence in aggressive driving, etc. It ticks all the boxes, and it's what makes this new civic class leading with the Mazda3 being it's only real competition.
I think, from what i gathered in this article, the reviewer is obviously a hard core manual transmission purist. Anything other than a manual is immediately dull and lifeless to them. But not everyone wants a manual, and statistically that's not what sells the most. Don't compare the CVT to the manual, compare the CVT to all the other automatics in the compact segment. The 10th gen is a fun car to drive. Mature, drama free, smooth and powerful. Maybe they want more drama in their driving, like a stripped down sports coupe that crashes over bumps and is loud and uncomfortable. But for the daily driver who's also a part time car enthusiast the choice is easy... it's the 10th gen civic or a mazda3.
5 Civics in 10 years. I might be an addict.