Just about every vehicle out there has something about it that can be improved and the 2016 Civic Sedan is no different. Being a big improvement over the current outgoing 9th Generation model, there's a lot of positive things to say which has been covered extensively over the last couple months. Not talked about enough since release are its downsides, some which we will be pointing out here and to start is its CVT everyone has been talking about...
If you demand good get-up-and-go, opt for the manual, still test the CVT, but just know where it's lacking:
- LeftLaneNewsPerformance from the naturally-aspirated 2.0L four-cylinder compares favorably to the competition when equipped with the six-speed manual, but the CVT option saps most of its get-up-and-go. While the engine sounds like it is working hard under full throttle, the CVT prevents that noise from being turned into any kind of significant forward progress.
Falls Short On Low End
While it does lack on the low end, once up to speed and at a higher rev range, you shouldn’t be disappointed:
- NYDailyNewsThe 2.0-liter, on the other hand, loses steam unless you keep it towards the higher end of the rev range, something that is hard to do when a belt system is controlling the power output. We had a chance to sample a bone-stock, 6-speed-manual Civic LX with the naturally aspirated unit, and its operating procedure was much more typical of Hondas past: rev the heck out of it to get ample power.
Lacks Manual or Paddle Shifters
To make up for these woes we hope Honda considers more manual-like feel:
- Driving.caThe lack of a manual mode or paddle shifters was disappointing, but it does bring stellar economy: 7.6 L/100 km in the city and 5.5 on the highway, and this is all in spite of being two seconds faster than the 2.0-litre engine. It also consumes regular gasoline.
Finding a complaint about interior feel being cheap wasn’t common, but AutoWeek did find this to be the case. What do you guys think?:
- AutoWeekThe interior on the base LX feels a little cheap considering Honda’s promise of premium appointments at entry-level pricing.
Sloping Roof Line
Getting into the rear is reported doable for passengers over 6tt but getting in/out may present an issue with the sloping roof line:
- MotorTrendThe sloping roofline affects passenger entry into the rear, and it’s visually hard to believe there’s more back-seat space as the official specs attest. You do seem to sit deeper into the rear bench, so friend and family ride-alongs should be fine as long as they’re not terribly tall and won’t bump their heads getting in and out.
Along with getting in/out being a possible issue for taller passengers, what’s included in the rear passenger footwell area won’t help:
- KBBThe cabin felt roomy, with more headroom and legroom than expected in the back seats (passengers well over six feet tall fit comfortably), and the interior is quieter than in past Civics. One quibble: there is a shelf-like platform on the bottom of either side of the back seats, which takes away foot room on the sides and makes it harder to get out.
Checking blind spots is super important and unfortunately the thick c-pillars aren’t helping, fortunately we do have tech to fill although it will take some time to get used to:
- LeftLaneNewsThe story is a little different at the rear of the Civic where thick C-pillars can block the driver's view. However, the Civic does come with Honda's Lane Watch, which uses a camera mounted on the passenger's side mirror to project any potential hazards lurking in the side blind spot on the car's infotainment screen. The system automatically activates anytime the right-hand turn signal is turned on.
Volume Slider Button
A number of reports talk about the volume slider button, while a small issue, it can make changing volume levels more involved than what you’ve been used to:
- LeftLaneNews.comThe screen itself offers good resolution and is general response to touch inputs. The unit also supports the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems. However, we still can't get used to the volume slider button. To make matters worse, that slider has migrated to the steering wheel where it is just as difficult to make incremental volume changes. Luckily you can still click up or down, in addition to the slide feature, if you choose.
Better Value Elsewhere
Unfortunately, after looking at what else is available throughout the segment you may discover that the all-new 2016 Civic may not check all the boxes for you:
- Examiner.comAnother factor that will likely drive some buyers to the Civic's competition is its price. While the Honda's price tag is reasonable, and while its class-leading fuel efficiency adds to its value proposition, the fact remains that a number of rather nice compact cars sell for less money. The Toyota Corolla – for many buyers, the top competitor to the Civic – doesn't have the Honda's polished driving dynamics or long list of features, but it's generally pleasant to drive and generally costs several thousand dollars less than the Civic, depending on what options you want. The Hyundai Elantra is another strong value proposition – the Civic is probably better in each way (except the simplicity of its controls), but not necessarily so much better that it's worth paying a lot more for.
And if you're craving the most driving enjoyment from a compact economy car, you'll still want to shop the Mazda3. If the Mazda's higher price and tighter interior volume make you cross it off your list, the Civic's performance isn't half bad, but it would be a car you're accepting rather than truly desiring.