2016 Honda Civic Coupe Touring Review

Honda dresses up their once boring compact to new levels


Wade Thiel, Senior Staff Writer



Positives: Attractive exterior, great steering and handling, strong fuel economy, sporty ride, and comfortable seats
Negatives: Poor throttle response and noticeable turbo lag, busy interior, cheap cabin materials in key locations, no manual option with the turbo engine
Bottom Line: Honda has made a sporty, FWD coupe that's fun to drive and reasonably practical. There really aren't many other options out there, and if you like this vehicle type you're going to enjoy this car.
Sporty, front-wheel drive coupes at an affordable price are a dying breed. As unfortunate as that is, there’s no need for tears just yet. Honda is here to satisfy your two-door needs. The all-new Honda Civic coupe may only have a few competitors but we have a feeling even if it had to do battle with a large number of vehicles, it’d stand out as one of the best affordable coupes on the road. We got a chance to spend a week with the two-door Civic and these are our impressions.
 

Driving Experience

8

 

The Honda Civic sits low, has a sporty ride, sharp handling and plenty of power, though throttle response is a little on the slow side. This car won’t blow the doors off a muscle car, but it’s definitely quick and a blast to drive on a curvy road. There is some understeer in the turns, but overall, the Civic drives wonderfully for a car at this price point.

Ride Quality: Sporty suspension and a stiff chassis make for a firm ride but the bumps aren’t jarring or uncomfortable.

Acceleration: Off the line the there’s a delay before the wheels pull you forward, but once the car gets moving it’s surprisingly quick.

Braking: The brakes are powerful and progressive, making stopping and slowing the car down easy and predictable.

Steering: Steering is well-weighted and precise in the turns.

Handling: Body roll is slight, but noticeable. Understeer is evident, but not debilitating. This is a car that’s as happy in the corners as it is on the straightaways.

Technology

6.7

 

Honda’s infotainment system looks cool, but from a user standpoint it’s kind of a mess. Everything is controlled via touch, and the controls aren’t very precise. Something as simple as turning up the volume takes more effort than it should. This is a shame because the screen size and quality are really good, though the navigation system isn’t the best. It’s labyrinthine and difficult to use.

Infotainment System: Clear 7-inch screen would be almost perfect for this little car if the controls were better.

Controls: The all touch controls on the dash aren’t easy to use and we found ourselves utilizing the steering wheel controls whenever possible.

Bluetooth Pairing: Pairing a phone is extremely easy, and re-pairing upon re-entry is seamless.

Voice Call Quality: Calls were clear on both ends with plenty of volume.

Styling

7.9

 

The 2016 Civic coupe is perhaps the best looking Civic in the models entire 44 year run. It’s full of swoopy lines. While the front is the same as the sedan version of the car, everything from the A pillars back is different and way sexier. The rear end of the car ends a bit abruptly and is a little busy for our tastes, but the taillights with the connecting light bar works well on this car and helps it stand out from the sedan.

Front: The small grille and attractive, swooping lines guide the eye towards the much more interesting roofline and rear end.

Rear: Busy with a lot of angles and a big light bar connecting the C-shaped taillights, but there isn’t another rear end like it, making it stand out.

Profile: Sleeker than the sedan, the Civic’s sloping roofline and low stance give it more of a sports car look.

Cabin: The interior of the Civic coupe isn’t exactly a high point. There are too many layers on the dash. A simpler approach would look better.

Comfort

7.8

 

The Civic coupe is surprisingly roomy for a small, sporty coupe. Even the rear seats provide a decent amount of space, though we wouldn’t want to spend too much time back there. Interior material choices are interesting. Honda seems to have focused all concerns on quality to things that are regularly touched. Things like the headliner and parts of the dash and door that don’t come into contact with the driver or passenger very often aren’t of the highest quality.

Front Seats: Well cushioned and bolstered. The Civics front seats keep cradle you tightly as you whip the car around.

Rear Seats: The rear seats are also well cushioned and bolstered, though they lack any real leg room and only suitable for short rides.

NVH: At highway speeds the Civic has a fair amount of road noise. Other than that, the car is solid and surprisingly quiet.

Visibility: Front and side visibility is great. Rear visibility is poor thanks to the tiny rear window and large C-pillars, just when you need the backup cam.

Climate: Thank goodness for the knobs. Air conditioning blasts out cold air, quickly cooling down the cabin. Heater is just as powerful. Upon accidentally turning on the seat heater we found that it worked extremely well.

Safety

8.5

 

Honda has made its Honda Sensing safety package standard for the touring version of the Civic coupe. It makes driving on the highway much easier, though it’s not as helpful in urban environments. Still, the collision mitigation braking system and forward collision warning can be useful in stop and go traffic. Aside from that, the coupe has plenty of safety features.

IIHS Rating: Top Safety Pick+

Standard Tech: Stability control, traction control, ABS, brake assist, multi-angle rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation system and dual-stage air bags.

Optional Tech: Nothing additional on this trim level.

Storage/Cargo

7.2

 

You can't expect too much from a coupe when it comes to cargo space. While the Civic coupe isn’t going to have as much space as a sedan or as a CUV, it’s surprisingly spacious when it comes to storage and cargo area. The trunk is actually pretty cavernous and you’ll have no problems fitting bags or gear into it, though the Kia Forte Koup's trunk is a little larger. The inside of the car comes with plenty of space too with room beneath the arm rest and center stack for items.

Storage Space: Under the armrest there’s plenty of space to store items and because all the shelves move. You can configure it however you want. Beneath the center stack there’s a little shelf for your phone that works well.

Cargo Room: The Civic coupe has about 12 cubic feet of space, which is plenty for groceries or luggage for a weekend trip.

Fuel Economy

8.6

 

Our tester came equipped with Honda’s 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That engine is rated at 31 mpg city and 42 mpg highway, which is very impressive and puts the Kia Forte Coupe and the Hyundai Veloster to shame. If you want a car that gets great gas mileage and is still fun to drive, the Civic coupe is an excellent choice.

Observed: Our tester returned an average of 35 mpg over seven days of daily driving.

Driving Factors: We drove in both city and highway environments. We pushed the car fairly hard a couple days to see how it handled under more aggressive driving. If you drove it more judiciously, we think it's possible to get the EPA numbers.

Audio

8.5

 

The 450-watt premium audio system with 10 speakers, including subwoofer in our test vehicle was a nice upgrade over the standard 160-watt audio system with 4 speakers. If you’re an audiophile and you like the Civic coupe, definitely upgrade to the 450-watt system. You won’t regret it, but you'll probably always be wanting for a traditional volume knob instead of Honda's weird touchsreen volume controls.

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