Highlight: The brand’s first 5-door hatchback will be joining the lineup soon.
Test vehicle’s MSRP: $26,960 (base model $19,885)
Seating Capacity: 4 realistically for the coupe, Honda says 5?
Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a vehicle stability control system; traction control; an electric parking brake with automatic brake hold; hill start assist control system; a compact spare tire; LED Daytime Running Lights; and a tire pressure monitoring system
Standard Equipment (Base Model): 16-inch wheels; a 6-speed manual transmission; sliding center armrest with storage; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; an automatic climate control system; cloth manually adjustable (front) seats; and fold down rear seat back
Standard Equipment (Touring): 17-inch wheels; 1.5-liter with a 174-horsepower engine; a remote start engine; leather seats; heated front seats; a 10-speaker, 450-watt audio with HD, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay/Android auto a forward collision braking system; a lane departure warning system; a collision mitigation braking system; Honda’s LaneWatch changing system; a lane keep assist system; a radar-activated cruise control system; LED taillights; power side mirrors with heated integrated turn signals; rain sensing wipers; fog lights; LED automatic headlights; push-button ignition starter system; a dual zone automatic climate control system; illuminated visor vanity mirrors; and a leather-wrapped steering wheel
Other Trim Level: LX, LX-P, EX-T, EX-L
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 4-speaker, 160-watt AM/FM/CD
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/158-hp
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage: 26-city/38-hwy
What’s New: The 10th generation Civic is new inside and out.
Why: Honda has finally gotten the 10th generation Civic styling right both inside and out, adding curves, flair and a host of high-tech features. The vehicle no longer looks like a safe, uninspiring econo box on wheels. The current generation Civic will be available in a variety of trims: sedan, coupe and hatchback. In fact, this is one of the few vehicles in the hyper competitive compact segment that will be available in both a coupe and a hatchback.
The Civic also takes on some safety features that have never been in a Honda before. That includes electric parking brakes and a brake hold feature which allows the driver to allow his feet to rest, while at an extended traffic stop without having to continuously apply the brakes. This feature isn’t even available on the larger Accord.
Moreover, the stylish Honda is available with the latest self-driving-like car features such as a lane departure warning system and the radar-activated cruise control. And techies will love this vehicle too, the Civic is fully compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay platforms. Smartphone users will also be smitten by Honda’s smartphone-like touchscreen infotainment screen. The vehicle also includes an in-car calculator App.
Lastly, the new Civic is available with two engines, a base vehicle that spews out 158 horses and one that offers more oomph, pumping out 174 horses. Our top of the line spirited Touring model, with great handling capabilities, was outfitted with all of the bells and whistles.
But: Honda claims the coupe is capable of seating 5. Let’s be honest the rear seats of the coupe are designed for small kids only. And Honda only offers the thrill of driving a manual transmission in the base LX model only. What a bummer. And Honda like a number of automakers has eliminated CD players for their touch screen and smartphone-like system.
Furthermore, Honda should consider offering a safety package available for each of their trims for folks seeking automatic brakes and a radar-activated cruise control system. This shouldn’t be reserved just for the higher-end trims.
Verdict: As we noted, when we profiled the vehicle in February’s Ebony magazine, as one of our best picks, the vehicle’s design team has finally gotten the styling right, both inside and out. The vehicle is also available in a multitude of styles and powertrain configurations. Thus, Honda is no longer relying on the brand’s famed reliability to sell the vehicle. It’
s been a long time since we’ve been truly smitten with the Civic. It really feels like a grown up vehicle we’re proud to drive.
Coupes: 2016 Kia Forte Koup
Sedans: 2017 Hyundai Elantra; 2016 Chevy Cruze; 2016 Ford Focus; 2016 Dodge Dart; 2016 Nissan Sentra; 2016 Kia Forte; 2016 Mazda3; 2016 Subaru Impreza; 2016 Toyota Corolla; and 2016 Volkswagen Jetta
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him on Twitter/JeffCars.