by Tony West and Sommer Thornton
Honda hits it out of the park with the redesigned 2016 Civic Touring. The cool fun sporty new compact sedan stunts on competitors with its aerodynamically enhanced front and rear fascia and tech-savvy leather interior. The Civic used to be the butt of jokes, but now the whip is sexier than the Corolla and the Elantra, and has a turbocharged engine.
The 2016 Civic model range begins with the LX which has a 158 horsepower 4-cylinder engine. Next is an EX, EX-L and EX-T that have a 174 horsepower turbo engine. The top-of-the-line Civic Touring has the turbo engine with a spunky Continuously Variable Transmission.
Honda redefines the Civic with its Touring model merging turbo aggression with a lux looking interior that boasts a large digital touch screen with backup camera and a dope side view camera for right turns.
Fresh Design Reimagined
I was impressed with the completely new look of the 2016 Honda Civic Touring. I can hardly tell it’s a Civic. The new Civic is low and wide with a 106 inch wheelbase, echoing the sporty stance of earlier models but expanding in width. Now the Civic has a short front overhang with hood creases and a chrome-plated Honda wing the stretches across the fascia. LED headlights are optional while LED daytime running lights and tail lights with a light-pipe configuration are standard on the Touring model.
The Civics ultra-thin A-pillars allow for great forward visibility. And a 68 lb weight reduction helps the Civic fly through the wind in high speeds. The 2016 Civic doesn’t just look
good, its reconfigured body boasts quality materials. The 2016 Civic is made of 59% high strength steel and 14% ultra-high-strength steel, the most ever in a Civic. A new lighter more rigid body, coupled with premium insulation materials and a new ACE body structure gives the Civic more resilience than many of its peers and some full-size sedans.
Other cool exterior features on the Civic Touring include 16 inch blacked-out alloy wheels, body-color door side mirrors, moon roof, keyless entry, shark fin antenna, chrome door handles and body color decklid spoiler.
Contemporary Lux Cabin with Advanced Tech
The interior of the 2016 Civic Touring is almost swankier than the Acura cabins. Honda whips have had sleek leather cockpits for years, but the Civic raises the bar. The leather clad interior of the Civic Touring features a leather steering wheel and shift knob. A push button start, 12-volt front power outlet, LED gear indicator lights, dual zone climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror is standard on the Civic Touring. Drivers have an 8-way power seat and passengers have a 4-way power seat.
The lower wider Civic Touring has 39.3 inches of front and rear headroom. The whip has an impressive 42 inches of front legroom and 37 inches of legroom in the rear. Rear seats also fold down.
Comfort and convenience features range from a remote start and electric park brake to heated front and rear seats, dual-zone climate control, and rain sensing wipers. I love the parchment leather seats with the sporty brown stripe down the middle.
The interior also has great storage space with side cup holders, a small center console and a shelf in the center stack.
Drivers are in great comfort with a 10-way adjustable seat. The leather wrapped steering wheel has controls for Bluetooth, audio, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and the multi info display in the digital dash. The new and improved driver’s dash layout is intuitive with gauges for fuel, coolant temp, and for speed and the MID in the center. The multi info display can show a wealth of helpful info and configurations for dynamic driving and safety features plus a compass, navigation, Econ and turbo boost meters.
The 2016 Honda Civic Touring also has compatibility for cool new infotainment like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to connect with smartphones. Sirius Satellite Radio and HondaLink are also available. HD Radio is standard on the Touring model with a Premium 10-speaker audio system. The system is banging in the lil Civic Touring thanks to the subwoofer. And the Touring boasts Honda Satellite Linked Navigation with voice command and Honda HD Digital Traffic. The navigation is cool in the Touring showing all street names, speed limits, elevation level, traffic icons and exit names. Its pinch and grab is on point.
HondaLink provides useful real-time info about the car and nearby amenities, and can call the police in an emergency.
The center stack of the 2016 Civic Touring has a dope 7 inch display that houses controls for infotainment and climate. I like the reduction of buttons in the center. I love the side view camera that displays automatically when I signal or turn right. The only issue is the adjustment of climate and volume being a touch surface on the screen. It could be more of a distraction when I have to adjust and quickly keep my eyes on the road. Having to press the screen 5 times to change the volume made me yearn for an “old-school” nob. Plus the climate resets when I’m out of the car for long periods, so I’m readjusting nearly every time I get in the car.
Wi-Fi is also available in the Honda Civic Touring. I like that the driver can customize their Civic’s home screen and brightness via the 7 inch touchscreen.
Well-balanced Powertrain with Pep
The 2016 Civic scores major points with its efficient powertrain. The whip boasts a ton of standard dynamic driving and safety features, plus can kick up the torque at ease.
The new Civic is designed to deliver superior acceleration, braking, straight-line drivability, steering precision, body control, aerodynamics and noise reduction. Its performance beats out many of its peers. The 2016 Civic LX and EX are powered by a 2.0 liter DOHC 4-cylinder with i-VTEC. The pristine 4-cylinder has 156 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 138 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. It’s said to be the most powerful base engine Civic has ever had.
The Civic EX-T, EX-L, and Touring are powered by a turbocharged 1.5 liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with direct injection. The efficient engine also boasts variable cam timing and an electronic waste gate. The peppy Touring model has 174 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 165 lb-ft of torque. The whip gets up and rips the road with some concentrated aggression.
The 1.5 liter turbo engine is mated to a new Continuously Variable Transmission that optimizes power across the shift range. Both efficient engines garner high EPAs thanks in-part to a new ultra-rigid body and aerodynamic elements like the shark fin antenna, air intakes, sharp side mirrors, and boomerang design of the rear tail lights. Both the 1.5 liter turbo and 2.0 liter have a combined EPA of 35 mpg – wowsers!
Econ Assist helps improve efficiency by adjusting performance of the engine, trans, A/C and cruise control. Also cool is the ambient meter, that flashes green in the MID for efficient driving, light green for moderate acceleration, and white when I’m driving more aggressive. Not only is driving in Econ mode uber-efficient, sport mode seems to beef up torque at the front wheels.
A Drive Mode selector in the Civic Touring gives even more dynamic driving in Sport mode, with aggressive trans mapping and delayed upshifts.
On the highway the compact whip stunts on its rivals with optimal acceleration with its drive-by-wire throttle system and G-design shift logic. The whip has an all-new chassis design with MacPherson strut front suspension and Multi-link rear suspension, plus variable gear ratio steering. Braking is on-a-dime on the Civic Touring with 11 inch power-assisted ventilated front and 10 inch solid rear disc brakes. At high speeds the Civic is agile, fun and accelerates with ease. Turning is smooth, but cornering is rough with no finesse.
New Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2016 Honda Civic has some great new safety features inside and out. One could argue that its safety features are its biggest leap forward. The Civic’s safety performance starts with its class-leading steering, handling and braking. Standard ABS with EBD, vehicle stability assist, traction control and Agile Handling Assist further enhance dynamic stability and quick maneuvering.
Honda Sensing can detect an impending accident and take charge when the driver doesn’t. For the first time, the Honda’s tech includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow. Honda Sensing also includes Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision warning and Road Departure Mitigation. The best part is all Civics now have the dope multi-angle rearview camera and expanded view driver’s mirror.
Honda does an awesome job redesigning and redefining the new Civic. The whip has a unique design that I recognize all over Chicago. The 2016 Honda Civic’s MSRP starts at $18,640 for the base model and $27,335 for the Touring model. Compact peers like the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra don’t stack up.
Check our more photos from our First Drive review with the 2016 Honda Civic Touring on our Facebook Page!