Few vehicles are as well-known as the Honda Civic. It has been around for 10 generations and four decades – better yet, it’s made curiously few missteps during that period. Such popularity rests on an ability to deliver a peppy drive and cool styling without betraying the compact class formula, and the new 10th-generation Honda Civic seeks to extend that popularity into the future.
Initial reviews were extremely strong, but one reviewer has gone above and beyond by conducting a long-term test of the top-tier 2016 Honda Civic Touring. Motor Trend had already noted that this is “the first Civic in a long time that seems to have some of the old Honda magic back”. Now we get to see how it holds up over months instead of just days.
Motor Trend writer Francis Gow was at first put off by the new Honda Civic’s relatively high price-point – in the United States, the Touring trim level is going to set you back by nearly $28,000. However, in his own words: “After one drive of our Civic Touring … I understood. Honda’s updated Civic remains amazing value for money, despite the rising MSRP.”
Having just driven an Audi A3, the bar was set pretty high, and yet the 2016 Honda Civic was noted as a “worthy adversary”, all without coming close to the price of an Audi. Gow reported that the infotainment system didn’t quite come up to the standards of the Audi’s Google Maps overlay, but the digital dashboard scored high marks overall, as did the new LED headlights. Of course, the Touring trim level isn’t exactly a representative example; as the priciest model, it comes fully stocked with comfort and convenience features.
While some compact vehicles struggle with sound penetration, the Civic seems to have an excellently insulated interior, even when you’re gunning one of its feisty engines. Base models fit a 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC I-4 rated at 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque, while higher trims are treated to an all-new 174 hp, 162 lb-ft of torque 1.5-liter turbocharged DOHC I-4. They appear to hold up well, uniting fleet-footed acceleration to enhance city-based driving with the kind of high-speed control required when cruising on the motorway.
It’s not uncommon for extended test drives to single out flaws that wouldn’t have been apparent at first, but the Honda Civic seems to be moving from strength to strength.