On the heels of winning North American Car of the Year, Honda launched the new 2016 Civic Coupe to join the honored sedan sibling in its showrooms. For coupe fans, Honda did more than just hack off a couple of doors in delivering its new coupe to the market, but can it live up to the high mark already set?
In a word, yes. The 2016 Honda Civic Coupe, to me, almost redefines the segment. This is one of the most enjoyable little coupes I have driven in quite some time. Agreed, the two-door segment has shrunk a bit over the years, but there is still some formidable competition when shopping this segment and a couple of the key determining factors when making a purchase have to be value and fun. The 2016 Civic Coupe delivers on both and then some.
The new Coupe sees all new styling both inside and out but for me, the best news was the introduction of the turbocharged 1.5-liter direct injected four-cylinder engine. It produces 174hp and at launch is mated only to Honda’s CVT gearbox but the powertrain combination works very well and provides spirited, economical driving all day long. Fuel economy during our week remained at or above the posted 31 mpg city and 41 mpg highway and trust me, we were not attempting to set any fuel economy records the way I drive.
Engine response is smooth across the powerband, and the CVT seems to be reengineered to provide a more traditional feel with shift points built in. In sport mode, it will hold the engine revs higher to allow the Civic Coupe be able to pull harder exiting corners. And speaking of corners, this new Coupe is solid on both straightaways and through the turns. I was extremely impressed with the handling and total driving experience. The car just feels so well-balanced yet very comfortable and quiet.
Honda engineers were able to shave some weight from this new Coupe versus the previous model and they have increased body rigidity at the same time. They also boast a much tighter body seal and improved noise isolation with the improvements they have made. There is a new multi-link independent rear suspension, upgraded body bushings, larger stabilizer bars, enhanced rigid aluminum rear damper brackets, dual-pinion electric power steering with variable gear ratio and new Agile Handling Assist brake torque vectoring for better cornering precision and stability. I concur.
Slipping inside the new Civic Coupe and one realizes the new car is roomier and all controls are well located within easy reach or view of the cockpit. Some of the new technology includes 7-inch display audio with electrostatic touchscreen operation so your fingers only have to get close to activate a control. The system includes premium audio and navigation along with multi-view camera display, blind spot view camera display, and rearview display when backing. Our Touring trim level tester also arrived with Honda Sensing safety package that adds adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and road departure mitigation – in other words, nearly autonomous driving.
Designers have given the 2016 Civic Coupe very modern styling with a very sporty flair and feel. Sitting still it appears to be cutting through the wind. We found it very easy to access the rear seat area and there is ample space in the cargo area beneath the trunklid. The 2016 Coupe is available in LX, EX, and Touring trim levels and Honda promises an Si version next along with a hatchback variant. No manual gearbox for the new turbo engine this year but perhaps it will arrive with the Si.
Pricing for the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe begins at $19,050 for the LX with 2.0-liter I-4 and 6MT. Our Touring model starts at $26,125 with a final sticker of $26,960 and each powertrain with the CVT boasts EPA ratings up to 41 mpg highway.
As popular as the Civic coupe has been over the years, the 2016 may be the one everybody has been waiting for. It offers sporty styling, is fun yet easy to drive, is comfortable and quiet, features all the latest safety technology, brings infotainment by the carload, and yes, offers very good value. This is your jam.