2016 Honda Civic: First Look

2016CivicSedan_OEM1.jpg 2016 Honda Civic | Manufacturer image

Competes with: Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Forte, Dodge Dart

Looks like: The sleekest, raciest, sportiest Civic you’ve ever seen

Drivetrains: 2.0-liter or turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine; six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmissions; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Fall 2015

Honda’s long-running Civic lineup gets a major redo, with the company unveiling its 10th-generation compact sedan at events in Detroit and Los Angeles. The new sedan is a dramatic styling departure from the current model and is accompanied by a host of new technology including two new powertrains, one of which is Honda’s first turbocharged engine in North America.

Related: Research the Honda Civic

No longer will there be different Civics for different global markets – it’s now one Civic globally. The sedan is the first of a group of new models that will appear, followed by the coupe, high-performance Si models, a five-door hatchback and the appearance of the long-anticipated Type-R model for the U.S. market.

2016CivicSedan_OEM2.jpg 2016 Honda Civic | Manufacturer image



The Civic sits on a larger platform, and its styling is nothing short of wild. The car is 2 inches wider and an inch lower than the old model, with a wheelbase that’s 1.2 inches longer in order to expand the passenger cabin. Wheel arches are more pronounced, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this model is the hatchback – the trunk lid is so short it’s almost nonexistent. The body makes more significant use of high-strength steel resulting in a 68-pound weight reduction, and it features a better sealing system and acoustic window glass to improve cabin quietness. We’ll likely see the next few models in the Civic lineup as the auto show season progresses over the next few months.


Cabin styling has grown up a lot in the new Civic, with considerably more upscale materials and shapes throughout. Gone is the split-level gauge cluster in favor of a much more conventional set behind the steering wheel. A new one-piece molded dashboard is present with ingrained stitching, and Honda has also upgraded the fabric on the seats.


2016CivicSedan_OEM3.jpg 2016 Honda Civic | Manufacturer image


Under the Hood

The new Civic features two new engines, with the LX and EX trims receiving a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that Honda says is the most powerful base engine it’s ever fitted to the Civic (exact horsepower numbers were not provided). It will be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission (available in the LX only) or an optional continuously variable automatic transmission.

The EX-T, EX-L and Touring trim levels will get a new turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a different CVT. Fuel economy numbers were not available at the time of publication, but Honda estimates that highway ratings will be in excess of 40 mpg.


The Honda Sensing System will be available on the new Civic. The optional system includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control with low-speed following and automatic braking.

Look for more Civic specifics, including engine power and fuel efficiency, closer to its on-sale date later this fall.

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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