The sedan and Coupe are winners because they have excellent handling, efficient engines, and comfortable and tech-laden interiors.
Honda is on a major product offensive with its latest, tenth generation Civic.
The Civic sedan has been the best selling passenger car in Canada for more than 18 years and most certainly will hold the crown again after this calendar year, thanks to winning the North American Car of the Year award and the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada’s Canadian car of the Year award.
The two-door Coupe version was just launched in Whistler and there will be a hatchback version coming in the fall, plus higher performance version of all three models.
Even though the 2016 Coupe is built on the same platform as the sedan, there are some changes. In fact, the wheelbase is the same length but the rear of the car was shortened by more than 13 centimetres and the roofline was dropped by 2.5 centimetres providing a sleeker look. In addition, the rear windows tuck in slightly as they flow into the bulging rear fenders to produce a muscular stance.
The rear of the car has dramatic rear taillights that blend into a horizontal reflector lens that runs across the back of the car, which is also integrated into the rear spoiler. It all comes together to make this car the most upscale and sporty Civic coupe yet.
The dash of the Coupe is identical to the sedan; it’s the seats that differ. The front seats already sat low in the sedan so there was no need to lower them further to make room for the cropped roof.
What did change is the two-tone seat covers with what looks like a racing stripe down the middle. The rear seats obviously are smaller because this car has two doors but there is room for full-sized adults inside the back. The sedan has a base model at just under $16,000, which is not the case with the Coupe.
The base Coupe starts at $19,455 but comes with a standard 7-inch screen in the centre of the dash, heated seats and a 7-inch screen embedded into the instrument cluster. Apple Car Play and Android Auto come standard so the owner can integrate things like navigation from their phone to the centre screen.
Another Honda feature is called Lane Watch. When the driver puts the right-hand signal on, the image from a camera on the right side of the car is projected into the centre screen to help reduce any blind spots. All of these features do not come on the base sedan, which is why this car has a higher starting price.
Even though the Sea-to-Sky highway is in our back yard, it is always nice to get a chance to drive this road on quiet sunny day. The sun was beating down, the temperature topped 20 degrees and the gloating about our beautiful province to the eastern journalists was at an all-time high. Needless to say, the weather had us all in a good mood.
After several hours behind the wheel, it became obvious again as to why this car is such a winner. Honda invested heavily into the platform, engine and suspension of this new car.
The car they benchmarked against was the Audi A3, some very good company. In addition, the Coupe has slightly stiffer springs, shocks and control arms giving a sportier ride but it is never jarring, similar to an Audi.
The two engines in the sedan are carried over to this car with no changes. The base 2.0L engine has 158hp and the optional ($24,555) 1.5L Turbo has 174hp. In the sedan, the base engine is just fine but for me, the turbo is the one to get in the Coupe.
For this year only the base engine gets a manual transmission but coming this fall, for the 2017 model year, you will be able to get the turbo with a manual. Fun!
The sedan and Coupe are winners because they have excellent handling, efficient engines, and comfortable and tech-laden interiors and can be ordered with advanced safety systems.
In the Coupe, the base model can be upgraded for roughly $1000 to add Honda Sensing, a full suite of advanced safety features. They include forward collision warning with autonomous braking, lane keep assist, advanced cruise control and more. Money well spent and this should be chosen for resale value.
The first two cars in the Honda family are winners, now we just have to wait for the hatchback and Si models to arrive. The next year should be a good one for Honda.
Power: 2.0L with 158hp or 1.5L Turbo with 174hp
Economy: 7.8L/5.8L/100km (city/highway)
Sticker price: $19,455-$27,555