Last evening, Honda debuted the completely redesigned 2016 Civic sedan. According to Honda's press release, the 2016 Civic has more passenger and cargo space, more power and more features than the 2015 model, which is already a top performer in our small car rankings.
In addition to the sedan, Honda says the new Civic lineup will eventually include a five-door hatchback, a coupe, a performance-oriented Si model and an ultra-high-performance Civic Type-R model. The current Civic is not available as a hatchback, and the Type-R was previously only available overseas.
The all-new 2016 Civic sedan has a "fastback-style" rear window and a longer hood than the 2015 model, according to Honda. The new Civic is almost 2 inches wider and 1 inch lower.
On the inside, the 2016 Civic sedan has 2 more inches of rear-seat legroom than the 2015 model. Overall interior space has increased by 3.7 cubic feet, and trunk space has increased by 2.6 cubic feet. Honda says the Civic's cabin will be quieter because of noise-reducing features like acoustic windshield glass and triple-sealed doors. Honda has also added new soft-touch plastics and other premium materials to the Civic's interior.
The new 2016 Honda Civic sedan will have more standard features than the outgoing model, including automatic climate control, an electronic parking brake and Walk-Away auto door locks. Available features include power-adjustable front seats and heated front and rear seats.
The 2016 Honda Civic sedan will also be available with a new 7-inch high-definition touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Additionally, Honda says the 2016 Civic will be available with several new safety and driver assistance features that weren't available in the 2015 model, including Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow.
The base 2016 Honda Civic will have an all-new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Horsepower figures have not been released, but Honda expects EPA fuel economy ratings to exceed 40 mpg on the highway. Higher-level trims will come with a new turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the first turbocharged engine Honda has ever released in the U.S. The base engine will come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. An automatic (CVT) will be optional with the base engine and standard with the turbocharged engine.
Though the current-generation Civic ranks third out of 27 in our affordable compact car rankings, many automotive enthusiasts note that it didn't seem particularly exciting when it debuted in 2012.
Automotive News says "The ninth-generation Civic landed largely with a thud when it went on sale. The car was Honda’s bet that post-recession buyers in the U.S. would prioritize cheapness over anything else. It turns out, even in a down economy, people still like nice things."
According to the New York Times, "… the current Civic strayed far from the car's roots. Its bland sheet metal, Spartan interior and ho-hum styling were good enough to keep the many Civic loyalists, but didn't do much to pull in new buyers."
Automotive journalists note that this next-generation Civic is meant to correct that. "It is the first new take on the car since the 2012 model that was criticized for lacking the sizzle the car has built its reputation on." reports the Detroit Free Press. "The 2016 model was engineered to reignite owners' enthusiasm."
According to Honda, the 2016 Civic sedan will be available at dealerships this fall. Pricing hasn't been announced, but for reference, the 2015 model starts at $18,490.
The 2015 Honda Civic currently ranks near the top of the affordable compact car class. Will this redesign be enough to push it to the top? Let us know what you think in the comments, or you can connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.