$14,615 - $20,058

2016 Honda Civic Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Honda Civic was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.4

Test drivers are pleased with the redesigned 2016 Honda Civic's performance overall, noting that it rides smoothly, handles responsively and delivers adequate acceleration with its base engine. An optional turbocharged engine provides a welcome power increase for those who want it, critics say. The 2016 Civic gets excellent fuel economy for the class.

  • "The Civic is pleasant on the highway - neither firm nor mushy - and it feels precise but not jumpy or high-strung. It's a balance that should please commuters and driving enthusiasts alike." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Like the best cars, the Civics available for early test drives feel big when you're in them, but drive like small, sporty vehicles." -- The Detroit Free Press
  • "Even though the Civic Touring doesn't place an emphasis on performance, its handling exceeded our expectations. Knifing through twisting mountain passes is entertaining and the car feels like it's in its element." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Honda Civic comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower. EX-T and higher trims have a 174-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with the base engine. An automatic transmission (CVT) is available with the base engine and standard with the turbocharged engine. The 2016 Civic gets an EPA-estimated 31/41 mpg city/highway with the base engine and the automatic transmission, which is outstanding for a compact car. Turbocharged Civics get an EPA-estimated 31/42 mpg.

Auto writers say the base engine delivers sufficient power, but they note that the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine feels peppier. Choosing the manual transmission over the CVT makes the base engine feel livelier, according to reviewers. They write that the CVT responds fairly quickly when you press the throttle, but, like most CVTs, it is noisy when you are accelerating quickly.

  • Power from the 2.0-liter is adequate for the class, but there isn't a tremendous difference in grunt from the previous 1.8-liter." -- Automobile Magazine
  • The 158-hp 2.0-liter base engine is noticeably less lively than the turbo 1.5." -- Edmunds
  • "Those hoping for a sudden whoosh from the turbo will [be] disappointed, but those searching for a peppy compact will be perfectly happy with the 1.5." -- Left Lane News
  • "The top three trim levels will include the 174-horsepower, 162-pound-feet turbo engine, connected to a continuously variable transmission. The added power makes sense for the more expensive versions of this car, as the easy acceleration it offers is a real luxury." -- Autoblog
  • It's easier to get the most from the Civic's 2.0-liter four-cylinder with the manual as opposed to the CVT. … Hard acceleration brings on a persistent engine drone, which is common with CVTs, but the transmission is also responsive and, when cruising, can quickly increase engine rpm when more power is needed." -- Cars.com

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Honda Civic rides smoothly, critics say, and feels more responsive than the previous model. They add that the 2016 Civic corners with agility and has sharp steering and strong brakes.

  • "The new Civic feels tight and responsive. It's at home on twisty country roads, with direct steering and confident brakes." -- The Detroit Free Press
  • "The new Civic feels decidedly sportier than the previous sedan, but doesn't sacrifice ride comfort in the process. Handling and steering are excellent, making the Civic agile and responsive when cornering." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The new Civic's ride and handling performance is impressive. Honda has managed to create a car that feels both sportier and more refined than its predecessor." -- Cars.com

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