It has graced our roads for decades. Among the many cars that have come and gone, the Civic will forever roll forward, into the days of future automotive adventures. The 2016 Civic is certainly not the small car we once knew; this is something fresh and exciting, thrilling almost. Whereas older generation Civics merely got the job done, this refreshing example truly makes you step back in wondrous awe, pondering the question – “That’s a Civic?” With sharp lines and innovative technology that would otherwise be reserved for vehicles of a more luxurious nature, this new iteration of Honda’s bestseller breaks the seemingly dull mould of which it was once crafted.
2016 marks a new beginning for the Civic lineup, with five original iterations being released; only some of which have been made available to the public as of this writing. The standard four-door sedan and two-door coupe are already being driven by consumers, while the Si, hatchback, and highly anticipated Type-R are to land in Canada in the near future. Before we digress into how eager we are about those forthcoming iterations, let’s rewind a little back to the now-available sedan and coupe variants, with an emphasis on this 2016 Honda Civic Coupe Touring.
Almost immediately, it’s evident that this redesigned Civic has taken a leap from average commuter car to something a little more distinct. The general design of the car has adopted sharp angles. From the taillights to the bumper vents, everything about this car shouts “let’s be edgy”. From sedan to coupe, Honda did not solely delete two of the sedan’s doors and proclaim a mission accomplished. No, they’ve added unique elements that help the coupe stand apart from its sibling (reviewed here). The Civic Coupe has a slightly lower roofline, with the purpose of giving the car a sportier appeal. The unique single taillight design that stretches from side to side rightly offers the Civic Coupe its own identity, especially when the lights start glowing.
The Touring tested here is Honda’s highest trim level for the Civic, with a nice handful of luxury features combined with the 174 horsepower, 162 lb-ft. of torque, 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Paired with a CVT transmission, the car develops a peppy demeanour with a “go fast” attitude. The CVT transmission, as we know, offers one singular gear that gradually propels the car forward – here’s where it gets interesting. Honda exclusively fits Canadian coupes with a paddle shift system mated to the transmission, allowing drivers to “shift” between simulated gears. This is only a synthetic shifting experience that is at most, interesting to play with. Some buyers may be a little disappointed that a manual transmission is not made available with the turbocharged engine right now.
Stepping outside, one can distinguish the Touring from the rest of the lineup by a few key design elements, aside from the obvious “Touring” badge found on the trunklid. For starters, one of the more prominent indicators would be the paint. An exclusive selection of colours is made available for buyers. Our tester in particular was dressed in the very vibrant Energy Green Pearl. It’s nice to see Honda exploring some of these bolder colours as they evoke a new level of interest to their vehicles.
In a more practical sense, the Touring has additional exterior lighting features that yet again, set the car apart. Chrome trim can be seen on both the passenger and drivers side mirrors, indicating the embedded turning signals in the mirror housing. The front end of the Touring comes with a full LED lighting system, which comes as a surprise as these types of lighting systems are typically only seen on luxury counterparts. It’s the small details such as these that are making the Civic Coupe Touring a real problem for its competitors.
The technology found in the cabin is just as impressive as the total overhaul of the Civic image. As a Canadian exclusive, a wireless charging pad can be found at the front of the centre console, just under all the functional dashboard controls. Though there are not many phones capable of such charging abilities just yet, this will prove to be a useful device as manufacturers develop more wireless technology into handheld devices. Many of the multimedia controls are accessible via the 7” HondaLink touchscreen display, which proves to be a simple tool that compacts all the necessary tools into one convenient package.
Overall, the interior quality of the Touring is more than acceptable. Many of the finishes appear upscale, with smooth leather and crisp aluminum trim. As mentioned before, the roofline of the coupe was lowered ever so slightly. As a taller guy, I felt as though I needed to recline the seat a bit further back to not have my head rubbing against the ceiling. As I’m 6’4, I don’t see this being much of an issue for the majority of buyers. The Touring’s seats sport a nice two-tone grey on black leather combo, with a faux carbon-fibre strip running midway down the of the seatback, and bottom sections. It’s not real, but it adds a nice touch to an already-great interior.
Going into the 2017 Honda Civic Coupe Touring, I knew that it was going to be a fresh experience; little did I know it would impress me as much as it did. As stated before, this is not the Civic we once knew. The vehicle impresses with its excellent interior amenities. While enjoying the cabin, one can’t help but catch the car’s reflection in a passing window… it’s truly an exciting little car to drive. With a price of $27,555 for this fully loaded Touring, the new Civic presents a true challenge for competitors. This has been a segment leader for many years, and if this one is anything to go by, it will continue to lead this class for years to come.
2016 Honda Civic Coupe Touring Gallery
First Drive: 2016 Honda Civic Coupe