UPDATED January 11, 2016
The 2016 Honda Civic was awarded the prestigious 2016 Car of the Year award this morning at the North American International Auto Show at Detroit, Michigan.
It would appears that the NACTOY judges were as impressed as were the judges at Autoguide.com that, in the fall, named Civic as its 2016 Car of the Year and the Hispanic Motor Press who named it their 2016 Best Compact Sedan,
During a full week ride and drive test, the new Civic really impressed us with its updated styling, features and new power train. With all of its new features and capability in a package about the same size as the Honda Accord – the Civic was is an exceptional value for around $8,000 less than the Accord.
ORIGINAL STORY ON OUR FIRST DRIVE OF NEW CIVIC
It is not often that we get test cars from the same manufacturer back to back and even less often do we get trim line siblings from adjoining segments. This month we did, getting a new (top-of-the-line) mid-size 2016 Honda Accord Touring sedan the first week of December – then followed by the brand new 2016 compact Honda Civic 1.5T Touring sedan the week before Christmas.
To be able to test two siblings back to back was not planned, but the opportunity to look closely at these top-of-the-line Honda sedan siblings led to an opportunity with an interesting result.
We’ll give you the top line right up front. These two are amazingly more alike (one a compact and the other a mid-size) than we would have thought starting with our first glance, when the – really sharp – new 2016 Civic 1.5T rolled into our driveway in The Hills, Texas. For a moment, from a size perspective, we thought they had brought us another Accord. But it was indeed, the new and already well regarded Honda Civic Touring powered by the first turbocharged engine ever for Honda – the 1.5L Earth Dreams Turbo with (the also new) Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) specifically tuned for this engine.
A more in depth look and several test drives later – where we had been impressed with the new 2016 Accord 1.5T Touring mid-size – we were now truly amazed at the performance and value we found in its Civic Touring compact sibling with its larger size for 2016, enhanced styling, multiple features and the new Earth Dreams 1.5L turbo power plant.
2016 Honda Civic 1.5T Touring
Our Honda Civic 1.5T Touring came in a stunning Crystal Black Metallic with matching Black interior. With its 17-inch split spoke alloy wheels in Gloss Black with Chrome finish, our test Civic Touring – with its new and bolder styling – might well have passed for a sports sedan.
If its brake calipers had been painted Red, you could easily imagined this Civic Touring being called a ‘Touring Sport’.
The delivered price for our top-of-the-line Honda Civic 1.5T Touring Sedan turned out to be a surprisingly low $27,335 once we considered and evaluated all of the features, convenience, amenities and technology that Honda has packed in this Civic Touring compact sedan.
Comparing Civic to Accord
Starting with the price, the MSRP for the mid-size Accord Touring is higher (as you would expect) at $34,580 while the compact Civic Touring is $26,500.
And, you would expect the Accord Touring to be powered by a larger engine – it is, with a 3.5L V6 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission delivering 278 horsepower and 252 lb.-ft. of torque to the road. Plus the Accord runs on larger 19-inch wheels where the Civic wheels are 17-inch.
But fuel economy from the smaller turbo tilts the balance to the Civic with the new 1.5T power train (174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft. of torque) delivering a fuel sipping 31/42 mpg city/highway and 25 mpg combined compared to the Accord V6 at 21/34 mpg city/highway and 26 mpg combined.
Looking at the features, amenities and technology found in the Touring models of both, you see them essentially equipped with the same array of very current convenience, comfort and safety elements including things like the new 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio, Leather Trimmed Seating, LED Exterior Lighting, Honda LaneWatch, Push-Button and Remote Start, Dual-Zone Climate Control, Heated Front and Rear Seats, Electric Parking Brake, One-Touch Power Moonroof, Auto On/Off Headlights, Multi-Angle View Rear Camera and Fog Lights.
Both are equipped with the new Honda Sensing Package which includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist.
On the infotainment technology side, both have SirusXM Satellite Radio, Honda Satellite Navigation and the new Apple Car Play and Android Audio for smartphone apps. We did note that the Accord infotainment system included an additional 8-inch top stack display but had only a 7-speaker premium audio system. In contrast, the Civic, short the 8-inch display, had a more robust 10-speaker premium audio system.
Getting back to size and the running the numbers:
- Exterior – the new Civic has a bit smaller footprint but not as much smaller as we would have expected for a compact vs a mid-size. Its wheelbase is 3-inches shorter with overall length 10-inches shorter and width 2-inches narrower. The new Civic is quite a bit lighter (682 pounds) due to size and more lightweight materials incorporated in the new design.
- Interior – already noting how similar they were in size from the outside, the interior was even more interesting. Though the stated passenger volume for the Civic is 5-cubic feet less than the Accord, the key occupant dimensions for the Civic are all but the same as the Accord. For the record, front head room is 37.5-inches and rear is 36.8-inches. In each dimension, the Civic was just a couple of tenths of an inch smaller than Accord.
Lastly, the all-important cargo space in the trunk for Civic was less than a cubic foot smaller (at 14.7) than the Accord.
Coming to market just last month (November), the newly styled 2016 Honda Civic, coupled with its all-new 1.5L turbo powertrain, is impressing the media quickly by earning a finalist spot in the competition for the prestigious 2016 North American Car of the Year award to be announced on January 11, 2016.
The all-new 2016 Honda Civic already been named the AutoGuide.com 2016 Car of the Year as it impressed the publication with its new bolder styling and the new 1.5 liter turbo engine.
“Congratulations to the team at Honda,” said AutoGuide Group Editorial Director Colum Wood. “The new Civic is easily the best all-around package I’ve driven, not just this year, but in a very long time. It’s premium, yet sporty, and I just love that new turbocharged engine. A car that’s this good, with Honda’s reputation for quality, reliability and durability, just doesn’t come along every day.”
The Hispanic Motor Press has similarly recognized the new 2016 Honda Civic with their “Best Compact Sedan” award honoring as the best all-new or heavily refreshed Compact Sedan for Hispanic families in 2016.
“The 2016 Civic is a bit longer, with a roomier interior and a high level of connectivity, with a smooth power plant. These enhancements make this new platform a real winner for the Hispanic consumer,” said Ricardo Rodriguez-Long, Jury Director, Hispanic Motor Press.
Don’t take our word for it, go drive the new Civic 1.5T Touring with the 1.5L turbo and compare it to the new Accord. You may have several reasons to choose one over the other. For us, the $8,000 difference in price plus the 35 percent better average fuel economy and all other features about equal – including drive performance, says we would go with the 2016 Honda Civic 1.5T Touring.
Read our in-depth review of the 2016 Honda Accord Touring by clicking the ‘Suggested Links” below. Many of the features found in both are described in more detail here.