While the new European inspired body line speaks volumes as to Civic’s new found sophistication in design directive, it takes an hour or so in the driver’s seat for one to truly appreciate what the 10th generation Civic Coupe brings to an often low price-driven, bland compact segment. There’s nothing boring to be found in the new coupe. In fact for me, 2016 Honda Coupe excels at every turn.
Sharing an engineered and developed in Southern California “World Compact Car” manufacturing platform chassis with the all new 2016 Civic Sedan, upcoming Civic Hatchback, Civic Si variants, and ultimately the Civic Type -R, 2016 Civic Coupe brings to the road a much improved drive and ride experience over the exiting 9th generation Civic.
For 2016, Civic Coupe is longer, wider and nearly an inch lower than previous offerings, yet weighs less than the outgoing Civic — presenting more of a performance sedan like stance, closer to the road driving visual, and sport-like drive and ride experience. You may find 2016 Honda Civic specification here.
When paired with what is arguably the best designed, comfortable seat in Civic history, the end result is a feeling of familiarity, a no “break -in” required worn leather shoe human to car connectivity.
The icing on the cake for me is a much quieter interior, greater refinement of finishes, expanded color pallet, and Honda’s evident re dedication to manufacturing precision and excellence.
Visually the coupe is captivating, although I could argue that while ‘dead on’ as to reveal measurement, more than one of the exterior body panel lines, specific to the trunk and hood interface, could be a bit closer. No big whoop, the paint is gorgeous, as are the alloy wheel designs for 2016. The 10th generation Civic screams quality.
One won’t find hubcaps and steel rims available to the Coupe lineup. Honda engineering has fine tuned the suspension and corresponding ride to the liking of the Coupe buyer. Although a mere 8% of Honda Civic owners, Honda looks to this group of mostly young buyers to eventually uptick into an Accord or the Acura lineup — it’s good business for Honda.
Back to the drive
Finding a compact coupe in the Honda lineup that comfortably fit this super-sized journalist was not only a pleasant surprise, but eased me into a slightly aggressive ‘coupe-etude.’ I quickly discovered just enough telegraphed road generated vibration and tire noise (minimal) to appreciate the fact that 2016 Civic Coupe was the best handling compact I’d driven in the better part of a decade. The performance was there, as was an unprecedented level of driver and passenger cabin comfort.
With ‘Hondapro Jason’ sitting in the shotgun position, we headed out to the east side of San Diego county for some uphill two lane road carving. Available in 2 engine and transmission combinations, I found all combinations to be highly capable of smoking the best that the “C” segment had to offer in the under $25,000 price bracket.
Beginning the drive event in the all new 2016 Civic Coupe Touring proved to be an exceptional exercise in automotive excellence. With a new found 174 horsepower and 162 ft-lb torque, CVT shifting, much improved suspension, braking and wheel designs, we effortlessly merged onto the freeway at 80 + mph, with plenty of throttle left.
Somehow Honda engineering had eliminated much of the torque steer associated with front wheel drive, in-fact it was no longer a consideration — as Civic Coupe demonstrated stability of ride, train-track like, one finger steering wheel control, and from where I sit, fade-free braking. I love Civic Coupe’s much improved road handling dynamic.
When allowed to do so, Civic Coupe will transition into a comfortable ride that largely ignores road surface irregularities — there’s nothing compact about it! Honda has once again mastered that multi purpose personal conveyance that bridges the gap between daily commute duty and sport driving.
Hydraulic dampening, a more rigid ACE ™ body structure, and superior metallurgy combines to create a lighter vehicle of greater frame rigidity, lower dead weight bounce, and far less transfer of what’s going on outside the car to the passenger compartment. Furthermore, there’s a noticeable uptick in what Honda Engineering refers to as “Dynamic Performance,” something that 2016 Civic Coupe has much of.
Following a day of aggressive, mixed driving, I exited Civic Coupe with an ear to ear grin, something that I’m not necessarily known for. There was no drive fatigue, or discomfort noted, despite the fact that I was sitting in what in the past had been considered an entry level ‘economy’ compact coupe. Those days are gone for the Honda brand.
Driving Honda’s latest Civic Coupe offering has returned me to the fond memories of the peppy, rev-happy Civic of yesteryear, with a change or two as to comfort, personal electronic connectivity, and a much refined drive and ride experience. Honda has largely removed the “chore” of driving when it comes to its latest coupe, the next stage in compact coupe evolution if you will.
What do you think of the all new Civic lineup ? Let’s us know here. Your thought provoking comment is always welcome.