The second phase of Honda’s 5-part, 10th generation Civic launch, is dedicated to what may be the most dynamic driving experience in Civic history. Although not scheduled for release to dealers until sometime in March, 2016 Honda Civic Coupes of various colors and trim levels took to the streets of San Diego, California, the first week in February.
San Diego County city streets, country roads and highways, proved to be the perfect winter location for the national press introduction of the 2016 Civic Coupe. And, although attending journalists are held to a “first drive impressions” embargo until February 22, we can touch on a fine point or two as to what will arguably be Honda’s best selling coupe in Civic’s 43 year history.
By upsizing Civic once again, Honda presents a not-so entry level compact coupe with midsize car comfort, safety and performance tendencies. The initial visual that is Civic Coupe, hooks the onlooker with premium, European inspired coupe styling and Honda flair.
2016 Honda Civic Coupe does not look “economy,” nor does it feel, sit, or drive economy. Sharing an identical “World Compact Car” engine, driveline and chassis with the 2016 Civic Sedan, the reinvented coupe is longer, wider and lower than the 9th generation Civic. These dimensional changes result in greatly improved passenger comfort, quiet, and what Honda refers to as “Dynamic Performance,” and that it has! In fact, 2016 Honda Civic’s interior design and dynamic performance reduces driver fatigue.
What I experienced in San Diego behind the wheel of 2016 Civic Coupe separates this compact offering from the Honda lineup with driving, handling styling characteristics specific to the coupe. While the coupe does share a common “World Compact Car Platform” with the sedan, and the next in line Civic 5-door hatchback, Honda engineering “tunes” underpinning suspension and performance related components, including the transmission shift-points, specifically to the coupe.
Honda engineering tells us that Civic’s design was inspired by the Europeans, specifically Audi and BMW. We find the interior visual, seating position and driver comfort to surpass the Germans, for thousands of dollars less than a comparably equipped Coupe.
On a personal note, at 6 ft 5 inches tall, I found myself reaching for Civic’s steering wheel, front leg and hip room to be exceptional, with plenty of room left between hat and headliner, even in the Civic Touring with power sunroof.
Yet, in true Honda fashion, 2016 Civic Coupe, although outfitted with power windows, mirrors, climate control, dash monitor and extensive Honda safety suite options, retains the manually adjusted driver and front passenger seat. Looking to the rear compartment, we discover greater legroom and a premium quality 40/60 split bench with access to the Civic’s enormous trunk.
You won’t find headroom in the rear for tall passengers. Children, pets and the occasional accommodating friend will do fine back here — as will your sport equipment, groceries and long objects benefiting from Civic’s trunk pass through utility. We found great standard equipment value in the base model Civic Coupe LX.
Delivery time line and MSRP to be announced
We look for 2016 Civic Coupe’s tentative dealership delivery schedule, MSRP and fuel economy to be announced by the end of February. However, if Honda follows its historic new model launch patterns, we predict that Civic Coupe will come to market in March with a beginning MSRP of under $18,500, and fuel efficiency slightly exceeding that of the 2016 Civic Sedan.