Honda is not messing around. 2016 is a new year, and for the Civic especially, the game has changed. With a new platform comes loads of new features that slingshot the 2016 sedan over its less-than-stellar predecessors. We were one of the first to drive the new Civic when it showed up in Detroit, but now with a bit more one-on-one time in Honda’s superstar sedan, we really learned to appreciate the quirks that make the new Civic a Civic.
The word ‘nifty’ might be underused—but Honda knows how to perfectly encapsulate the term, and convert it into a number of new features on the interior of the 2016 Civic. The first of which being the center console. Yes, the center console.
For most buyers, the center console comes as an afterthought. It’s only later that you realize the need for something as thoughtful and useful as the one in the new Civic. Two cup holders, and a sliding leather armrest that also folds up to show off a healthy amount of storage space. The final touch: a small, sliding tray for keys. It’s the definition of nifty.
A USB holder likely isn’t at the top of anyone’s shopping list, but when you realize just how cumbersome the USB cord actually becomes, only then do you yearn for something more efficient. Honda figured that out too.
The floating dash allows you to plug in your USB through a nearly invisible port, and run the cord up to the designated phone pocket. Not only does it keep wires out of the way, but allows for more safety, forcing drivers to use the ample amount of handsfree systems rather than reach for their phones.
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
Speaking of handsfree, Honda fit the new Civic with one of the most advanced, easy-to-use systems in the business. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available for use by consumers. The system pairs mostly seamlessly with your phone and allows a simpler, more modern approach to the outdated infotainment system.
To further put drivers at ease (of use), the fully-digital dash and instrument clusters allow for a simple scroll through of options. Music, MPG, speed—all at your fingertips. Paired to Honda’s well-thought-out set of steering wheel controls, the simplicity in which the system works should be taken note of by other automakers.
If you’re unfamiliar with the brake hold system, it’s easy to explain. Simply press the brake hold button (above), and when stopped at a red light, or in traffic, there’s no need to keep your foot on the brake. The car does it for you. When you’re ready to shove off again, just press the gas and the car starts off. It’s an extremely thoughtful, yet surprisingly simple feature.
The mark of any good sedan is not only how the interior is suited to the driver, but how the engine performs in terms of efficiency. The 1.5-liter turbo on the 2016 Honda Civic returns an impressive 42 mpg highway, and 31 mpg city. That impressive MPG is segment leading, and partly in thanks to an advanced CVT system that—if we’re being honest—outperforms most others.
That class-leading MPG and advanced CVT though, come only second to driving dynamics. Poised, planted, personable—the Honda Civic is all three. Compared to sporty sedans like the Mazda 3, the Civic is in a class of its own. Body roll is barely noticeable, sport mode allows for a higher RPM band and more torque, and the steering gives enough feedback to the driver while still remaining fluid in its movements.
Don’t be mistaken, the Honda Civic is as much a driver’s sedan as it is a millennial’s dream car.
Engine (as tested): 1.5L 4-Cylinder Turbo
Price (base): $18,640