2016 Honda Civic Sedan Road Test
Edmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited October 2015 in Honda
For more than four decades, the Honda Civic has been among the go-to choices for affordable, efficient and dependable transportation. Its last generation, which debuted in 2012, wasn't the best Civic ever. But the all-new 10th-generation redesign has the Civic making a return to form, delivering strong value, attractive styling and competitive performance.
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If another car in its class were to have a "growly" engine, it'd be called unrefined, archaic and wouldn't be considered anywhere near as good as the top-rated cars. But, for this Honda, we get: "Admittedly, the new engine is a little growly...Having said that, most won't find any of that to be of any concern." :-/
If a Civic competitor were to exhibit body roll in handling tests, it would get written-off as a poor handler or, worse yet, get the dreaded "lack of any sporting intentions" comment. But, for this auto-journalist favorite Honda, we get: "Body roll is present but well managed." :-/
If another compact car were to feature fuel-economy or comfort-focused tires that weren't sticky, and/or was in need of stiffer springs or anti-roll bars, it would be taken out of the running for any top-competitor consideration on the basis of its tepid, low-limit handling. For this Honda? We get the positive spin: "Stickier tires would make the new Civic even better, and along with stiffer antiroll bars and other suspension modifications, it's easy to see just how much fun the future Civic Si and Type-R will be."
And, for the dreaded infotainment system, which Edmunds can't possibly front about and praise (since it's sub-par and "infuriating"), any other car in the class would be relegated to the dreaded B or C rating. But, for this Honda, silly things like ergonomics and ease-of-use for the (nowadays) ever-important infotainment system suddenly aren't even considered demerits, and the Civic STILL gets a "resounding A rating." What? :-/
For comparisons sake, the 2015 Nissan Sentra gets comments like: "Taller drivers will welcome the Nissan Sentra's unexpectedly spacious front seats. Rear-seat passengers aren't left out either. Indeed, the rear accommodations are so spacious that the Sentra practically feels like a midsize sedan from the backseat."
"...everything in the cabin is solidly screwed together. Standout features include optional keyless entry/ignition that was once a luxury-car item, as well as smartphone app integration, which allows you to do Google searches via the car's 5.8-inch touchscreen interface in navigation-equipped models."
"Luggage capacity is generous for the class. At 15.1 cubic feet, the Sentra's trunk volume is comparable to that of many midsize sedans."
"The 2015 Nissan Sentra's 130-hp engine is pleasantly muted while accelerating moderately and cruising at freeway speeds. The Sentra's CVT is one of the better ones out there, offering little of the strangely elastic "rubber-banding" sensation some of these transmissions suffer from. ...depending on selected mode (D, L, O/D off, Eco, Sport) and throttle position, the transmission tailors its behavior accordingly. While it's hard to predict its varied responses, we're sure you'll find a mode that suits your expectations and needs."
"The Sentra finds an agreeable middle ground in the ride quality department. It's not as harsh as some sportier alternatives, and for the most part, the ride is fairly smooth and sophisticated. Handling around turns is respectable, and the Sentra has responsive, reassuring steering. The brakes are also more than adequate and provide plenty of stopping power along with an intuitive pedal feel."
However, even though the above is pretty much a glowing review, as far as the actual rating is concerned, we get: "With its near-midsize car accommodations for passengers and shockingly large trunk, the Sentra, which earns an Edmunds.com "B" rating, will appeal to many shoppers, especially those who are downsizing from a bigger, more luxurious car. Although Nissan's entry is one of the slower cars in this class, it has a premium look and feel that other small sedans lack."
So, this new-and-improved Civic sports: 1) a sluggish CVT; 2) a growly engine; 3) a need for stickier tires and stiffer anti-roll bars and suspension modifications to be truly considered fun; 4) an infuriating-to-use infotainment system; and 5) a price tag of over $27K (!!!), yet still MAGICALLY (like the Fit's rear seat) manages to score a "resounding" A rating??? Meanwhile, the Sentra is: 1) Slow...that's it...and only manages a B rating? (This, despite the praise it receives in almost everything else, and the fact that you can get one FULLY loaded for a TMV price of $23K! - Seems price isn't considered a determining factor for an economy car, anymore.)
The obvious Honda bias is sickening to me. It takes a truly sub-par product for them to be called out on it - like the previous generation Civic. But, even then, its only called out on it when the new and improved version comes out. If you read the review for the 2015 Civic - the one they're tearing apart to pieces in this review - it STILL got an A rating! What the?!?
Venting session over.