Mediocrity Be Damned, the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe Delivers [Review]

2016 Honda Civic Coupe
When Honda, one of the more conservative automakers in our market, built the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe, they built a exceptionally fun little runabout. Somehow, they managed to make it fun with a continuously variable transmission(CVT) too! Much of the thanks goes to the turbocharged, 174 horsepower, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 162 lb-feet of torque.

It’s a great looking car, with a menacing face and strong lines throughout, and it’s better looking than the vehicle it replaces.

The 2016 Honda Civic Coupe weighs less than 2,900 pounds, and, depending on the trim level, it can weigh as little as 2,735 pounds. The small turbo gets up to speed quickly and moves the little Civic along with just a hint of traction loss from a dead stop. CVT’s tend to flounder a bit when pushed, but this unit keeps the vehicle in the power-band long enough to feel fast.

Feel” is the operative word with the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe. The new interior feels higher trim, the controls feel premium, the ride feels sporty, but never unsettled and the overall driving experience feels fun!

Interior space is good for such a small, low-slung vehicle. At nearly 6’2,” I was able to comfortably sit with plenty of extra head and legroom. My middle-school kid fit behind me with no major issues. That’s thanks to the extra 5.1-inches Honda added to the interior space. The only issue, and it’s common with most sport coupes, is the ingress and egress require a few extra twists – for the long legged.

2016 Honda Civic Coupe
Some drivers lament the knob-less entertainment setup, but I found it easy enough to use the steering-wheel-mounted controls. The interior look is reminiscent of the Honda Accord Coupe while only being slightly smaller. For such a small vehicle, the trunk’s 12 cubic feet of cargo space is impressive. The rear seats split 60/40 making utility impressive. That also means that three people can (legally) fit in the back.

As I was in the higher trim model, the larger, slower 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine was unavailable. That engine makes 158 horsepower. Also unavailable – the six-speed manual transmission. This is a disappointment as I’m sure a stick would make this turbo-equipped Honda drive outstanding.

Prices start at $19,050 for the LX, $20,850 for the LX-P, $22,300 for the EXT, $23,425 for the EX-L and $26,125 for the top-of-the-line Touring. I averaged 29 mpg in combined (30%-city 70%-highway) driving over three days. Not too shabby.

2016 Honda Civic Coupe Interior
Steering feel is artificial, but the steering weight is good. The response is quick and modulating steering inputs feels second nature. Push it hard around a corner and mild understeer warns you to lay off the accelerator before things get ugly. Once you get a feel for the nose being a bit heavy, gliding into and squirting out of each corner becomes a joy.

Braking is top notch with no perceptible fade during a performance loop. The balance is pretty good overall, but that nose can feel heavy if you hit the brakes entering a corner. Still, it’s very secure.

Living with the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe was surprisingly enjoyable and I wanted to spend more time getting to know the vehicle. I only had a few days, but it was enough to know that I smiled each time I drove it.