Honda Civic weathers crossover tsunami, grows its market share

Category Archives: Civic Articles

Honda Civic weathers crossover tsunami, grows its market share

By: John Irwin
Source: Automotive News Canada
Published: July 09, 2019

Honda’s compact-car hero is made of metal, glass, plastic and rubber, but it might as well be made of Teflon. It shrugs off all challengers, including the current utility-vehicle wave that has so far drowned many other small-car labels.

The Civic remains a strong seller in Canada and the United States, which is critical for the stability of the Alliston, Ont., assembly plant that builds the car, Honda Canada CEO Dave Gardner says.

“It’s pretty evident me that the success of Civic and the ongoing sustainability of Honda Canada manufacturing are closely linked Gardner said.

The Civic has been Canada’s top-selling car for 21 straight years and was the country’s third-highest-selling vehicle in 2018 behind only the Ford F series and Ram pickups. Last year, Civic sales in Canada were essentially flat at 69,005 units as the car market as a whole shrank 7.2 per cent, boosting the Civic’s share of the Canadian new-vehicle market to 11.6 per cent.

Its share continued to grow in the beginning of 2019. Through June, Honda sold 32.398 Civics. While that’s down 8.8 per cent from a year earlier, the car market as a whole declined, and the Civic’s share grew to 12.2 per cent.


2019 Honda Civic Sedan Touring

Bob Redinger, general manager of Ready Honda in Mississauga, Ont., attributes the Civic’s strong sales to its reputation as a reliable vehicle and to its being made in this country.

“It meets the needs of the average Canadian in terms of size, features, functionality,” Redinger said. “You have a broad range of customers, from students to couples with a child and retirees as well. It’s a broad range that it meets.”

Robust sales of the Civic are good news for the Alliston assembly plant amid growing concerns about the health of Canadian auto manufacturing. General Motors, for instance, will stop vehicle assembly at its Oshawa, Ont., plant by year’s end, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to cut a shift at its Windsor, Ont., plant by September.

Honda employs 4,200 hourly workers at its three Alliston plants, which produce the Civic and CR-V crossover.


Redinger said that even as the new-vehicle market declines in Canada, Alliston could prove to be even more important to Honda, especially since it plans to close a United Kingdom plant that builds the Civic by 2021.

As well, Gardner said the plant — designated as the global lead plant for the Civic when the current generation was released in 2016 — has been an education.

“The experience that we gained for the first time ever being the lead plant I think has helped to develop our associates and the capabilities of HCM (Honda of Canada Mfg.) up there in terms of positioning us well for the future,” he said.

Changes are coming for the Civic, however, including a redesign, and Honda has said it will cut the variations of the Civic and other models to one-third of current levels by 2025, which is part of a larger plan to streamline manufacturing processes and free up resources.

Gardner said he doesn’t expect the changes will have much of an impact on either manufacturing at Alliston or when it comes to sales in Canada because only a handful of configurations sell in large quantities anyway.

“The substantial bulk of your sales are covered by very few” of the model variations. Redinger said cutting back on options will help make shopping simpler for Civic buyers. Honda will “figure that out and eliminate the [trims] that aren’t really necessary. I think that’s a good thing. It’ll make it easier for customers to choose from inventory and easier for dealers to stock.”

Comparing Civic Vs Elantra

2019 Honda Civic Sport vs 2019 Hyundai Elantra


2019 Honda Civic


DX, LX, EX, Sport, Touring, Si

Price range


With the Canadian-built 2019 Civic, Honda proves it’s possible to pack desirable features into every nook and cranny while still offering a spacious interior that doesn’t skimp on cargo capacity. On top of that, it’s gorgeous to look at. Complementing its restyled front end, its aggressive stance, sleek lines, and low-slung body invite drivers in with hints of the top-shelf performance ready to be unleashed. The 10th-generation Civic comes to life with a choice of two 4-cylinder engines: a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre i-VTEC® and a 1.5-litre turbocharged option that tops out at 205 hp on the Si trim. In addition to the 6-speed manual transmission, trims featuring Continuously Variable Transmission also boast G-Design Shift Logic and are outfitted with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for engaged driving no matter which Civic buyers choose. Inside, Civic’s multitude of features will leave driver and passengers alike feeling that every need is satisfied. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™? It’s got that. Display Audio System with HondaLink™? It’s got that, too. Touring and Si trims offer even more: a 10-speaker sound system with subwoofer, SiriusXM™, and heated rear seats. Add in plenty of cargo space and innovative storage options, and customers are primed and ready for an extra-long road trip or intense trip to the grocery store. Whatever Civic drivers are up to, they’ll feel safe and secure with the Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and the many active safety features of the standard Honda Sensing™ suite1. With so much driving enjoyment to unlock, it’s little wonder that Civic has been Canada’s best-selling car 21 years running.

Engine type, displacement
2.0-litre port-injected DOHC i-VTEC® 4-cylinder
1.5-litre direct-injected DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder
1.5-litre direct-injected DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder
Compression ratio
158 hp @ 6,500 rpm
174 hp @ 6,000 rpm
205 hp @ 5,700 rpm
138 lb.-ft. @ 4,200 rpm
162 lb.-ft. @ 1,700-5,500 rpm
192 lb.-ft. @ 2,100-5,000 rpm
6-speed manual transmission (DX, LX); Continuously Variable Transmission (Available on LX; Standard on EX, Sport)
Continuously Variable Transmission
6-speed manual transmission
Fuel economy, L/100 km (city/hwy/combined)
9.3/6.5/8.0 (DX-M/T, LX-M/T); 7.9/6.1/7.1 (LX-CVT, EX-CVT); 8.2/6.5/7.4 (Sport)
We’ve been giving this generation Civic top marks since its debut three years ago, and there’s nothing else out this year that’s going to steal the car’s title belt.



The new-for-2019 Civic Sedan Sport trim lends Canada’s best-selling car an inspired, more aggressive look to reflect its engaging driving dynamics.
Here’s a look at some key features and attributes that help the Sport trim stand out.



2019 Hyundai Elantra


Essential, Preferred, Luxury, Ultimate

Price range


The first look at the 2019 Hyundai Elantra will be a long one, as its radical redesign adds a strong dose of visual excitement to the compact-sedan segment. Hyundai’s latest design language lends the vehicle a bolder, more upscale presence. A curved hood flows into a new front end that integrates sharply defined headlights into its all-new grille for a look that stands out among its class. Under the hood, the 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine is mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual mode that provides drivers with a deeper connection to the pavement and plenty of driving fun.

Elantra’s interior affords passengers relatively spacious accommodations, as well as a sizeable trunk space. On the technology front, higher trims offer Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, a wireless phone charger, and the BlueLink® connected car system. Occupants can also feel at ease with the available Hyundai SmartSense™ suite of safety technologies. From the SUPERSTRUCTURE™ to available features like Driver Attention Warning, safety is a major part of the Elantra, from its very core to how it interacts with the driver. Plus, on the top-spec Ultimate trim, there’s the segment-exclusive Safe Exit Alarm that will warn occupants of approaching vehicles before you open your door to the street. The result is a compact sedan that customers will feel confident driving through any road conditions.

Engine type, displacement
2.0-litre port-injected DOHC Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder
2.0-litre port-injected DOHC Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder
Compression ratio
147 hp @ 6,200 rpm
147 hp @ 6,200 rpm
132 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
132 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
Standard 6-speed M/T; optional 6-speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® manual mode
6-speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® manual mode
Fuel economy, L/100 km (city/hwy/combined)
9.2/6.5/8.0 (M/T) 8.3/6.4/7.4 (A/T)
The Elantra is…an all-rounder — solid in most departments though not a particular standout in any.





Model shown with optional accessories.

Civic certainly raises the exciting possibilities of what a compact sedan can be. Its low, wide stance sends a message that this compact sedan has performance to spare. By comparison, the 2019 Elantra boasts a thorough refresh that plays up its compact sporty character and projects a sense of nimbleness, ideal for winding through city streets.




Though Civic may be a compact sedan, its aluminum-alloy wheels are anything but, measuring 18 inches. These wheels showcase a split-spoke design and dark finish that draws the eyes of onlookers, while conveying swiftness with their aerodynamic design. As far as size goes, Elantra’s alloy wheels aren’t too far behind at 17 inches, though its design is relatively flat and conservative.



Civic makes filling up at the pump simpler with its capless fueling system. The innovative capless mechanism opens and closes as you insert and retract the nozzle, so there’s no more need to fumble with a dirty fuel cap or worry about inadvertently emitting harmful vapours. You won’t find such a thoughtful fueling system on Elantra, which features a conventional fuel cap.



Civic drivers can drive more confidently thanks to LaneWatch™. A camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror allows the driver to view hard-to-see areas by displaying a video feed on the Display Audio System. LaneWatch provides added peace of mind when switching lanes or making right turns, and Elantra offers nothing like it.



Civic makes itself seen more clearly at night with dazzling LED taillights, standard across all trim levels. These lights offer several advantages over conventional incandescent bulbs, including reduced power consumption, longer life, and improved environmental friendliness. Hyundai customers must step up to the top Elantra trim to enjoy the benefits of LED taillights.



Civic’s sporty looks are all-encompassing, with a centre exhaust outlet that perfectly complements the athletic aesthetic of the dynamic face. In rather stark comparison, Elantra’s purely functional exhaust outlet is tucked out of sight, signalling its less sporting intentions.


The 2019 Hyundai Elantra comes in many flavors, but the vast majority are plain vanilla — not even vanilla bean or country-style vanilla



Civic makes good on its aggressive exterior by providing drivers with 158 hp and 138 lb.-ft. of torque courtesy of its 2.0-litre i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine. Lightweight yet power-dense, it uses natural aspiration and features Honda’s patented i-VTEC valve control system for enhanced performance and increased efficiency. At 147 hp and 132 lb.-ft. of torque, Elantra’s 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine packs decent pep but offers slightly less powerful performance.



Civic’s CVT features an infinitely variable ratio range to ensure the optimum pulley ratio for a more natural feel. Its dedicated Sport mode uses aggressive transmission mapping for better pep, and the G-Design Shift Logic offers more immediate acceleration response than conventional automatic transmissions, including Elantra’s 6-speed.



The sporty demeanour of the Civic is derived in large part from its independent rear suspension, helping create a smoother, more refined ride that provides better traction and stability. Hyundai outfitted Elantra with a more traditional torsion-beam rear suspension setup that results in diminished comfort, agility, and stability, and can also contribute to more noise, vibration, and harshness in the cabin.






Agile Handling Assist adds turning control and helps amp up the driving on the Civic. This system applies more braking force to the inside wheels to generate greater turning force while reducing understeer. The result is better initial turn-in response, and there’s no equivalent to Agile Handling Assist on the Elantra.





Civic’s Variable Ratio Electric Power-Assisted Rack-and-Pinion (EPS) can modify the steering ratio for improved steering feel and manoeuvrability. It determines the appropriate amount of assist to dish out based on the driver’s physical steering input and adjusts accordingly using an electric motor. Compared to Civic’s low 10.93:1 steering ratio, Elantra’s is locked in at a higher 12.7:1, leaving its steering feeling relatively light by comparison.




The Elantra isn’t as youthful or fun to drive as a Honda Civic



“Premium” is the watchword of the Civic cabin. The thoughtfully designed interior outfits its space with the choicest materials to strike a seductive balance that’s both attractive and durable. While Elantra’s interior certainly looks the part of a more upscale vehicle, a closer inspection reveals various hard plastics and trim pieces that betray the overall impression.



Civic occupants settle comfortably into seating surfaces made from simulated leather/fabric for an ideal blend of luxury and sportiness. Plus, their rugged design was made for longevity, which makes for a perfect complement to their heated capability. Elantra’s leather seats are attractive yet hard to the touch, and the jury’s still out on whether their materials will hold up to years of wear.



Civic drivers enjoy the customizability of the bold, 7-inch colour centre meter display with Driver Information Interface. Using the steering wheel-mounted controls, it’s simple to scroll through all sorts of relevant information, including fuel gauges, vehicle temperature, and navigation. Unfortunately, Elantra’s gauge cluster doesn’t compare favourably, with a much smaller 3.5-inch colour LCD that lacks the vibrancy and information capacity of Civic’s screen.



Civic sports steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to give the driver more complete control over gear selection. They not only keep the driver’s hands on the steering wheel, but they also keep the engine in the sweet spot of the rev range. While Elantra offers a somewhat similar feature with SHIFTRONIC® mode for its automatic transmission, it’s not as engaging as Civic’s paddle shifters, requiring the driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel and manually move the shift lever.





Civic drivers enjoy the peace of mind provided by the robust Honda Sensing™ suite of active safety features. These driver-assist systems include such useful technologies as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), and more. Elantra offers a similar suite of safety tech with SmartSense, but it lacks some of the same features found on Civic, such as Road Departure Mitigation (RDM).


The mixed materials and colors remind me of the gaudy 90s and lack the upscale
vibe we’ve come to expect from Hyundai.



The power Civic drivers enjoy isn’t limited to vehicle performance. It also plays a role in the comfort and convenience of an 8-way power driver’s seat. Elantra drivers are stuck with less convenient seating, being forced to adjust their throne with 6-way manual controls.



The Electronic Parking Brake makes it easier than ever to engage and disengage the parking brake. Effectively functioning as a traditional mechanical parking brake, it can be released simply by applying the accelerator. This saves real estate on the centre console, helping make the area less cluttered. In comparison, Hyundai Elantra’s parking brake doesn’t offer this level of convenience.



Civic drivers will appreciate the utility of their Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, which features dynamic guidelines that pivot based on the steering-wheel angle to aid reversing manoeuvres. Not only does it allow easier observation of hard-to-see areas, its multi-angle configuration affords drivers more comprehensive sightlines and increased safety. Elantra offers a rearview camera and dynamic guidelines, too, but lacks the multi-angle capability.



Civic’s multifunctional centre console offers drivers abundant storage space that’s also easy to access. With an overall capacity of 7.2 L and a reconfigurable console designed to meet a variety of owner needs, the Civic provides no shortage of storage conveniences. The centre console on Elantra is a bit farther back and harder to access, and also lacks the ample storage capacity Civic’s console provides.



Civic outfits its owners with a generous 428 litres of trunk space, and its large opening helps facilitate loading and unloading of cargo. Meanwhile, Elantra’s trunk capacity only manages 407 litres. Even though it’s not considerably smaller than Civic in terms of overall volume, there will be times when Elantra owners have too much cargo to pack away and feel the pinch of their smaller trunk.


In-cabin storage is decent, but there are cars that do it better in the class, especially with the lack of anti-tip design for the cupholders.



Though it sounds impressive, the Atkinson cycle is simply an efficiency play, which is why it’s primarily used on hybrid vehicles. When it comes down to the real meat of an engine’s capability, Civic surpasses Elantra with more horsepower and more torque. As an added bonus, Civic’s engine is more fuel-efficient, too.

Elantra occupants enjoy multiple conveniences like a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and a hands-free Smart Trunk.

Elantra boasts connectivity features like Apple CarPlay®/Android Auto™, wireless charging, and BlueLink® connected car system.

Like Civic, Elantra offers Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ capability to maximize smartphone connectivity. Elantra’s wireless charging is only on the Ultimate trim, which Civic matches by offering it on the Touring trim. And, while Elantra’s BlueLink® is a fully featured system, its functionality is limited to Luxury and Ultimate trims, whereas HondaLink™ is included on Civic LX and up.

With the available SmartSense™ suite, plus helpful safety tech like Parking Distance Warning and Blind-Spot and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Elantra occupants are well-protected.

SmartSense isn’t available on the base Elantra trim, unlike Honda Sensing which is standard on every Civic. Even the SmartSense system itself falls short, as it still lacks the Road Departure Mitigation featured on Civic. SmartSense is also missing some innovative systems that are exclusive to Honda, such as Civic’s LaneWatch™ blind-spot display.

Impressive though Elantra’s cargo hold is for a compact sedan, Civic’s trunk outdoes it at 428 L. Unlike Elantra, which features a puzzling “hump” between the trunk’s cargo load floor and the base of the rear seatbacks, Civic enhances storage convenience by offering a flat load floor for easier cargo loading and unloading.


The 6th-generation Elantra presents a compelling combination of attractive looks, competent performance, spaciousness, and advanced infotainment and active safety features. Even with all those positive attributes, Hyundai Elantra fails to live up to its surface appeal. It restricts its more attractive features to higher trims, making base models feel stripped down and leaving customers disappointed. You’ll have to pay for a higher trim to enjoy features such as Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, or a wireless phone charger. But not even the highest trim level can mask the fact that Elantra falls behind in the performance department. It returns excellent fuel efficiency to match Civic, but does so at the expense of driving excitement. Furthermore, while the sheet metal is impressive for a compact car, the overall experience doesn’t elicit the same kind of emotional response as Civic.



The Corolla possesses a long-standing pedigree as one of the top compact sedans on the market. The latest iteration plainly reflects this heritage with its distinctive nose and LED headlamps, while its power-adjustable heated side mirrors with integrated signal lamps balance function and flair. On the performance end, Corolla’s 1.8L 4-cylinder engine develops either 132 or 140 hp and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or Continuously Variable Transmission for a smooth, comfortable ride that proves quite nimble while driving in the city. Corolla occupants will appreciate the spacious interior, particularly in the rear where passengers can stretch out with ample legroom. Drivers enjoy an upright dashboard with integrated 6.1-inch infotainment touchscreen that can be upgraded to a 7-inch screen on higher trims. Corolla is also outfitted with plenty of safety features, many as part of Toyota Safety Sense™ P. From automatic emergency braking that detects pedestrians to lane-keep assist and active cruise control, Corolla drivers will find peace of mind in every ride.


Arriving in the spring of 2019, the 2020 Toyota Corolla will look to build on the nameplate’s legacy. While its features and appearance have been consistent and respectable, the vehicle has been outdone by competitors in recent years. Performance has been singled out as a major drawback for Corolla, with sluggish pickup and less-than-par ride quality that leaves Corolla drivers watching competitor vehicles leave them behind on the road. For the new 12th-generation Corolla, Toyota will be making a big bet on their electrification strategy with a new hybrid option. The 2020 Corolla will also address many of the current model’s other shortcomings, giving Toyota a much more compelling entrant in an increasingly competitive compact-car segment.




Corolla is light on drivers’ wallets thanks to its fuel-sipping 1.8L 4-cylinder engine.

While Corolla’s engine specs are nothing to dismiss, it’s still less fuel-efficient than Civic’s 2.0L engine. Plus, Corolla’s engine produces less power and torque than the Civic’s, giving the Honda an even greater advantage. Whereas Corolla buyers must sacrifice enjoyment in the name of fuel economy, Civic customers enjoy the best of both worlds: minimum fuel consumption and maximum driving fun.

Corolla’s sporty XSE trim accentuates its more athletic elements.

XSE enhancements are certainly attractive, but their benefits are largely cosmetic. And the few mechanical improvements on Corolla, such as solid rear disc brakes, come standard on every Civic. Besides, Civic Sport is no slouch when it comes to striking athletic appeal. One look at the gloss-black trim, 18-inch darkfinish aluminum-alloy wheels, black-painted decklid spoiler, and centre-mounted chrome exhaust finisher will excite any driver.

Corolla provides niceties like an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, push-button start, and power moonroof.

Indeed, those features are so convenient, Civic features each of them for its occupants, too. Civic takes things even further by adding an Electronic Parking Brake (EPB), multifunctional centre console, and more.

Corolla outfits its cabin with tech like a 7-inch touch panel Display Audio with navigation.

Unfortunately, Corolla’s infotainment interface is conspicuously dated, particularly when compared to Civic’s 7-inch Display Audio System. Corolla also lacks Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. So, while Corolla includes an embedded navigation system, Civic offers its customers the convenience of turn-by-turn directions using apps such as Google Maps or Waze — all on an interface that’s familiar and intuitive to Apple or Android users.

Every Corolla features standard Toyota Safety Sense P.

Civic matches up well with Corolla’s safety offerings by providing standard Honda Sensing™ suite across all trims. But Civic goes one step further by adding Road Departure Mitigation (RDM).

The 2019 Corolla continues the nameplate’s respectable tradition, offering Toyota shoppers supremely practical, reliable transportation at a bargain price. But in its current, 11th-generation form, and amid a profusion of compact-car competition, its allure has faded. It’s simply gotten too long in the tooth, making it ultimately a hard sell in the face of more compelling competitors, particularly the best-selling Civic. Performance can be singled out as a major factor hampering Corolla’s appeal. Sluggish pickup and less-than-stellar ride quality will give Corolla drivers ample opportunity to check out their competition — as it leaves them behind on the road. Corolla provides excellent safety features, but Civic outdoes it. Corolla’s comfort and convenience offerings are perfectly respectable, but the vehicle is simply outmatched by competitors. While not a bad vehicle, the case for buying a Corolla sedan is drowned out by other sedans that provide more features and offer more performance with eye-catching style to boot.


The Best Cars, Trucks, SUVs, and More for 2016: Editors’ Choice Awards 2016 Honda Civic

Source : Car and Driver 2016 Editor’s Choice – February 22, 2016

2016 Honda Civic

Sweet-handling and fun to drive, the Civic deserves serious consideration from enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. The base engine is a 158-hp 2.0-liter four; a 174-hp turbo 1.5-liter is optional. The 2.0-liter has a six-speed manual, while a CVT is optional. Sadly, the turbo offers only the CVT. Both engines are peppy, but the turbo is definitely the hot rod of the two. The coupe shares the sedan’s powertrains and has a sportier ride with quicker steering. The back seat, though, is tight.

2016 Honda Civic

First Drive Review

2016 Honda Civic

Chapter two of the Civic renaissance.

According to Honda research, buyers who prefer coupes to sedans are primarily seduced by styling and image, feeling that the absence of that second set of doors suggests that both car and driver possess a sporty persona. That’s not always the case, but the dynamic character of the new Civic coupe vindicates the sporty part of the proposition.

The coupe’s sheetmetal is even edgier than the sedan’s, a welcome departure from the caution that has marked so many Honda designs—with tidier dimensions, more sculpting, and wheels that fill their wheel wells right to the edge of the fenders.

2016 Honda Civic

The coupe shares the sedan’s 106.3-inch wheelbase, a sizable 3.1-inch stretch versus the previous generation. But at 176.9 inches, the new coupe is an inch shorter than its predecessor, 1.8 inches wider at 70.8 inches, and a smidge (0.1 inch) lower at 54.9 inches. It also has much wider tracks: 60.9 inches front and 61.5 rear. Although overall length has shrunk, the overhangs have diminished even more, and compared with the new sedan, the coupe is 5.4 inches shorter—all of that chopped out of the rear overhang—and almost an inch lower. The net is a coupe that looks compact in the athletic sense—squat, taut, and ready to rock.


Smaller dimensions and extensive use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel in the body shell ought to add up to reduced mass, but the official specifications are a little murky on this score. Honda’s listed curb weights for the old coupe range from 2754 to 2916 pounds. Depending on trim level, the 2016 coupes will weigh between 2735 and 2896 pounds, according to Honda.

Nevertheless, the new coupe should have a performance edge over the previous generation, thanks to its new engines—a naturally aspirated 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder (in LX and LX-P models) and a 174-hp 1.5-liter turbo four (EX-T, EX-L, and Touring). In our test of a new sedan equipped with the 1.5-liter turbo and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), we logged a 6.8-second zero-to-60-mph sprint. That’s just 0.3 second behind the last Civic Si we tested, and Honda insiders say that in development testing the coupe has been a little quicker than the current Si. This leads us to wonder how much power the new Si will bring to the game when it makes its appearance, as well as what its body style will be—coupe? sedan? hatchback? all three?—but Honda isn’t talking about that yet.

Our initial experience with the new coupe was confined to turbo-powered versions with Honda’s torque-converter-enhanced CVT, and the impressions were much the same as those logged in our sedan test. Stomp on the throttle and once the turbo spools up, the Civic’s front tires emit a healthy chirp and forward momentum builds in a hurry. The spool-up is quick with the transmission in D, but for even quicker results, slip the lever into S. At wide-open throttle the CVT delivers simulated upshifts and exhibits little of the slipping-clutch sensations that often accompany transmissions of this type. Paddle shifters aren’t part of the deal, however, and the driver is still aware that it’s a CVT.

2016 Honda Civic

Somewhere East of Julian

Is the coupe any quicker than a similarly equipped sedan? We’ll need a test track to nail that down. But we don’t need a test track to identify an area of performance where the coupe holds an edge over its four-door cousin—as well as its rivals. That would be on the mountain roads near Julian, California, east of San Diego, where the coupe impressed. While the sedan’s unibody gets high marks for its robust structure, the coupe takes chassis rigidity a step further, with selective stiffening around the front and rear suspension pickup points.

Suspension elements—dampers and springs—are also stiffer, varying by trim level. The basic LX model, for example, gets firmer damping and increased front roll stiffness. The LX-P and EX-T have increased spring rates as well as more authority in the dampers; EX-T and higher trim levels get 17-inch wheels. The EX-L and Touring models get refinements of the foregoing, including hydraulic rear bushings for better road isolation and lighter wheels for reduced unsprung weight.

While the dynamic distinctions among the various trims are subtle and hard to quantify in short driving stints, the bottom line is a coupe that’s quick on its feet, responding promptly to steering inputs, with modest body motions and absolutely no drama. It’s easy to be precise with the steering, as well, thanks to an electrically assisted rack-and-pinion system that’s exceptionally quick (2.2 turns lock-to-lock), accurate, and tactile. The steering wheel further enhances the process with its just-right rim thickness and grippy feel.

Pushed hard, the coupe will do exactly that—push. It’s agile, but like most front-drive cars, sporty or not, the weight bias is decidedly forward, and it’s not very difficult to provoke noisy protest from the front tires in enthusiastic cornering. A more performance-oriented tire would probably raise the understeer threshold—all models are shod with all-season rubber—and also shorten braking distances. It’s easy to modulate pressure at the brake pedal, and fade is not an issue, but we don’t anticipate much improvement over the sedan’s 178-foot stopping distance from 70 mph in our test.

The new coupe posts solid marks on the comfort scorecard. Although the suspension tuning is distinctly firmer than the sedan’s, it’s also compliant enough to take the edge off sharp bumps and expansion joints. And Honda’s extensive efforts with sound insulation pay off here, just as in the sedan. The new Civics raise the bar for quiet operation among compacts.

2016 Honda Civic

Waiting for Manual

Honda insists Civics equipped with the 1.5-liter turbo engine also will get the six-speed manual-transmission option currently available with the 2.0-liter. We got a very brief experience with a manual-equipped turbo mule, a sedan in heavy camo, and found it to be typical of Honda shift-for-yourself gearboxes with short throws and crisp engagements. But the product planners get cagey about precisely when it will arrive; our best guess is late in this model year.

The new infotainment and safety features that made their debut with the sedan carry forward to the coupe. Of the latter, the lane-keep assist system is particularly annoying—it’s a little random in picking up the edge and center lines, and a little too eager to intervene when it does see them.

Inside, the coupe sustains the high quality of materials established by the sedan, including first-rate bucket seats, as well as a rear seat actually habitable by adults. Although the new coupe is shorter than its predecessor, the stretched wheelbase allowed Honda to expand rear-seat legroom by 5.1 inches.

Like some other elements of the ongoing Civic saga, pricing remains an unknown—at least until the mid-March on-sale date. We have estimates, but that’s complicated by the revised trim levels—there are now five, culminating in the new Touring model. But this much is certain: The new Civic coupe makes the outgoing version as forgettable as last year’s curling-tournament results. And the sportiness goes well beyond mere appearance.

Honda Civic wins Canadian Car of the Year

The Civic was significantly updated for the 2016 model year. Under the hood, it  is available with a turbo engine for the first time in Canada.

The Civic was significantly updated for the 2016 model year. Under the hood, it is available with a turbo engine for the first time in Canada.

By: Special to the Star, Published on Thu Feb 11 2016


The Honda Civic has been chosen as the 2016 Canadian Car of the Year by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and the Mazda CX-3 won Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year.

The announcement was made Thursday morning ahead of the opening of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

The other two finalists in the car category were the Volkswagen Golf R and the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagon.

In the AJAC evaluation process (described below), one category is “Market Significance.” By that count alone, the winner of AJAC’s Best New Small Car in the over $21,000 category had to be a favourite, given it has been Canada’s best-selling car for 18 years.

The new Civic is a significant departure from the previous model. Increased interior space, more styling character and a revised suspension for sportier handling add to traditional Civic traits of comfort, reliability and value.

The 174 horsepower turbocharged engine in EX-T and Touring models provides more entertaining urge when the pedal is pressed.

A Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), usually not a precursor to driving enjoyment, reacts with more precision than most.

It all suggests that the Civic will add one more notch to its metaphoric lipstick case when sales results for 2016 are tabulated.

It is also appropriate that Canada’s Car of the Year is actually assembled in Canada, at Honda’s Alliston, Ont. plant.

Honda Civic still best among compacts on new IIHS crash test

Most popular, entry-level small cars struggle


The Honda Civic is still the only small car to get the top rating on a new test that simulates a severe front-end crash, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says.

IIHS, which is funded by insurance companies, today released another batch of test results for its “small overlap” crash test, which replicates an accident in which the front corner of a car clips another car, a pole or a tree at 40 mph.

The group gave “acceptable” ratings to the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and 2014 Scion tC, which was enough to earn them Top Safety Pick+ honors.

However, they did not do as well as the two- and four-door Civic, which received “good” ratings earlier this year — a payoff for Honda engineers in Ohio after they redid the car’s front-end architecture to better handle this type of crash.

Automakers generally make greater use of high-strength or hot-formed steel to help cars stand up to small-overlap crashes. The engineering challenge can be daunting because these crashes tend to bypass the structures under the hood that are designed to crumple and absorb the force of a straight-on front-end crash.

Many popular and entry-level small cars struggled with the new test. The Nissan Sentra, Kia Soul and 2014 Kia Forte all received a “poor” rating today while the Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Sonic and Volkswagen Beetle received “marginal” ratings.

“In the worst cases, safety cages collapsed, driver airbags moved sideways with unstable steering columns and the dummy’s head hit the instrument panel,” IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby said in a statement. “Side curtain airbags didn’t deploy or didn’t provide enough forward coverage to make a difference. All of this adds up to marginal or poor protection in a small-overlap crash.”

Starting for model year 2013, the IIHS made an “acceptable” or “good” score on the small-overlap test a prerequisite for Top Safety Pick+ honors, though cars that flunk the test are still eligible for Top Safety Pick plaudits.

The passing grade for the Scion tC coupe is a sign of improvement for Toyota, which drew criticism from IIHS over the past year as top-selling models such as the Camry sedan and RAV4 crossover received low marks on the new test.

IIHS didn’t test the 2013 Corolla sedan because it is on the verge of a redesign.

Joe Nolan, the head of the group’s testing laboratory, said during a recent interview that Toyota has asked IIHS to test the redesigned 2014 Corolla, Highlander SUV and Prius compact hybrid, as well as the freshened 2014 Camry. He said it was a sign of the automaker’s confidence in its efforts to steel those cars against small-overlap crashes.

Article Information

  • Source: Automotive News
  • Author: Gabe Nelson
  • Date Posted: August 12, 2013

2013 Honda Civic nabs top safety marks with IIHS and NHTSA

Already a big favorite with buyers, the 2013 Honda Civic has made an equally positive impression on the folks at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2013 Civic Sedan and Coupe have become the first — and to date only — small cars tested to roll off with the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick+ laurels that included earning the best rating possible in the new and very demanding small overlap frontal collision test. The Civic Sedan doubled up on the plaudits by also receiving the top 5-Star overall vehicle score in NHTSA’s equally stringent New Car Assessment Program regimen.

In addition to the Civic line, which underwent a significant engineering revamp for 2013, the mid-size Accord Sedan and Coupe also performed well enough to be named Top Safety Pick+ recipients by the IIHS. As for other members of the Honda family, the 2013 Crosstour, CR-Z, CR-V, Insight, Pilot, Odyssey and Ridgeline all earned Top Safety Pick honors.

Article Information

  • Source: Kelley Blue Book
  • Author: Bob Nagy
  • Date Posted: May 15, 2013

Five cars pass new, tougher crash test

Larger vehicles generally hold up better than smaller cars in crashes, so it’s significant that the Honda Civic compact was able to get the top score on the new test.

The revised 2013 Honda Civic is the first compact car to earn a Top Safety Pick “Plus” designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The insurance industry group does its own crash testing separate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash test program required for new vehicles.

Two Civics — both the two-door and four-door models — and three other larger vehicles earned this top rating, it was announced today. The other top scorers were the redesigned 2014 Mazda6 midsize mainstream sedan, the Lincoln MKZ midsize luxury sedan and the Volvo XC60 midsize luxury SUV.

TSP+ means the cars were able to score a top “good” score on the new, tough “small overlap frontal crash test” — hitting a barrier at 40 mph with just the outside 25% of the car’s front end — in addition to the regular tests.

Larger vehicles generally hold up better than smaller cars in crashes, which is why it’s significant that the Honda Civic was able to ace the new, added test with a “good.”

Honda is delighted with its showing. “We believe this is a distinct competitive advantage, especially as more and more consumers place a premium on crash rating performance,” says Art St. Cyr, Honda’s vice president of product planning, in a statement.

The test is not easy. The small frontal overlap that IIHS began doing last year is designed to mimic hitting a narrow object, such as a pole, or a partial head-on collision on the driver side. In order to be designated as a TSP+, the vehicle needs to first pass the other IIHS front, rear, side and rollover tests — then pass the new small overlap test.

A bunch of cars have flunked the test, but the latest test results show that engineers are figuring out how to modify new cars to make sure they’ll pass. Reached for comment, Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety says such tests are critical to coaxing safety improvements out of automakers.

Honda Civic’s score reflects upgrades to the 2013 model of the popular vehicle that had just been redesigned for 2012. A makeover of that model was undertaken after criticism of the new car’s interior materials and other appearance and performance attributes, not its crash test results.

But while they were at it, Honda engineers built extra safety into the revised version, with significant changes to the front crash structure to meet the new test. The changes to the structure are related to the design of the front crash structure of Civic’s larger sibling, the redesigned 2013 Honda Accord midsize sedan.

The Accord was one of two mainstream midsize sedans to score “good” in the small frontal offset in earlier testing of 13 models (story here).

According to IIHS, Volvo engineers took a different approach, changing the SUV’s electronics so that the side-curtain airbag would deploy in the small overlap test.

This round of small overlap testing was at the request of the automakers, who were confident they’d do well, said IIHS spokesman Russ Rader. While this test is new and harder, IIHS has done a wider overlap test — 40% of the front end — since 1995.

NHTSA not added such tests to its battery but says it is is evaluating procedures for small overlap and also oblique frontal crash test. Since it published initial findings in September 2009, NHTSA has had research underway on such crashes and the types of occupant injuries that occur in them.

The agency says it also has developed two frontal crash test procedures that are designed to replicate head-on crashes when a vehicle’s front corner collides with an oncoming vehicle’s front corner at a slight angle. NHTSA’s tests use a moving barrier (simulating an oncoming vehicle) hitting the vehicle being tested. The agency has also completed tests to demonstrate the procedures produce consistent, repeatable results. And it says it is developing an advanced frontal crash dummy, called THOR, to potentially make more human-like measurements for predicting injury in the head, chest, hip, and leg areas.

NHTSA says that it and IIHS have been closely monitoring each other’s work in frontal crashes and that future test procedures pursued by the agency will complement the procedures used by IIHS.

Automakers feel pressure to do well on both the IIHS and the government tests, making the IIHS tests “almost a de facto government standard” alongside NHTSA’s, said Tom Baloga, a recently retired engineering vice president for BMW.

IIHS’ tests are “sometimes tougher than NHTSA tests,” says Dan Ryan, Mazda’s public and government affairs chief. But Mazda’s cars as they’re updated are designed to perform well in them, he says. IIHS does “a very good job publicizing the results so a lot of people see them. So it’s become a priority to do well.”

Article Information

  • Source: USA Today
  • Author: Chris Woodyard and Jayne O’Donnell
  • Date Posted: March 8, 2013

2013 Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe First Small Cars to Achieve TOP SAFETY PICK+ Rating in IIHS Safety Testing

SOURCE American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Honda leads industry with four TOP SAFETY PICK+ rated vehicles

TORRANCE, Calif., March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The new 2013 Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe have received the highest available safety rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This recognition makes the Civic Sedan and Coupe the first and only IIHS Small cars in the industry to earn a TOP SAFETY PICK+.

Honda leads all other brands in achieving TOP SAFETY PICK+ ratings with four models – Civic Sedan and Coupe, and Accord Sedan and Coupe. Further, for the 2013 model year, all Honda and Acura models tested1 by the IIHS have received a TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating.

“If you want a compact car with a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating, the 2013 Honda Civic is the only choice,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of product planning and logistics at American Honda. “We believe this is a distinct competitive advantage, especially as more and more consumers place a premium on crash rating performance.”

The new Civic Sedan, equipped with the second generation of the Honda Advanced Compatibility Body Structure™ (ACE™II), is not only the first Small car to earn TOP SAFETY PICK+ in the industry, but also the first and only to earn the highest possible rating of GOOD on the IIHS’ new small overlap frontal crash test (sometimes called a ‘narrow offset’ test). This aggressive test is designed to simulate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole at high speed. The ACE™II reinforced body structure found on the 2013 Civic further enhances frontal crash energy through a wider range of these offset and oblique collision scenarios.

Additional standard safety equipment on all Civic models include Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control; an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); side curtain airbags; dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; and driver and front passenger side airbags.

Honda Safety Leadership
Honda has a long history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies and designs to enhance the safety of all road users, including automobile occupants, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians. The company operates two of the world’s most sophisticated crash test facilities and is responsible for numerous pioneering efforts in the areas of crashworthiness, airbag technology, collision compatibility and pedestrian safety. This commitment to safety is rooted in Honda’s goal to be a company that society wants to exist, and it complements the company’s leadership in reducing vehicle emissions, improving fuel efficiency and advancing alternatives to gasoline.

2013 American Honda TOP SAFETY PICK+:

Honda Acura
Honda Accord Coupe Acura TL
Honda Accord Sedan
Honda Civic Coupe
Honda Civic Sedan

2013 American Honda TOP SAFETY PICKS:

Honda Acura
Honda Fit Acura ILX
Honda Crosstour Acura TSX Sedan
Honda Civic Sedan Acura MDX
Honda CR-Z Acura RDX
Honda CR-V
Honda Insight
Honda Pilot
Honda Odyssey
Honda Ridgeline
Connect with Honda:
Connect with Acura:

  1. Acura ZDX, Honda FCX Clarity and Honda Fit EV have not been completely tested by the IIHS for the 2013 Model Year.

Article Information

  • Source: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
  • Author: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
  • Date Posted: March 8, 2013

Honda Civic and Honda Accord take 2 of the 2013 Car and Driver 10 Best Cars

car-and-driver-logoCar and Driver magazine has named the all-new 2013 Honda Accord and the Honda Fit as winners of its prestigious and highly competitive annual ‘10Best Cars’ award. Now in its ninth generation, the Accord has achieved ‘10Best Cars’ status 27 times in the 31 years that Car and Driver editors have been conducting the competition, more than any other vehicle in the award’s history. The Honda Fit has been honoured with ‘10Best Cars’ status in each of the seven years that it has been on sale in North America.

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Article Information

  • Date Posted: January 15, 2013