Production begins on redesigned 2016 Honda Civic

2016 Honda Civic rear line
The 2016 Honda Civic has been changed inside and out. Photos by Benjamin Yong.

On Wednesday, Honda officially began mass production of the global platform 10th generation Civic at their Alliston, ON manufacturing plant. Over the next 18 months, the automaker will begin rolling out the vehicle in five different forms: starting with the sedan, and then a coupe, hatchback, Si and for the first time in Canada, an ultra-high performance Type-R model.

During a presentation to the media, Dave Gardner, senior vice president of operations at Honda Canada, said this is “the most ambitious redesign of the Civic in Honda’s history.”

2016 Honda Civic media presentation

Somewhere along the way, the country’s best-selling passenger car for the last 17 consecutive years lost a bit of its spunk that made it so loved in the first place. That’s why Gardner said the Civic finally returning to its roots of being fun to drive and possessing great fuel efficiency.

2016 Honda Civic pair

The four-door now looks like a completely different animal compared to the 2015 version. It’s bigger — 50 millimetres wider than before — but also 20 mm lower and with a shorter front overhang, reduced by 30 mm, to give it better handling characteristics.

2016 Honda Civic fastback

Rather than going with a conventional flat sedan shape, designers have opted for a fastback look, similar to the shape of the Honda Crosstour — however, the Civic is sleeker and less bloated than its sibling that was discontinued last year. This move gives the vehicle a unique appearance while yielding significantly more interior space, particularly in the cargo area.

Lighting has been given an upgrade to full LED front and back. The headlights are completely integrated into the grille as though it were one piece, and the taillights are shaped like large “Cs” wrapping up and onto the trunk area, flanking a handsome subtle lip spoiler.

2016 Honda Civic electronic parking brake

A couple of big changes in the interior include the use of higher-quality materials, and a traditional handbrake delete, replaced by an electronic unit to save space. This allows for the much larger storage console that can gobble up an iPad and large drink containers with ease, and even has a small tray for your key fob. All grades benefit from a brake hold button that, when activated, automatically applies the brakes for you so you can remove your foot from the gas, something that can be useful in stop-and-go traffic.

2016 Honda Civic Android Auot

Android adopters no longer have to be jealous of iPhone users and vice versa, because both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are supported.

The news that everyone really wanted to hear revolved around the two newly developed engines. A normally aspirated 2.0-litre motor will be standard on the base LX and EX trims, producing 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. The show stealer, though, was the introduction of the first turbine-driven powerplant ever offered by Honda, and the most powerful in a non-Si model: a 1.5 L turbo making 174 hp and 162 lb-ft., available on the EX-T and Touring. Consumers interested in the former can choose either a six-speed or CVT transmission, with the latter have only the CVT as an option.

2016 Honda Civic Earth Dreams turbo

Pricing will be made available when the 2016 Honda Civic Sedan goes on sale later this fall, and stay tuned in the coming months for more information on the other variants. 

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights