New Engine, New Technology
New powerplants make the new Civic more powerful and more fuel-efficient. In the sedan, the first of the Civic family to launch for 2016, lower trims come with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, while the majority of others use a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. Don't let the latter's size fool you: It puts out an impressive 174 horsepower. All models except a base LX are connected to a stellar continuously variable transmission (CVT). For the few drivers who do want to shift for themselves, a 6-speed manual is available with the LX, and at under $19, 500, it's the least-expensive Civic, to boot.
While hybrid and compressed natural gas (CNG) variants of the Civic have exited stage left, the all-new models are exceptionally efficient. Those with the 2.0-liter engine and CVT earn up to 41 mpg/highway, while Civics with the 1.5-liter turbo are rated at a hybrid-like 42 mpg.
The new Honda's infotainment system has been upgraded, and models fitted with navigation now feature more robust graphics and a quick processor. Unfortunately, physical knobs for volume control and tuning are still MIA. Adjustments to most climate settings in our Touring test model are also touch-based and require multiple steps to, say, change the fan speed.
A Safe Bet for Every Buyer, With More on the Way
The 2016 Civic sedan is available in a wide range of trims, starting under , 000 for an LX to over , 000 for a Touring model. Those are good values, and even more so when you consider the Civic's enviable reputation for high reliability and resale value. But perhaps the best news is that you don't have to buy the most-expensive trim to get the Civic's latest safety features. Any trim can be had with the impressive new Honda Sensing package that bundles advanced safety and driving aids like radar cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assist and road departure mitigation.
The new Civic sedan is available now, and more variants are on the way. You probably already expect the familiar 2-door coupe and sporty Si variants, but more excitement awaits in a 5-door hatch Civic and a performance-oriented Type-R, which in Euro-spec form makes over 300 horsepower. Stay tuned for more on these fresh new Civic models closer to their U.S. arrival.
More 2016 Honda Civic
If you want to soak up more of Honda's latest winner, read our 2016 Honda Civic full review. Ready to take the next step? Build and price your own Civic to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more. And if you want to cover all your bases, head straight to our Compact Car Buyer's Guide.
2016 Small Car Best Buy Finalists
As with all our Best Buy categories, there were multiple nominees in the Small Car segment, and any one of them could be your personal winner. For example, if you want a stylish, safe and sophisticated hatchback for less than $20, 000, there's the all-new Scion iM, while the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra have become stalwarts of value and easy driving manners. Here are the finalists, in alphabetical order:
2016 Hyundai ElantraA Blueprint for Value
The 2016 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition plays like it was made to be one of our Best Buy finalists. Based on the Elantra SE sedan (which starts at around $18, 000 and stands quite nicely equipped), the Value Edition adds goods like a power/tilt sunroof, push-button start, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a 6-speed automatic transmission. All for a sticker price of just $20, 650.
Plus, it's a Hyundai Elantra, which means you'll get a fresh, stylish compact sedan that's quiet, comfortable and engaging to drive. The base 145-horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is well matched to the 6-speed automatic for easy acceleration and capable passing power, but if you really need to put power first, go for the 173-horsepower 2.0-liter four in the Sport sedan and GT hatchback models. Both engines are also available with a 6-speed manual gearbox if you're that kind of driver.
In the 2016 Hyundai Elantra cabin, you'll enjoy very comfortable seats enhanced by quality materials and a suspension setup that absorbs both staccato road bumps and whooping swales. Two bonuses: Hyundai's 10-year/100, 000-mile powertrain warranty, and the fact that resale value on Hyundai vehicles is gaining strength every year.