Back on Monday, I told you about a new weekly online feature we're starting up here at Ignition called This Week's Press Car, or TWPC for short.
To recap, with TWPC we'll pick up a car on a Monday and post it online at ignitionmag.ca with a photo and a line or two about the vehicle. On Friday of that same week we'll post a mini-review of the vehicle that includes a few things you need to know (specs, pricing, etc.), along with some general driving impressions. Sometimes Monday might become a Tuesday on certain weeks in the case of a stat holiday, but we'll be sure to let you know if the schedule has to be adjusted. On most weeks it'll be a Monday / Friday sort of thing.
Well, today is Friday and it's time to render a verdict on our first TWPC subject, the 2016 Honda Civic LX Coupe.
Without further adieu, here's our take.
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The tenth generation Honda Civic marks a significant departure from the car of its eighth and ninth-generation forebears, a notion that seems quite striking to me as an eighth-gen owner (2010 Civic Si Coupe).
Having now driven both the coupe and sedan, it's clear Honda really felt the need to recast its most important car in a really big way, and the 2016 Civic certainly accomplishes that.
Like the sedan, the coupe charts a new course with its lower, wider and longer stance, with sheet metal that evokes more of an athletic appearance than its predecessor. The Civic now looks a lot sleeker, and while it's Accord-inspired front end and boomerang-like tail lights might not please everyone, it certainly accomplishes the goal of being different.
The re-imagining of the Civic isn't confined to the outside, however. Honda has spent a great deal of time, money and effort to make the Civic's rather dated interior a whole lot more inviting. From better sound insulation to more comfortable and supportive seats and better user interfaces for the climate control and infortainment systems, the new Civic's cabin is much more inviting than that of its predecessor. It makes the interior of my eighth-gen Si seem positively low-rent by comparison.
The refinement continues under the hood, where our LX Coupe tester is powered by a quiet, yet powerful and efficient 2.0-litre 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder engine that produces 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft. of torque. Our tester is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, but a CVT is also available for an extra $1,300.
The LX serves as the base car on the coupe side of the Civic ledger, but it's hardly basic when it comes to standard equipment. Heated seats, automatic climate control with air filtration, back-up camera, Apple CarPlay / Android Auto and 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels are all standard issue.
On the road, the LX coupe is a comfortable and quiet, yet fun car to drive. Like a lot of Honda four-bangers,the 2.0-litre four is a free-revving, wind-me-up engine that will launch the car with due haste at the slightest provocation from the accelerator. In that sense, it reminds me of my car. Not as powerful, and with a much lower redline (6,500 vs. 8,000 rpm), but acceleration that possesses a similar sense of urgency. The performance character remains.
The six-speed manual employs a light clutch and short-throw shifter that makes rowing through the gears a silky smooth experience that puts my nearly seven-year old Si to shame. I still love my car, but I have to admit I'm very excited about the prospect of a tenth-gen Si (which Honda says is on the way), given how much I've enjoyed driving the LX coupe.
2016 Honda Civic LX Coupe
BASE PRICE: $19,455
ENGINE: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder
HORSEPOWER: 158 hp @ 6,500 rpm
TORQUE: 138 lb-ft. @ 4,200 rpm
DRY WEIGHT: 1,251 kg
CONFIGURATION: front engine, front-wheel drive
FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS (CITY / HWY. / COMB.): 8.9 / 6.1 / 7.7
WARRANTY (MOS. / KM): 36 / 60,000
ALTERNATIVES: Kia Forte Koup, Scion tC
Photography by Lee Bailie