Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Well proportioned--the Honda Civic Coupe.

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2016 Honda Civic Coupe 1.5T Touring
  • ENGINE: 1.5-liter turbocharged I-4
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 174 hp @ 4,000 rpm/162 lb.-ft. @ 1,700-5,500 rpm
  • WHEELBASE: 106.3 in.
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 176.9 x 70.8 x 54.9 in.
  • TIRES: P215/50R17
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 11.9 cu. ft.
  • ECONOMY: 31 mpg city/41 mpg highway/33.6 mpg test
  • FUEL TANK: 12.4 gal.
  • CURB WEIGHT: 2,888 lbs.
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla
  • STICKER: $26,960 (includes $835 delivery)
  • BOTTOM LINE: The all-new Honda Civic Coupe is a very well done compact coupe. There is no hint of tininess in a solid, well-performing car.

When new or interesting cars appear in my driveway, it’s amazing the people who wander by. I had a friend stop by while the Honda Civic was there. He is wheelchair bound, so I assumed that all he wanted to do was ask about the car, etc. Rather, he was convinced the Civic would be a great car for him and his wife to use for touring, rather than taking the converted minivan all the time. He figured he could probably slide into the Civic without too much difficulty.
            While we didn’t test it, we did some spatial analysis with his chair parked next to the Civic and it could work. 
            On the other hand, my wife found it slightly difficult getting into the passenger seat, which was set lower than usual. She is a person who prefers a higher ride height and wasn’t totally thrilled about the height of the Civic. However, that was just about the only thing she didn’t enthuse about.
            Honda did a nice job with the redesigned Civic Coupe. Not only does the car look great with a rounded rear with a “spoiler” that consisted of the rear taillights, the front grille seems to have been taken from then Acura bin, with a thick horizontal chrome bar across the top. To my eye, it looks better on the Honda than it did on Acura’s.
            Interior surfaces are soft touch and more thickly padded than before. Honda claims the Civic Coupe is “the most tightly sealed Honda body ever with a 75 percent improvement in air leak performance,” meaning there is essentially no wind noise. And, with more than 88 cubic feet of available passenger space, the interior is roomy.
            Front seats are comfortable with a lower ride height. Yes, I know you can adjust the ride height, but the lower the height, the sportier the car feels. The front seats have good support on the sides and in the seat cushions. This is a coupe, so rear seat access is difficult and rear leg and knee room is tight.
            Ride quality is excellent. The long 106.3-inch wheelbase puts the Coupe close to  mid-size range. Yet it is still short enough for good maneuverability in tight spaces. I liked the ride quality both in urban areas and on the highway. There is no discomfort after a long trip.
            One feature I love is the Honda solution to a right side blind spot monitor. A camera located below the outside right rear view mirror turns on when the right turn signal is turned on, giving a view of any vehicles that may be back there. The camera’s output is displayed on the infotainment screen in the middle of the dash. It is also useful for parallel parking.
            Even though the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine is rated at a relatively modest 174 horsepower, there’s plenty for spirited acceleration and visits over the posted speed limits. The Honda Coups is light, despite the use of high-strength steel, and this results in good fuel economy.
            Safety features are abundant. Automatic cruise control keeps you at a safe speed, and if the car in front of you slows, you slow. Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS) gives you a slight vibration to the wheel when you drift right or left. 
            I congratulate the designers for their work on the instruments. The single central gauge is a large 180-degree tachometer. Inside the tach is a digital speedometer. Below this is fuel range, average fuel economy and a bar graph for “instantaneous mpg.” There is also outside temperature, odometers, and a digital clock. It’s all very clear.
            The all-new Honda Civic Coupe is a well put together package that, while small, would be ideal for first car buyers or for empty nesters who are looking for a touring car. Oddly, it might also serve well for passengers who are physically disabled.

(c) 2016 The Auto Page Syndicate

1 comment:

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