2016 Honda Civic Sedan
Like the auto industry itself, it’s been quite a roller coaster of late for the Honda Civic. After its 2011 redesign was met with much disdain by professional car testers, it was hastily re-done just a year later. But, there was only so much they could do. It would take a full reengineering to return the Civic back to its accustomed pedestal. Well now it’s arrived, the 10th generation Honda Civic. So, let’s see if it still deserves its perch.
Redesigning the Honda Civic is surely a tightrope act that even the Flying Wallendas would think twice about. On one hand, people have extremely high expectations of what a Civic is and should be; and on the other hand people want to see lots of improvements that make upgrading worth it. And much like an extremely dangerous high wire act, getting it wrong would be a real disaster.
So, Honda’s goal for the 2016 Civic; like any stunt performer will tell you, is to do all of the prep work possible, leaving nothing to chance. For Honda, that means making it better in every possible way.
Starting it off, there’s some exciting news under the hood for a change, 2 new 4-cylinder engines. A 158-horsepower 2.0-liter, and a 174-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo that spins up 162 lb-ft. of torque.
The tiny turbo is the more intriguing of the two, and the one we spent the most time with on our first drive opportunity just outside of New York City.
It’s a little bit laggy with power delivery, clearly feeling more entry level than sporty. But S mode tightens things up, though not so much that you can’t leave it in there all of the time, which we eventually did.
The CVT transmission attached to it does the best job yet of acting like a real automatic, unless you’re keeping it pinned for extended periods a la highway on ramps. And even then, it’s fairly quiet.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings aren’t official, but Honda puts the 1.5-liter at 31-City, 42-Highway, and 35-Combined. The 2.0-liter is remarkably similar at 31-City, 41-Highway, and 35-Combined with a CVT. A 6-speed manual is also available with the 2.0-liter.
Coupe and first time 5-door hatchback body styles will be available, but sales will start off with the bread and butter 4-door sedan.
It’s still highly recognizable, but the new Civic sedan has gotten a lot more stylish with a coupe flavored silhouette, exaggerated fenders, and very aggressive looking face with LED running lights.
Wheelbase is 1.2-inches longer than before at 106.3; and overall length sees a gain of almost 3-inches. It also sits lower and wider.
Of course that adds to interior space which now feels more mid-size than compact. There is plenty of room up front; with more than expected hip, leg, and head room in back, even when equipped with a sunroof. Trunk space also sees a big boost to 15.1 cubic-ft.
Seat comfort is very good and the low seating position is reminiscent of 80’s Japanese cars. Small A-pillars and a big windshield provides the typical Honda great visibility, aided by big side mirrors and a standard backup camera.
The dash is very linear looking without much to break up the flow. Both fit-and-finish and material quality are impressive. Thankfully the two tiered gauge experiment has come to an end.
Despite our turbocharged car’s lag time at launch, we were off to a decent 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds. With both the little turbo cranked and CVT screaming, the ¼-mile passed in a respectable 15.7-seconds at 93 miles-per-hour.
Through the cones there is a noticeably firmer feel, and a lot less understeer than before. Throw on beefier tires with actual grip, and Honda might really have something here. The steering stiffens up as you go, but it’s a very artificial feel, not necessarily a helpful one.
Civic pricing is up slightly, but remains under 20G’s, with a base, well equipped LX Sedan starting at $19,475. Top Touring trim with the turbo and Honda Sensing accident avoidance package begins at $27,335.
Despite recent journalistic pans, the Civic has remained a compact car sales leader. Still, Honda took no chances this time around, and has updated everything possible in the 2016 Civic. Looks like the 10th time is a charm.
- Engine: 1.5 liter turbo
- Horsepower: 174
- Torque: 162 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 15.7 seconds @ 93 mph
- EPA: 31 mpg city/ 42 mpg highway,
2024 Subaru Outback
The Outback Continues To Deliver
In a world that’s SUV crazy, it’s easy to forget that the Subaru Outback has been delivering capable and comfortable all-weather and all-road capabilities to adventure-loving Americans for years. In fact, it’s now well into its 6th generation. So, it’s time for us to check in with the latest Outback and find out what’s new.
Almost 50-years ago, long before all-wheel-drive became an option for just about every car on the road, Subaru released the first four-wheel-drive passenger car in the U.S. Immediately, they knew they had a good thing going with that wagon, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the marketing folks got on board and helped launch the Subaru Outback Sport Utility Wagon.
While the 2024 Outback is approaching the end of its 6th generation, its not slowing down when it comes to delivering tons of value to adventure-minded families.
The Outback is the sole remaining wagon available here in the U.S. from a mainstream brand, though even Subaru doesn’t use the “W” word anymore.
Now strictly referred to as a mid-size SUV, when it comes to selling any vehicle, attractiveness is always a bonus, and the Outback’s unique blend of rugged and refined has set the tone for many followers over the years. The exterior was recently updated, and while it looks big and more like a true SUV than ever, it’s only about 5-inches longer than the 1990’s original.
Some trims do get additional standard content for ’24, but our top Touring XT showcases everything Subaru has to offer, with an 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment screen that controls more features than ever, includes navigation, and pumps tunes out with Harmon Kardon sound. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology remains an Outback standard.
Cargo capacity is a great 32.6 cubic-ft., 75.6 with rear seatbacks folded, and despite the high ground clearance, the floor is lower than SUV typical, which makes for easier loading.
Outback seat comfort has improved greatly over the years, and despite the increased reliance on the touchscreen, everything about the cabin is simple to operate and logically placed.
The XT part of our Touring XT means there’s extra power under the hood with a 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo engine which rates 260-horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque. It’s a big upgrade over the standard 182-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.5-liter.
Both engines are unchanged and work with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT; all-wheel-drive is of course another Outback standard.
At Mason-Dixon Dragway, our XT had plenty of grip off the line, hitting 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. That’s a couple of tenths quicker than our last time out with this turbo-4. We’ll chalk that up to better weather this time around.
Like many Subarus, it doesn’t feel overly fast but it’s snappy off the line, and perfectly adequate from there.
Power delivery stayed very consistent down the track; the CVT definitely keeps engine revs maxed out the whole time, but noise is far from annoying. Our best ¼-mile time was 14.6-seconds at 97 miles-per-hour.
The Outback boasts 8.7-inches of ground clearance, which is more than many mid-size SUVs; and while it felt plenty competent through our slalom course, there was noticeable body roll and understeer to deal with. Yet steering was light and predictable, plus Active Torque Vectoring and Vehicle Dynamics Control are hard at work to keep you stable and safe no matter what.
In panic braking, there were only moderate amounts of nosedive, and mild ABS pulsing. Stops averaged a fine 115-feet from 60 miles-per-hour.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 29-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a great 27.9 miles-per-gallon of Regular; a feat most SUVs can only dream of.
That’s an average Energy Impact Score; with use of 11.9-barrels of oil yearly, with 5.9-tons of CO2 emissions.
Base Outbacks have plenty of standard content, and remain a real bargain, starting at just $30,240, top trims, including Wilderness, take you into the low 40s.
Decades of loyal Outback owners have helped Subaru grow the 2024 Subaru Outback into what it is today; a highly capable and comfortable, thoughtfully designed, adventure-ready family truckster that’s as adept at backwoods exploring as it is soldiering through the daily grind. Your family activities may not take you far off the beaten path, but life itself is an adventure, and the Subaru Outback is outfitted for your adventure better than ever.
- Engine: 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo
- Horsepower: 260
- 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
- 60-0 Braking (avg): 115 feet
- MW Fuel Economy: 27.9 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: CVT
- Torque: 277 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 14.6-seconds at 97 mph
- EPA: 22 City | 29 Highway | 25 Combined