Back again! Our second test drive for the Honda Civic 2016. This time around Honda brought both the top of the line Civic 1.5L Turbo and the base 1.8L engine model for the Autospinn team to test!
If you remember earlier this year, Autospinn had a quick 6 minute test drive and 2 rounds around the Buriram Race track. That brief test drive left us impressed with new Honda Civic. This time we’ll get to be more intimate and spend more time with this new version!
We took the new 2016 Civic on Thailand’s road and highway this time around. Both the 1.5L Turbo and 1.8L were driven around 65 km, giving the Autospinn team and myself a better feel for the Civic.
The 2016 Honda Civic is performing incredibly well despite overall automotive sales in Thailand declining from previous year. 7,500 units have been sold in the first month after the Civic’s launch, with 3,000 already delivered.
Our focus was to get more of the overall driving experience without nitpicking the details in our extended test drive. Honda performed quite well, the responsiveness and performance of Civic didn’t disappoint! The feel, driving experience, and atmosphere of the Civic definitely met our expectations.
We drove the top Civic model 1.5L RS turbo this time around. The model comes with fully loaded and equipped to perform and roar on the roads. The engine delivers 173 horsepower at 5,500 rpm with a maximum torque of 220Nm at 1,700 – 5,500 rpm.
The model is fully loaded, the details of all the equipment can be checked out at first impression article. One thing I just noticed this time was the driver seat is motorized but only for forward, backward, and reclining movement. Height adjustment is manual.
Engine responsive is top notch, as soon as I accelerate by back was against the seat and engine was propelling the car forward right away. There was no need for me to fiddle around with paddle shift on the steering column. The car was already zooming away. As soon as you hit the gas, you better be holding onto the steering wheel.
The turbo’s suspension and responsive were superb. There was little noticeable difference from driving on the main roads compared to our first impression drive on the Buriram race track. Once on the main roads, the Civic Turbo was more enjoyable to drive than I would have thought!
With everything in life there is a tradeoff, the Turbo’s responsive and racing suspension is no different – the drive is slightly bumpier and we could definitely feel more vibrations from the road than usual. The suspension also gives the turbo a stiffer sportier turning and control. If your main focus is picking up a date for dinner and a fun driving experience, the 1.8L is better suited.
The 1.5L Turbo is designed to be 45 mm wider, and 20 mm shorter in height which results in a stiffer ride. The 17 inch alloy wheels are there to absorb the impact from a speedier drive. For those obsessed with a tighter suspension like me, the bumpier ride was not an issue.
The difference in the details of the 1.8L from the Turbo is noticeable. The top model for the 1.8L is the EL. It leaves out power seats, the alloy rims and wheels are smaller, and gone are the aggressive racing lights.
However 1.8L is the most popular model in the Civic line up, representing 80% of total Civic sales today. Beside the lower price point, the overall styling fits the mass audience taste more than the 1.5L Turbo. Sales should do quite well in the Thai market because of the Civic’s mass appeal.
The 1.8L engine provides a maximum power of 141 horsepower at 6500 rpm with a maximum torque of 174 Nm at a 4300 rpm with Honda’s automatic CVT transmission. The car’s engine is compatible with E85 fuel.
The 1.8L engine performance was expectedly not as responsive or accelerated as fast as the 1.5L Turbo. However, the 1.8L road performance is second to none with quick acceleration and good top speed. On a separate test drive without the 1.5L Turbo to compare, I trust the 1.8L would have truly stood out.
Spacing and suspension for the 1.8L is more family oriented than the 1.5L Turbo. This difference is important for buyer’s more focused on a family car. The strong bottom suspension is notably smoother, providing a comfortable ride for even the elderly.
A new light weight steering wheel controls both models, which Honda has adjusted to fit with the typical driving style of each model. I felt at higher speeds the steering felt a bit light, but overall there was no sharp decline in control.
The interior cabin is designed with simplicity in mind, but packed with the Honda’s latest technology with a new control center to operate the various systems. The various features takes a bit of time to familiarize but nothing too complicated.
As mentioned in the previous article, the rear interior and seats is not ideal for the elderly because of the relatively low seating position. The placement and low positions could make it difficult for older people to get in and out of the car. If you’re considering the Civic to cater to your grandparents, head over to showroom and try the rear seats before buying.
In summary as article title stated, if a budget is not an issue and I had to pick my preference – the 1.8L would be the choice for everyday life, overall comfort is better despite lacking the enthusiastic turbo performance.
If you’re a car enthusiast and always want the best, the 1.5L turbo has no competitor in this segment! A rival automaker recently released a turbo model, but our team hasn’t tested the car yet so I cannot speak on the rival’s behalf yet. Compared to others I have tried, the Honda Civic 1.5L turbo outshines, and out performs all the others to date!
For those who are working on a budget and money is factor in the purchase decision, I highly recommend to go test drive both vehicles first, because the differences are subtle if engine performance is not your main concern. If I get a chance to for extended road test, I’ll come back with more in depth detail and critique. My statement still stands from the first impression; the 2016 Honda Civic is still a great car and a great performer!
In addition, the small detailed changes and styling is up to you to decide in the future when you purchase or try the car out yourself!
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