Honda Civic Coupe

2016 Honda Civic Coupe

Just reaching showrooms, the new Honda Civic Coupe is the second chapter of a Civic renaissance that will embrace the most comprehensive lineup in the 43-year history of this Honda icon, with a five-door hatchback, a hybrid, and two performance versions, high (Si) and higher (R), still to come.

It will be a lineup that upstages every other make in the compact class, at least at the affordable end of the sprectrum. But the first question to consider in contemplating the Civic Coupe is: Why would I prefer a two-door to the greater utility of a sedan?

Most car buyers opt for four doors, which is why there arent very many compact coupes to choose from; three, in fact, unless you count the Volkswagen Beetle, which marches to its own beat.

But for some, four doors dont project the right message. A sedan may be useful, but its not quite cool. For those who prioritize style and image above all, the new Civic coupe is loaded with both.

The sedan is certainly no wallflower, and represents a welcome departure from Hondas usual caution with four-door designs. But the coupes styling is a little edgier, with more creases in its skin, a slightly wider stance, a tightly wrapped exterior treatment that looks more athletic.

It also embodies tidier dimensions.

The coupe shares the sedans engine choices: a 158-horsepower four-cylinder, available only in the basic L and LX models, and a 174-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four. Both engines are new, and the turbo is a first for Hondas sold in the U.S. We will undoubtedly see other turbocharged engines as the Civic family continues to expand.

The base engine offers a choice between a 6-speed manual transmission (standard) and a continuously variable automatic (CVT). Turbo engines are allied with the CVT. Honda has done a lot of development work with the CVT, eliminating most of its undesirable slipping-clutch sensation. It will simulate traditional automatic transmission upshifts at full throttle, and is particularly effective in Sport mode.

Those engine-transmission combos will be in force through the 2016 model year; Honda plans to make a manual transmission available with the turbo later this year, with all models: coupes, sedans, and hatchbacks.

Like most new cars, the Civics list of standard and available safety features has expanded compared to the previous generation, and includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert with autonomous emergency braking, and lane departure warning with lane assist. That last, lane departure and lane assist, is particularly annoying. More on that later.


2014 Honda Civic Coupe

Enthusiasts caught their first glimpse of the 2014 Honda Civic Coupe, the two-door version of the brand's top-selling compact car, in Las Vegas at the 2013 SEMA Show. It comes nearly a year after Honda's quick refresh of the current-generation Civic sedan, which some say was pushed out hurriedly after the 2012 update flopped with much of the automotive press.

The 2014 Honda Civic Coupe gets a refreshed exterior. Many styling cues on the 2014 Civic Coupe are shared with the four-door sedan, while others are found exclusively on the two-door coupe.

Lines on the 2014 Civic Coupe are more angular and aggressive that the outgoing version, with a new front grille that sweeps across the nose into the redesigned wraparound headlights. Front foglight openings are larger and more imposing, and the lower front air intake forgoes the rounded corners for an angular, hourglass-like shape. From the side, character lines, rocker panels and fender arches are more pronounced, and silhouette is sleeker. Designs for the 17-inch wheels are also new. Taillight lenses and the rear bumper have also been redesigned.

The 2014 Civic Si Coupe is differentiated by unique front and rear air diffusers, redesigned 18-inch wheels and a decklid spoiler.

Powertrains are expected to carry over from the sedan, including a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that makes 140 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices include a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic. Civic Si models should get the sedan's 2.4-liter inline-4, with a retuned exhaust system that Honda says will boost power slightly over the sedan to 205 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. As before, the Civic Si will be available only with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Pricing was not announced at SEMA, but we expect only a modest price increase over the 2013 Honda Civic Coupe, which starts at $17,965 MSRP.

Competitors include other sport compact coupes including Kia's redesigned Forte Koup, the Hyundai Elantra coupe and the Scion tC hatch.


 

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