Here’s the 2016 Honda Civic spotted testing in Thailand again, after a first sighting in November 2015. It’s a much clearer view than before of the lightly disguised silver-coloured test mule, but there are no surprises – we’re looking at the sedan-bodied tenth-gen Civic with five-spoke alloys and the addition of a rear spoiler not seen on the US car.
The latest Civic was unveiled in the US in September 2015, and Honda testing an identical sedan in Thailand pretty much confirms that Asean and Malaysia will be sharing a version with North America. Which is no bad thing, since this is The Most Powerful Civic Ever, The Greatest Civic Ever, The Most Stunning Civic Ever and The Most Impressive Civic Ever, according to its maker. In short, The Best Ever.
Honda has gone to town in the US on how the latest Civic is class leading in many aspects. Plenty of segment-first features, which might or might not reach our shores, but the 2016 Civic’s most spacious cabin in its class and 21% bigger boot than before isn’t an option.
Two engines are available in the US – a 2.0 litre naturally aspirated engine with 158 hp (15 horses more than the old 1.8) and a new 1.5 litre turbo engine with 174 hp. The base LX trim with the 2.0 NA engine can be had with a six-speed manual; all other variants come with a CVT. Will we get the turbo engine? Probably not, if what Honda R&D chief Keiji Ohtsu said recently applies.
By the way, Honda didn’t just benchmark the new Civic against traditional rivals (mass market cars like the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra/Sylphy, Mazda 3, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Cerato, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta) but set out to target “luxury compact class vehicles” like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. The Europeans were used as benchmarks for ride, handling, steering and NVH, as well as interior quality and refinement. Looking forward to it coming?