Review: 2015 Honda Civic is showing its age – The Globe and Mail #auto #loans #calculator


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Review: 2015 Honda Civic is showing its age Add to.

The compact car segment is a fast-paced one in Canada: small cars are the bread-and-butter for mainstream manufacturers here, so keeping up with the times is important. Honda has been uncharacteristically lazy about updating the popular Civic since its last full redesign in 2006, and it shows.

In Pictures

After an underwhelming redesign in 2012, the Civic went under the knife again in 2013. That resulted in a better car, but one that still shared too much with the 2006 design it was still based on.

Other little cars redesigned since 2013 are better drivers, and there are others on the horizon that promise once again to challenge Civic’s dominance. Notable among those is a new Hyundai Elantra, which we’ll probably see next year. (Score: 6 )

This is a functional little car, but nothing about the interior is particularly impressive. There’s the comfortable rear seat, and overall comfort and space that make this car kind of disappear around you, in the best possible way. This is a very easy car to get used to—mostly. (Score: 7 )

What we continue to dislike is Honda’s touchscreen infotainment system, recently updated and shared with other recent Honda models. The volume control is an infuriating slider that’s difficult to use, even for a front-seat passenger who doesn’t have to pay attention to the road.

Honda’s LaneWatch blind spot warning system is a better addition. It uses a camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror to show a picture of what’s on that side of the car in the central touchscreen.

Honda’s Bluetooth setup is easy to pair with a smartphone, and works well both for phone and streaming audio functions. (Score: 6.2 )

Continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVTs) don’t earn much love from driving enthusiasts, but Honda has cooked up one that behaves a little more like a conventional automatic than most. All in all, it’s a good replacement for the five-speed automatic this car used before.

The engine’s 140 hp is nothing special, but it’s an eager engine that likes to rev, making it pleasant enough to make use of the engine’s output.

We like the Civic’s brake feel, and the car’s suspension offers both a comfortable ride, and a planted feel at highway speeds, a combo not many small cars can boast.

Fuel consumption proved reliably impressive: our tester averaged 6.7 L/100 km in a week of mostly city driving, against Natural Resources Canada estimates of 7.9/6.1 L/100 km (city/highway). (Score: 7.2 )

At $25,550, this small car is verging on mid-size territory: a well-equipped Accord LX with the ‘Honda Sensing’ safety suite is only about $1,000 more.

Sticking to small cars, Hyundai and Kia continue to out-equip the Civic, and even Toyota is starting to see the, well, value in giving buyers more kit for the money. (Score: 5.7 )

The Civic remains a solid enough small-car choice, but it’s really showing its age, now. At this point, you’re better off to wait for the all-new 2016 model to roll into showrooms, which is set to happen very soon.

Autofocus.ca is a Canadian automotive website dedicated to making car shopping easier and driving more fun. Follow Autofocus on Facebook and Twitter .


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