The Civic Coupe 1.5T Touring is aptly named, as it has almost equal doses of sportiness and comfort.
What is it?
The Civic Coupe is one of the more expressive members of the Civic family, where it joins the new-for-2017 Civic Hatchback in pushing Honda‘s compact entry out of the practical doldrums and into something that could be a passion purchase.
Pricing and trims
Civic Coupes can be had in five trim levels, and for 2017, prices range from $19,985 for the six-speed manual LX to $27,060 for the CVT Touring. (Both prices include the $835 delivery charge.) The 2017 Touring is up just $100 over the tested ’16.
The tested Civic Coupe was a Touring with no options; everything from leather to navigation is standard.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Civic as a Top Safety Pick Plus, with just about measurement getting the highest mark.
We applaud Honda offering its Honda Sensing active safety suite – the group of features that helps the Civic get the Plus rating – to all Civic Sedan trims. The Coupe, however, must be purchased in its most expensive Touring trim to get that top IIHS rating, as Honda Sensing isn’t even an option on the other four Civic Coupe trims.
That’s a step backward in making these important safety features available to a wider swath of buyers, and it’s one we hope Honda will rethink.
The Touring has the more powerful of the two Civic engines, and its 1.5 liters are fed by a turbocharger to produce 174 horsepower, 16 more than the 2.0-liter that the LX and LX-P trims have. Torque is an ample 162 lb.-ft. of torque, and it comes in at a low 1,700 rpm when paired with the Touring’s CVT.
This engine is typical of turbos in responding with authority once you’ve crossed its 1,700-rpm threshold, but there were times I caught our Touring tester feeling flat-footed when some immediate squirt was needed.
Expanded manual transmission availability is Civic Coupe news for 2017 – the EX-T can now pair the turbo engine with a six-speed manual – and this means you have more options to skip the CVT. The CVT behaves innocuously enough, but the manual might be better at keeping the turbo spinning to minimize the 1.5T’s occasional flat throttle responses.
Ride and handling
The Civic Coupe 1.5T Touring’s handling leans more toward comfort than sport, and it feels capable enough. Send the 1.5T Touring through some tight curves, and you’ll find lots of grip; you’d have to be going pretty hard to break the front end loose.
Steering is a little remote, but the Civic Coupe 1.5T Touring goes where it’s pointed, and the suspension keeps all but sharpest impacts out of the ride. The Touring could very well give the impression of an upscale driving experience.
The Civic Coupe 1.5T Touring’s front seats are manually adjusted; we’d wish for a way to tip up the front cushion for more thigh support. But, these perches are comfortable, with decent side support. The upholstery stripes add a neat bit of flair.
Front seats in the Touring are heated; they’re standard on the EX trim levels as well.
The rear seats have plenty of legroom, with 35.9 inches providing enough space for a six-footer, but taller passengers will have to scrunch down to clear the angled rear glass.
The Civic’s trunk capacity is 11.9 cubic feet, which is about three cubic feet less than the Touring sedan’s.
Honda persists in excluding a pull-down handle in the trunk lid’s lining, which means fingerprints on the exterior and a dirty hand if your Civic has recently splashed up some muck.
Infotainment and controls
The Touring gets a seven-inch touchscreen – the LX and LX-P trims have a five-inchers – and it responds quickly to your touch. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on trims EX and above.
The Civic Coupe 1.5T Touring has a sporty look, and its driving experience leans toward compliance and comfort – so the “Touring” descriptor is quite appropriate. The Coupe 1.5T Touring seems tailor-made for a weekend getaway for two – or four, in a pinch.
The sportiness shown by the Civic Coupe 1.5T Touring’s styling doesn’t appear as clearly in the driving experience; the manual-equipped EX-T holds the most promise for milking out those good vibes. Or, just wait a bit for the upcoming Civic Si, which is rumored to debut sometime in 2017. For enthusiasts, the Si could be the one the makes the Civic Coupe a true passion purchase.
Base price: $26,125
Price as tested, including $835 destination charge: $26,960
- Comfortable front seats
- Pleasing ride/handling balance
- Extroverted styling
- Non-six-footer rear seat accommodations
- Smallish trunk
- Honda Sensing available only on Touring trim