The 2016 Honda Civic Coupe is the equivalent of a shiny object waving in front of you. It exists because looks are important, even on a mainstream car.
Get over the fact it has front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. The Civic Coupe has the sporting pretensions of a Lululemon yoga bag and it doesn’t care what you have to say about it. Throw in exaggerated lights on every corner and it’s the sensible compact car that’s been given some dazzling jewelry to distract your eyes.
Normally, the Civic Coupe has complemented the Civic line as the most stylish and least practical model in the lineup, the attention-grabber while the other variants carry people and cargo easily. But the coupe was always the one you wanted to date and the 2016 version is no different.
We drove the 2016 Civic Sedan extensively when it was released last fall, and the Civic Coupe carries over pretty much all of that car’s characteristics. That’s largely a good thing, because the new Civic is not only a quantum leap over the previous model, but aims higher than pretty much anything else in the compact sedan class.
Because the coupe can tell practicality to get lost, it looks much closer to the original Civic Concept shown last year. The boomerang lights, quickly sloping roof and stubby trunk have translated over well – you can even get it in the concept’s bright green paint.
While very nearly $27,000 sounds like a lot of money for a Civic, it isn’t that much for what’s basically a fashion statement. A Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T, Mini Cooper and Kia Forte Koup can all be similar money. And yet the Civic is arguably the most easy to use of the three. The suite of driver assistance tech that comes standard on the Touring (and optional on other Civic Coupes) isn’t the most refined of its kind out there, but the stop-and-go adaptive cruise control is extremely useful in nasty traffic situations.
The Civic is unexciting to drive, even with the 1.5-liter turbo four – the CVT, even in Sport mode, smothers the torque curve. And yet it’s never lacking for thrust and doesn’t sound strained in pretty much every passing maneuver. The base 2.0-liter Civic with the manual is still the enthusiast’s Civic right now, but the turbo oozes competency.
Much like the Honda Accord Coupe, the Civic Coupe is indulgence without the calories. The rear seats are small, but not nearly as useless as most coupes’. You sit low, but visibility is fine. There’s a reasonably large trunk, too. And if all you want from a car are the looks without the hassle, then the Civic Coupe ticks all of the major boxes. What other moving lighting installations can approach 40 mpg on the highway?
The answer to why the Civic Coupe exists is this: Why not? Which made me wonder even more what’s going on with the back of this car. I thought the sedan had an unusually short trunk lid, but the coupe’s verges on the ridiculous. And it makes the car look incomplete. The Civic Coupe is one of the rare cars crying out for a large, stupid wing on the back.
Impractical yes, but this is a coupe and looks are everything.
Photos: Carscoops.com/Keith Moore