2019 Honda Civic Touring
A funny thing about the Honda Civic: this is such a good car that it has absolutely worked its way into the fabric of automobility such that its existence is almost taken for granted by those of us who spend our time emerged in the subject, taken for granted in the same way that one doesn’t think twice about, say, the capabilities that one has in their phone.
Many, many, many: After spending several hundred miles behind the wheel of a Civic I ran into a person who works for Honda and mentioned to him that I’d just been driving it and found the experience quite satisfying. (Let’s be real about this: a small sedan with a is not the sort of thing that one is going to get excited about driving; there are other versions of the Civic that can get one’s blood pressure elevated in a positive direction; this one isn’t it; in fact, if you think about it, someone who buys this Civic probably isn’t going to get particularly excited about it until they find out that one of their co-workers, who bought something else, has gotten to know the write-up person at that brand’s dealer service department all too well.) And he responded, “Yes. And we sell a lot of them.”
So what does “a lot” mean? Well, A LOT.
That is, for the first half of 2019 Honda delivered 169,172 Civics.
I figured that the Toyota Corolla might have higher sales. And I was wrong. For the first half 152,868 Corollas were delivered.
Which, as I discovered, is nothing to sniff at.
Do the math: That is, I went to see how the Ford Focus did in the first half of 2019 and then decided that the number was such that it needed a little help. Well, more than a little. In the first half Ford sold 12,480 Focus vehicles. So I added in the sales of the Fiesta—38,116—and the Fusion—96,351—which still only got to 146,947. Only by also adding in the full-size Taurus—8,121—was the total—155,068—able to best the Corolla, and yet is still 14,104 shy of the sales of the Civic.
Yes, that’s what a lot means.
What’s it got?
Power & purpose: The Civic Touring is powered by a 174-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four. It produces 162 lb-ft of torque. But there is a continuously variable transmission so one doesn’t get the sense of torquiness. In some instances one wishes there was more of that feeling for visceral purposes, if nothing else (like when accelerating onto a freeway amid a stream of Peterbilts and Macks). But this setup also provides a very nice range of fuel efficiency, solidly in the 30s.
The vehicle, of course, has the suite of safety and assistance technologies that are becoming de rigueur, as in a collision mitigation system (helps get on the binders when an accident is imminent and you’re not on them), road departure mitigation system, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow.
Dimensionally: This 10th-generation sedan has a 106.8-inch wheelbase, is 182.3 inches long, 55.7 inches high, and 70.8 inches wide. Of course, what is most germane is the interior packaging, which provides 97.8-cubic feet of passenger volume (specified seating for five but who wants that rear middle seat?) and 15.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity.
Yesterday Honda launched a refresh for the 2020 model Civic, which is a refresh for the 2019 major refresh.
For the Touring trim there are satellite-linked navi, a 450-watt audio system, paddle shifters (really?), LED headlights, heated rear seats, and more.
But essentially it is the car I drove.
And the thing is: It is a nicely drivable car. Which is the whole point, I think. As is well substantiated who have made, and continue to make, the Civic a best-seller in the market.
The engineers at Munro & Associates have taken a perfectly sound BMW i3 and taken it apart. Completely apart. And they are impressed with what they’ve discovered about how the EV is engineered.
Honda is an engine company.
Generally, when OEMs produce aluminum engine blocks (aluminum rather than cast iron because cast iron weighs like cast iron), they insert sleeves into the piston bores—cast iron sleeves.