First look at the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe.
When auto writers get invited to new car launches, the gender break down often skews male, though more and more women are writing about, and working in, the auto industry. But at the recent debut of the new Civic Coupe, a car that Honda says is sold primarily to men, every writer and every Honda executive (save a couple of members of the public relations team) was male. As the sole female writer, I took umbrage to the idea that this is a “guy” car.
So what is a guy car?
OK, the 2 door coupe sits low to the ground, and entering and exiting with a short, tight skirt requires a balancing act; modesty versus practicality. But not every woman drives wearing a short skirt, and a short person (the average height for a woman is a full five inches less than for a man) can more easily get into a lower slung car.
The designers touted the car’s sleek aggressive look and the low slung athletic stance and I say – have you seen Serena Williams? Why isn’t this a car for her, or Abby Wambach? Maybe I don’t want a car that slinks into the background. And that sleek look serves to make the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe more aerodynamic, which translate to better fuel economy. I am all for that, which isn’t gender specific.
The back seat conundrum
Anecdotally, moms drive their kids around more than dads; more moms stay home, or assume responsibility for dropping the kids off at day care. And yes, getting kids in and out of the back seat and into car seats is easier in a four door car. But again, not every woman is a mom, and not every mom uses her car solely to chauffeur the children.
Is there anything wrong with a car as a guy magnet?
Women who drive muscle cars are often revered by guys, so choosing a car that is considered more a ‘guy car’ could be a shrewd move by a woman looking to meet guys (not that the Civic is a muscle car, but it is sporty). I hopped into a black and white, stick shift model for a quick spin and got the thumbs up from just about every guy I zipped past. Perhaps women should delete their Tinder profile and buy a car that guys flock to. You never know.
Note: you can’t yet buy the 2016 Honda Civi Coupe; it goes on sale in March, when pricing will be announced.
We drove the Hondas around the hills outside San Diego; I think of Southern California as flat, but the terrain changes dramatically as soon as you exit downtown. We got to experience lots of tight curves and winding roads, to see how the car handled. And unlike the roads a bit closer to Los Angeles, these were mostly empty.
Stick vs automatic: choose your poison
The manual Civic Coupe is easy to shift and the car had enough power and traction to let you take left turns in fourth gear and feel confident. Strangely, the six speed manual version will get fewer miles per gallon than the automatic, which a Honda engineer explained to me as “computers do it better than people.” Oh.
Honda Sensing: leading the way in safety
The Civic Coupe is loaded with safety features that come standard in the Touring model. The Honda Sensing suite of safety technology includes Collision Mitigation Braking, which automatically engages the brakes if an imminent collision is sensed, along with Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Forward Collision Warning. My favorite feature was Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow – you could set cruise control and not worry about traffic slow downs.
What I loved
- Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive technologies
- Touchscreen coordinates with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Rain sensing wipers
- Dual zone climate control
- Heated front seats
What you need to know
- Not yet rated for fuel economy, but anticipated 30-31 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway depending on the engine (and slightly lower for the manual)
- Takes regular gasoline
- Goes on sale in March, when pricing will be announced; the 2015 Civic Coupe started at $18,290
Note: I was Honda’s guest, and the sole female representative, for this drive. Honda paid my travel and accommodations; opinion expressed are my own.