Honda Civic’s full redesign means a longer, wider sedan body. But that’s mere window dressing for an onslaught of changes made for this 10th generation car. A week-long test drive emphasized the sedan’s pristine maneuverability. This driver gives a big thumbs up to the dual pinion electric power steering with variable gear ratio (a Civic first). Other Civic-first applications include the use of high strength steel for the floor, and ultra high strength steel for the B pillars and rear frame rails. Civic is the first Honda vehicle to have its development led by a North American- based engineering team. (Technical specialists from around the world were involved in the car’s design and engineering.) The 106.3-inch wheelbase car has great forward sight lines, thanks in large part to super-skinny A pillars.

Civic is powered by either a turbocharged 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 174 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 162 pounds-feet of torque between 1800-5500 rpm, or a 2.0-liter 4- cylinder that releases 158 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 138 pounds-feet of torque at 4200 rpm. The 1.5-liter powerplant (used for EX-T, EX-L and Touring model trims) is the first time a Civic has had a turbocharged engine option. A new multi-link independent rear suspension is another Civic-first. Civic sedan has 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, 2.6 cubic feet more than the prior model. The test-driven Civic Touring with turbocharged engine and continuously variable transmission collects estimated mpg of 31 city/42 highway and carries a MSRP of $26,500.