The 2016 Honda Civic is the car du jour for many reasons, none more important than the 1.5-liter engine. For the first time ever, a turbocharged engine is available in the United States, offering several benefits that range from lower fuel consumption to better performance.
The Jetta has been offering a turbo engine for over a year, the 1.8T that replaced the 2.5-liter. However, the Civic’s 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo is paired to an all-new chassis and a styling package that’s hard to miss.
A recently leaked photo from the CivicX forum suggests the 1.5 T Touring model will be able to achieve up to 42 mpg highway, one mpg better than the smaller Fit. That’s an impressive number, plus it explains why Honda got rid of the Civic Natural Gas and Hybrid models.
Thanks to the extra air forced into its four cylinders, the 1.5-liter engine delivers 174 horsepower, 44 more than on the non-turbocharged Honda Fit. Perhaps slightly more important is the fact that 162 lb-ft of twisting power are available from much lower down in the rev range. Most drivers will appreciate that there’s less turbo lag than on most rival models – from slow crawls to full throttle launches, everything is nice and linear.
Having said all that, the Civic is not about setting good autocross times. Almost all versions of the 2016 sedan come with a CVT gearbox designed to seamlessly connect the wheels to the road. This is going to be a great starting point for the Civic Si or Type R, but we’ll have to wait at least another year to buy those.
For now, though, we leave you “suck, squeeze, bang, blow” fans with a short animation of the all-new Honda 1.5-liter turbo engine, which features direct injection, dual VTC and a cylinder head with the built-in water-cooled exhaust manifold. Also, you can check out a statement from Yuji Matsumochi, the chief engineer for the powertrains that went into the 10th generation car.