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New Cars 2016 Honda Civic undergoes major remake as Canadian plant leads production

What is it

This is the 10th generation of Canada's perennial best-selling car and, according to Honda, it is the most comprehensive remake in the nameplate's 43-year history. But there's more: for the first time ever, a manufacturing plant outside Japan is the global lead plant for bringing a new Civic to production – and that plant is the one in Alliston, Ont. Production of the sedan started there earlier this month, and more body styles will follow next year.

Signature feature

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For the first time since 2005, the Civic will again offer a hatchback. Like the short-lived 2003-2005 SiR, the 2016 hatch will be imported from Honda's plant in the U.K. But while the previous hatchback Civics available in Canada were all 3-doors, the 2016 version will be a 5-door. And if it's anything like its European predecessors, it will be a real looker.

What else is new

For once, the term "all new" really applies. The 2016 is built on an entirely new platform and is bigger, and roomier, yet lighter and more aerodynamic, than the 2015 model. The base powertrain is a new 2.0-litre/six-speed manual combo while a new 1.5-litre turbo is paired exclusively with a CVT automatic. Si versions and, for the first time in Canada, the white-hot Type R will follow. The Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assist aids will be available or standard on all except the base DX model.

What's under the hood

The new base 2.0-litre engine (surprisingly, not direct-injection) is rated at 158 hp and 138 lb.-ft of torque. The up-level option is a new direct-injection 1.5-litre turbo rated at 174 hp and 162 lb.-ft,, the latter figure remaining constant all the way from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm. The DX will be six-speed manual only, the CVT will be optional on the LX and standard on higher trims.

When can we buy it, and for how much

The new sedan should be in Canadian showrooms by mid November. The DX model will start at $15,990 and the Touring model with standard Honda Sensing will cost $26,990.

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Cool quotient

4 stars (out of 5)

With its coupe-like profile and sophisticated technical specs, even the sedan should have appeal that goes beyond traditional mainstream compact-sedan buyers. And that's without even counting the coupe, hatchback and high-performance versions still to come.

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