Honda Civic wins 2016 car of the year award

2015 Honda Civic (Image:

(CNN) — In a big comeback for a beleaguered classic, the Honda Civic has been named the 2016 North American Car of the Year.

The last generation Civic bombed with critics when it debuted in 2011, forcing Honda back to the drawing board. Consumer Reports rated that model too poor to earn its recommendation — the first time a Civic didn’t get the magazine’s coveted seal of approval.

A thorough makeover in 2012 was enough to get back in the good graces of Consumer Reports.

Anticipating a redesign, customers stayed away from Civic in 2015. Civic sales fell last year, while rivals including Toyota (TM) Corolla and Hyundai Elantra had banner years.

But now Honda (HMC) is back in the driver’s seat with a sporty 2016 redesign. Upper-end models offer new turbocharged engines, a first for Honda in mainstream non-performance cars. Lower-cost versions come standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out 158 horsepower. That’s less than the 174 horsepower from the turbo engine produces, but it’s still more than competitors like Corolla and Elantra offer.

The Volvo XC90 won the magazine’s North American Truck of the Year award. It’s a big, three-row crossover SUV powered by a small, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s supercharged and turbocharged. The little engine produces a surprising 316 horsepower.

It’s part of a new product engineering strategy at Volvo in which a single engine size, tuned to produce varying amounts of power, will be used to drive a wide variety of vehicles.

The XC90 was also the first all-new vehicle produced under Volvo’s Chinese ownership. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group purchased Volvo from Ford (F) in 2009. The XC90 was designed and engineered entirely in Volvo’s home nation of Sweden, however, and plans for the new engineering strategy were underway before Geely’s takeover, Volvo executives have said.

The North American Car and Truck Awards are decided by a group of automotive journalists. In November, the Chevy Camaro was been named Car of the Year in the separate Motor Trend awards, while the company’s Colorado model picked up Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year honors.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s