I can't speak to comparing the 10th and 11th Gen Civic 2.0 NA engine trims, but I can compare my wife's 2016 Civic EX-T (coupe) to the 2023 Civic EX-L (hatchback) I just got my kid, both with a CVT.
I would agree - and so would Car and Driver or Road and Track instrumented tests - that the 2016 Civic is slightly faster and sportier than the 2023, both with the 1.5T engine. And I would say the 2016 Civic's steering and suspension feels sportiner, too: heavier, more responsive steering.
NOTE: this is after I put new/better tires on the 2016 Civic from stock: I replaced the OEM ones with General G-Max AS-05 tires, 215/50ZR17 about three years ago, which I remember making a nice difference, and don't really remember the stock feeling.
However, I firmly consider the 2023 EX-L a much better daily driver, because it more than makes up for the slightly more sluggish feeling vs. the 2016 (while not actually being sluggish, mind you) with a lot of the things that actually improve driving on a daily basis, and ignoring things like the leather/power seats in the EX-L trim as an unfair comparison:
- Appearance/styling. Obviously a matter of taste, but I prefer the less "funky" look of the 11th Gen by a country mile.
- Sound. It's a much, much quieter car than the 2016 Civic, and the CVT drone is much less... Droning.
- Infotainment / HVAC controls. The 2016 has no volume knob. I cannot tell you how annoying this is. Well, I guess I just did. It's not just the lack of a knob, but that what you do instead (a touch-sensitive slide control on the side of the infotainment screen, or on the left thumb of the steering wheel) is unnatural and wonky in its sensitivity. Sometimes a light touch doesn't do anything, sometimes it sends the volume up/down by 5.
They added a knob to the 10th gen later, like in 2019?, but even so, the 2023 Civic EX-L's radio is just much nicer (even as the 7" one, and not the Bose one in my 2022 ST).
In addition, the new clicky HVAC knobs in the 11th gen are ridiculously pleasing. And the honeycomb grille and the little joystick thingies to direct cabin airflow, mwah. (That's the sound effect of a chef doing the kissing-fingertips thing.)
- Honda Sensing / safety tech thingamabobs. The 10th gen already had some of the stuff like LKAS and auto-braking with ACC and whatnot, but I find it to be kind of "blunt" and jerky and oversensitive compared to the 11th gen, which has a much smoother implementation.
But the #1 daily annoyance for me with the 2016 Civic - like, even before the 11th gen came out, I was like "this is something Honda HAS TO FIX/GET RID OF in the next generation", even more so than the volume knob thing - is its useless, yet infuriating, Lanewatch system (instead of the 11th Gen's Blind Spot Monitoring).
The 11th gen Civic has a real, and excellent, Blind Spot Monitoring system that is camera-based and on both sides of the car, that will alert you when a car is within 10 feet behind and to the side with a flashing yellow car-crash logo on the mirror, plus a beeping sound if you use a lane-change signal on that side or start steering in that direction.
The 10th Gen does not have this. What it has, instead, is if you turn your right blinker on - and only the right one - IT REPLACES YOUR ENTIRE INFOTAINMENT SCREEN WITH A VIEW FROM A PINHOLE CAMERA SET IN THE PASSENGER DOOR MIRROR FRAME.
The idea is that the camera is aimed at the blind spot, and now you can see if there's a car that you didn't notice originally with your normal side-view or head-turn look.
But in practice, (a) this doesn't help at all with your driver's side blind spot, so it's half-assed, and (b) EVERY TIME YOU SIGNAL ANY RIGHT TURN OR LANE CHANGE, YOU LOSE EVERYTHING ELSE ON YOUR SCREEN. Which is just... Ass.
If you're following turn-by-turn directions on Google Maps? Sorry, can't confirm which lane you should be in splitting from the off-ramp you just got on, gotta show you your right side blind spot even though it's a one-lane exit ramp!
Waiting 60 seconds for the traffic lights and making a right turn? Sorry, you can't see what song is playing, or the GPS map, or anything else. But hey, here's the right side of your car!
It also interrupts any CarPlay interaction you may have been in the middle of doing. Like, it stops giving audio driving directions from Google Maps, and if you were in the middle of playing back a text message (having it read to you) or dictating a voice-to-text message in reply, and turn on your right turn signal... It cuts out.
G.T.F.O.H. with that bullshit.
I finally figured out that it's something you can disable in the car's settings (it is ON by default), but it's my wife's car so I leave it alone.