The Honda Civic sedan is back, longer, wider and lower than before, and boasting a cabin that rivals many mid-size four-doors for spaciousness. When it comes to metal-for-your-money, the Civic is a compelling proposition.
TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR
This is the tenth generation of Honda’s Civic and the VTi-S model tested here is one of the mainstays of the range.
While there’s a more powerful 1.5-litre turbo engine in higher-spec models, the Honda Civic VTi-S is powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.8-litre that trades outright performance for a sub-$25k price tag. Retailing for $24,490, the auto-only Civic VTi-S compares well against other mid-spec small sedans.
- The Civic sedan has an impressive interior, both in terms of how much space it offers and how it’s presented. There’s plenty of room for four adults, with the back seat being especially comfortable thanks to well-sculpted cushions and a reclined backrest.
- Handling is superb, with the Civic’s steering and suspension managing to perfectly blend roadholding with comfort. The steering is incisive, nicely weighted and direct, and the suspension irons out big bumps with ease.
- Though it’s only got 104kW and 174Nm from its 1.8-litre capacity, the Civic sedan’s engine still feels fairly lively. It sips fuel too, with a claimed consumption of 6.4L/100km.
- With 519 litres of seats-up capacity, the Civic’s boot has even more room than a Holden Commodore.
- The Civic’s CVT automatic spoils the driving experience. Sluggish to respond, it dulls the performance of what is otherwise a stellar mechanical package. Particularly annoying is the drivetrain’s habit of “hanging” after the throttle is lifted sharply, which can delay deceleration. It steps off the line cleanly and delivers good economy, but the Civic’s trans is otherwise a disappointment.
- The Civic’s double-decker centre console may liberate a few more square centimetres of storage space for the interior, but it’s almost impossible to see what’s stored down there without stooping down. The USB/HDMI ports are located there too, and cables need to be threaded through a small pass-through if you want to have your phone visible and accessible on the upper storage tray.
- There’s no rear air vents to keep those in the back seat cool, which is a shame given how accommodating that rear bench is. Why should your rear passengers have to sweat through an Aussie summer?
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?
Competition includes the Hyundai Elantra, Kia Cerato, Ford Focus, Mitsubishi Lancer Toyota Corolla and Subaru Impreza, with the Subaru being the standout of that field.