The least costly Civic is the VTi, which has the 1.8-litre engine, cloth-covered seats, 16-inch steel wheels, and the features common to all Civics.
Spending more for a Civic VTi-S brings you proximity key entry, which means you can unlock and start the car without handling the key. The steering wheel is trimmed with leather, and front parking sensors complement the rear sensors all Civics have. Wheels are made from aluminium alloy, and so are lighter and nicer looking than the steel wheels on the VTi. And you get Lane Watch, which helps you move left safely: when you activate the left turn indicator, it shows on the touchscreen the view from a camera that looks down the left side of the car.
Honda is also offering some additional creature comforts to the VTI-S spec with the +LUXE package that for about $5000 adds leather-appointed seat trim, heated front seats, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and metallic or pearlescent paint as standard.
Paying more again for a Civic VTi-L brings you the 1.5 turbo engine. With it comes dual-zone climate control, which lets the driver and front passenger set cabin temperatures independently, and rear glass that is tinted against sun penetration. Headlights switch on automatically when it’s getting dark, windscreen wipers operate automatically when it rains. The radio receives digital signals. And the wheel diameter rises an inch to 17 inches, with the tyre profile shrinking marginally to match – this is essentially a visual change, bringing a racier look.
The Civic RS takes the sporty look further with a body kit and spoilers, but also brings you more luxury. There is a powered sunroof, and leather trim inside. Both front seats are heated, and the driver’s seat is power-adjustable. The audio system sounds better and incorporates a sub-woofer. And the headlights and foglights use very bright and long-lasting LEDs.
The most expensive conventional Civic is the VTi-LX. It drops the tail spoiler but adds satellite navigation. And it comes with a suite of active driver aids comprising adaptive cruise control (with low-speed follow), automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and mitigation, and lane keep assistance. (For more on these features, please open the Safety section below).
Then there’s the Civic Type R hot hatch, which ditches anything timid about the Civic with its more powerful 2.0-litre turbo engine and a host of mechanical enhancements including adaptive suspension, which responds better to road imperfections and bends.
The alloy wheels grow from 17-inches to 20 and are stopped by stronger brakes with Brembo brake calipers and bigger, ventilated front brake discs.
The Type R an aerodynamic sports kit including a side skirts bold rear spoiler, and a distinctive triple rear exhaust pipe arrangement.
The interior’s sporty trim matches the external garnishes and features front Type R sports seats with red suede style fabric.
Track orientated extras include G-force meter, lap-timing stopwatch and throttle position indicator.