The Honda Civic is a household name in Australia. Civic hatchbacks and sedans have been faithful family members for many over the years, and the small car that could is now in its 10th generation.
This new model is a complete redesign with a new body, new interior, new engine, new infotainment and new safety tech. So let’s get to know it.
WHAT STANDS OUT?
The last few iterations of the Civic saw Honda take its eyes off the road a bit. It’s only now that the Japanese brand has been able to spend money on redeveloping the Civic formula into something once again worthy of a home in Aussie driveways.
The new sedan has arrived first, with the hatch expected in early 2017, and it’s a much better car than before in just about every conceivable way. It’s bigger and more spacious inside, it’s quieter and more comfortable, its new turbo engine is excellent and its talented chassis is lighter, better to drive and safer.
You may notice the Civic has a strong European influence about it, which is definitely not accidental. Honda ambitiously set the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3 as the targets for the Civic’s ride, handling and refinement, and its engineers have done a fine job in developing a smooth and solid-feeling car.
Standard equipment includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and decent safety gear across all models consisting of auto emergency braking, tyre pressure monitoring, and extensive stability and traction control systems.
All models except the base VTi have front and rear parking sensors, and only the top-spec VTi-LX gets a the full suite of lane departure warnings, radar cruise and pre-collision warnings. It also gets heated leather seats as standard.
There are five Civic sedan models to choose from. The two entry-level models are Civic VTi and VTi-S. Both use a 104kW/174Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that’s carried over from the old car. The other three are VTi-L, RS and VTi-LX. All of these feature a 127kW/220Nm 1.5-litre four cylinder turbo engine which is brand new.
We’d have the Civic VTi-L. It comes with a good level of included kit and the new turbo engine, which is more powerful and uses just 6.0L of fuel per 100km. It misses out on built-in satellite navigation, but having Apple and Android integration means your smartphone can handle that job.
If a sportier appearance is more your style then the Civic RS is for you, and if you really must have all the gadgets and the luxury of leather seats then the VTi-LX is the way to go. The CVT gearbox in the Civic is the only transmission available and stands out as one of the better CVTs on the market.
Honda has really impressed us with its refreshed small sedan and we expect the same from the upcoming hatch. It’s an accomplished package that should reinstate the Civic on people’s shopping lists and win back those who have been long-time fans of the marque.