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Now in its tenth generation the Honda Civic has managed to continuously evolve to meet the changing needs of customers around the world.
It is has consistently set the bar for fuel efficiency, driving performance, build quality and owner satisfaction, so it is no surprise that the Civic has been Hondas most popular model with 23-million units sold to date.
The charismatic design offers tremendous depth of appeal, which is supported by the car’s technology and performance, allowing the Civic to remain true to its heritage and that of the Honda brand.
With the focus on comfort, Honda incorporated advanced equipment developed for an era that demands new levels of integration between people, smartphones and the vehicle, while also increasing the Civic’s comfort, safety and quality standards.
The exterior design was a challenge for Honda engineers as they needed to combine a sleek and aerodynamic exterior with D-segment levels of spaciousness and comfort. The Civics styling reflects a revolutionary silhouette for a four-door sedan, creating the overall impression of a sleek sports coupé.
The result is a clean, sculpted body shape, that is reinforced by a lower, wider stance, along with a longer bonnet and short front overhang.
Advanced full LED headlights and LED daytime running lights are fitted to the 1,5-litre Turbo models for the first time, with the remaining models in the range equipped with halogen units. LED daytime running lights are standard on all models. At the rear, the new Civic’s characteristic bracketed tail light design has been re-interpreted with eye-catching LED light bars on either side.
The interior embodies Honda’s ‘Daring ACE Design’ concept that combines high-quality materials with an ergonomically intuitive centre console and a sporty yet comfortable driving position. The uncluttered design features extensive use of attractive soft-touch and accent materials that heighten the sense of premium quality.
Driving comfort has been significantly bolstered through the fitment of sleek seat designs featuring a broader range of adjustability. Leather seats are standard on all but the entry-level model, and the steering wheel offers tilt and telescopic adjustment. Rear seat knee space has increased by 55mm along with further gains in shoulder room for the rear occupants.
In the centre console is an advanced interface comprising of a seven-inch LCD display. The expansive display uses IPS technology, meaning that it can be viewed from both the driver and passenger seats. The air-conditioning can also be operated on the display panel, while the system allows connection with numerous smartphone functions including maps. A switch on the steering wheel can perform alphabet searches and switching of content.
Under the bonnet is an all new 1.5 litre VTEC turbocharged engine featuring Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology’ which utilises the companys next generation of technological advancements for driving performance and fuel efficiency.
This first ever VTEC Turbocharged engine produces 127kW from 5 500rpm and 220Nm from 1 700rpm. Honda claims that these outputs are comparable to a 2.4 litre naturally aspirated engine, but offer the equivelant fuel economy of a Honda Jazz.
The variable valve timing control delivers a superb combination of output and responsiveness, while also ensuring efficiency to the benefit of fuel consumption across a broad range of operating parameters.
The Civic is also available with a refined and updated version of the 1.8 litre SOHC i-VTEC naturally aspirated engine, which produces 104kW at 6 500rpm and 174Nm at 4 300rpm.
Both engines are paired with a new series of CVT gearboxes as standard, this ensures powerful and smooth performance with the added benefit of maximum efficiency. Many people don’t like the driving style of a CVT gearbox, but I must say this unit is definitely the best of all the CVT gearboxes currently available in the marketplace. The whine and high revving characteristics has been significantly reduced resulting in smooth linear acceleration, from the word go.
Both engines feature Honda’s ECON mode, which optimises the engine and transmission for maximum fuel economy while Eco Assist helps the driver achieve the most efficient driving style by means of a colour changing indication on the instrument cluster.
Vehicle stability is standard on all models, incorporating Hill Start Assist, along with ABS and EBD. If that doesn’t save you, all models are equipped with dual front, side and curtain airbags.
The Civic is comfortable to drive with the feeling of being in the car rather than on top of it. This is a hallmark, of Hondas through the generations, that has thankfully been retained. The Civic does everything that it needs to do and without any complications. It is well thought out in all departments, which will make it a great car to live with on a daily basis.
There is no denying the reliability and longevity of previous generations of the Honda Civic, with many still doing duty on South Africas roads, and I have no doubt that this model will continue that legacy.
Reuben van Niekerk