The Civic, which was brought to life in 1972, has been a pillar in the mid-size car category for Honda. From a compact two-door hatchback, the car now in its 8th generation is a four-door sedan. Known for its reliability and affordability along with its racing heritage, the Civic has been a staple choice for car buyers over the decades. The new face-lifted sedan is powered by Honda's acclaimed i-VTEC petrol engine which is available in two displacements i.e. 1.8-litre and a powerful 2.0-litre motor. The i-VTEC engine its hood throws out a power of 141 PS @6500 rpm and 155 PS @6500 rpm respectively. Honda offers three variants which are 1.8L M/T, 1.8L A/T and 2.0L A/T variants. Apart from the initial 1.8 M/T variant, which comes equipped with manual transmission, the rest of the variants sport automatic transmission. While Honda has chosen to retain all that was great with the interiors of the Civic, most major enhancements appear on the exterior of the vehicle. Highlights include the revamped chrome grill, a sportier front, revised skirting on the sides and rear, a morphed tailpipe, a distinct wing spoiler and an all new ‘sport’ on the lid of the trunk. Within the vehicle, not much seems to have changed.
Honda’s have always been known for making fuel-efficient vehicles and the new Civic does not disappoint. Company figures claim that the 1.8-litre engine with the manual transmission would give an expected mileage of around 11.9 km/l in city driving conditions to approximately 15.3 km/l on the highways. The Auto transmission, which uses a lighter CVT, is claimed to be more fuel efficient than the Manual. Claimed fuel economy figures range between 12.75 km/l in town to 16.5 km/l on highways. The 2.0-litre automatic being sporty in nature and with a larger engine offers slightly lower efficiencies than its smaller sibling giving an overall mileage of 13.4 km/l. The 57 liter fuel tank on the Civic is sufficient enough to take you on long drives without a refill.
The 1.8-litre engine on the Civic has a displacement of 1798 cc while the larger 2.0-litre version has an additional 170 cc of displacement over its smaller sibling. Both variants use the 4-cylinder SOHC, 16 Valve, i-VTEC DBW DICT engine. The power outputs of both engines are different. The 1.8-litre engine produces maximum power of 141 PS @ 6500 RPM and maximum torque of 174 Nm @ 4300 RPM. The 2.0L, on the other hand, produces 155 PS of maximum power at 6500 RPM and 190 Nm of maximum torque at 4300 RPM.
The Civic is a car known for its sporty nature. Compared to its predecessor, the acceleration in the new Honda Civic is quite impressing. The 1.8-litre automatic does the 0 to 100 kmph dash in under 10.4 seconds. Top speed is limited to 200 kmph. The more powerful 2.0-litre engine goes from 0-100 kmph in under 9 seconds. With a paddle shifter available on the 2.0, the CVT transmission provides even better performance.
The car sports an aerodynamic design and looks premium. The large angular headlamps merge into the front radiator grille. The Civic too carries Honda’s current styling philosophy which give the car an aggressive stance. The front bumper features a large air-dam flanked by recessed oval shaped fog lamps. The headlamps are of the projector type, and the 2.0-litre variant comes with HID (High Intensity Discharge) projector lamps as standard. HID's provide precision beams and are also more energy efficient than regular headlamps. Auto-off feature on the headlamps is also standard across all variants. The sides of the car show a mild shoulder crease running from the front wheel arch across the doors ending at the wrap-around tail lamps. The muscular nature of the car is enhanced further by a second crease that starts lower down from the front door and then gradually widens as it reaches the rear wheel arch. The door handles on all the variants are embellished in chrome to make it look all the more attractive. The Civic is equipped with electrically retractable ORVM’s in body color. The ORVM’s also carry turning signals embedded in them. All the variants are equipped with heat rejecting green tinted glass. The Civic also happens to be one of the few cars that sport opposing wind-shield wipers. The rear is also accentuated with a sculpted rear bumper that houses two reflectors at the corners. The tail lamps are the wrap-around type along with a high-mounted stop lamp. The license plate housing also has a chrome garnish, and there is a muffler extension also to complete the looks. The I.8-litre civic is equipped with 16 inch alloy wheels whereas the top 2.0-litre variant is shod with 17 inch alloy wheels. The top-end variant also gets wider tires to complement its nature. The new Civic is available in 5 color options - Polished Metallic, Alabaster Silver, Crystal Black Pearl, Brilliant White Pearl and Pearl Red Carnelian.
The new Honda Civic is slightly larger than the outgoing model. The car’s dimensions measure 4540 mm in length, 1755 mm in width and 1435 mm in height. The overall wheelbase of the Civic stands at 2700 mm.
With its increased dimensions and longer wheelbase, the new Civic is a very spacious car. Its interiors too come packed into the core. It sports most features found in the much larger Honda Accord. The interiors are elegant and comfortable. The 1.8-litre comes with Ivory colored interiors while the 2.0-litre has Black interiors all around. Quality of the fabric used is high and adds to the luxurious feel of the car. The dashboard found in the Civic looks futuristic. Honda provides all variants with a Multi Information Display, ECON mode button and a combination meter with Honda’s trademarked Eco-Assist. The steering wheel also has a tilt and telescopic movement. Both variants are equipped with an 8 inch touchscreen entertainment system that takes center stage. The entertainment system is a Double DIN device which plays both CD’s and DVD’s. The remote controlled system also has an AM-FM receiver and plays MP3, WMA, and AAC tracks. There is also a USB and Aux-input and is also compatible with iPhone and iPod. Both systems also feature navigation software. The system on the 2.0L also has an additional HDMi port and Bluetooth connectivity. The 2.0L also gets steering wheel mounted controls. Air-conditioning is standard on both variants and while the 1.8L gets manual controls the unit on the 2.0L is an automatic one. The 2.0L variant also gets a One Push ignition system. Amongst the other standard goodies are the console box on the Civic that also has a USB port along with cup holders. Sun visors on both the driver and passenger side carry vanity mirrors. The front seat has back pockets and there are pockets on the rear doors too for holding bottles or magazines.
Step in, and you will be greeted with a roomy cabin. There is a lot of distance in-between the front and rear seats, and the oodles of space available allows the tallest of back seat passengers to sit and relax in comfort. Headroom is also good for a mid-sized sedan. The seats are adjustable, and while the 2.0L variant gets an electrically powered 8-way system, buyers of the 1.8L models have to make do with manual adjustment. The cars are also provided with a front sliding armrest and foot rests as standard. The rear seats also have a central fold-down armrest with cup holders.
Under the Civic’s hood lies the four cylinder 16 valve SOHC i-VTEC DBW DICT Petrol engine. The engine comes in two displacements. The smaller 1798 cc motor which powers both the manual and automatic versions of the 1.8-litre variant and the more powerful 1967 cc engine that does service in the Civic 2.0L. The 2.0-litre engine’s maximum power output is a 155 PS @6500 rpm. It also produces 190 Nm of torque at 4300 rpm. The 1798cc engine powering the 1.8-litre produces 141 PS @6500 rpm. The torque generated stands at 174 Nm @ 4300 rpm. The performance of the car is pretty satisfying and the young at heart will enjoy the additional power the 2.0L welds
The Civic comes with a number of advanced features to assist driving and enhance handling characteristics of the car. The car features technology such as Drive by Wire, Paddle Shifters, Shift Hold Control and Grade Logic Control. The combination of these technologies makes the Civic a very convenient and comfortable vehicle to drive. The Civic is also one of the few cars that employ disc brakes all around. Unlike the standard combination of discs up-front and drums at the rear, the Civic uses Ventilated discs to stop the front wheels and standard discs for increases stopping power at the rear. The braking system also incorporates ABS and EBD. The 2.0L version has an additional Brake Assist feature. The MacPherson strut front suspension coupled with the double wishbone setup at the rear ensures a comfy ride for its occupants.
The Honda Civic is choc a bloc with safety and security features. All the variants are equipped with alarm systems and immobilizers. All variants have Keyless entry. The 2.0L comes with the Smart Key system with automatic sensors that open the doors and the trunk. The 1.8L makes use of the Jack Knife key. The cars are equipped with dual front SRS airbags across all variants. The active safety features on the 2.0L variant include the Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering and Vehicle Stability Assist. Both these features are not available on the 1.8L. The cars also have ELR seatbelts. The other passive safety characteristics in the cars are the G-Con (G-Force Control) and ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure technology. For infant safety, all the cars are also equipped with ISOFIX and Tether. Pedestrian Protection technology is also employed across all variants.