WHAT IS IT?
It’s the Honda Civic; and for a automotive that when had such a powerful fan following in India, not far more introduction is critical. Just one era of the Civic was offered in India – the eighth-gen mannequin, between 2006 and 2012 – and it was so spectacular that we even topped it our 2007 Autocar India Automotive of the 12 months. It wasn’t simply its deftly articulated mix of area, consolation, reliability, driving pleasure and premium really feel that received us over, but additionally simply how futuristic and forward of its time it regarded and felt.
Now, having skipped the ninth-generation automotive altogether, Honda’s introduced within the 10th-generation Civic midway via its international lifecycle and it has entered a market altogether totally different from that of its predecessor. For one, the section beneath – mid-sized sedans, together with Honda’s personal Metropolis – has moved far forward, and on the different finish are SUVs just like the Creta, Harrier and Compass, which make for compelling options. So, can the brand new mannequin make as sturdy an impression as the unique as soon as did?
On paper, the Honda Civic ticks some essential bins – a diesel engine possibility, for a begin; the dearth of which was a key motive for the unique’s demise. It’s additionally grown in dimensions, to satisfy the section’s calls for on area and distance itself from the Metropolis, whereas the inside has been reworked to be extra upmarket; and that features the tools record. However has all of it labored?
WHAT’S IT LIKE ON THE OUTSIDE?
Although it follows Honda’s modern design language, which feels fairly subdued and straight-laced on an Amaze or the Metropolis, issues appears to be like notably radical and sporty on the Civic. Exaggerated strains and curves abound – from the tipped-forward chrome grille that flows into upswept LED headlamps, to the bulging wheel arches entrance and rear and the rising beltline that meets up with the curved, coupé-like roof on the again. I applaud Honda’s resolution to make use of 17-inch alloys (one inch up on the remainder of the section) as they actually assist the stance. Plus, with their two-tone, diamond-cut look, they appear very sporty.
However my favorite element is the brand new Honda Civic’s tail part. The roof flows down nearly like a fastback, nearly all the way in which to the tip of the boot lid, which permits it to be curved with barely much less impression on rear headroom, whereas trying oh-so beautiful within the course of. The angular, C-shaped tail-lamps are notably aggressive, disguising the rear bulk a bit, and though it appears to be like prefer it has a lift-back boot (just like the Octavia), it’s a standard sedan boot opening. Nonetheless, the opening is extensive sufficient, making loading the extensive, 430-litre boot fairly straightforward.
WHAT’S IT LIKE ON THE INSIDE?
The 2006 Civic’s inside was radical, even in comparison with sportscars of the time, not to mention sedans; however since then, interiors all over the place have moved ahead in a giant method. So, whereas the brand new Civic’s inside is definitely sporty, it isn’t fairly as revolutionary because the final one. It’s nonetheless simply the sportiest in its section in India, although, and it’s additionally been given a superb dose of luxurious. Construct high quality is de facto tight nearly all over the place, and there are soft-touch supplies on a lot of the dashboard. You may discover a number of scratchy bits decrease down and a few switchgear borrowed from lesser Hondas; nevertheless it’s all to an appropriate stage.
What impresses extra is the design. The sprint has a fantastic visible width and flows gently out from the centre console. It has a pleasant texture beneath the leather-based sprint prime and all of the controls fall neatly at hand. Storage areas abound, with a giant glove field, large door bins and – because the handbrake is digital and never a lever – an enormous storage bay between the entrance seats. Although the temperature and gasoline gauges are nonetheless analogue, the remainder of the instrumentation is taken care of through a crisp and vibrant high-resolution display within the centre that appears actually engaging; a worthy improve to the outdated automotive’s digital speedometer.
They’ve carried out an amazing job of the seats, with cushioning that’s softer within the centre and firmer on the perimeters, offering simply the correct mix of consolation and assist the place you want it. I additionally just like the tender, perforated leather-based, and the stripe down the centre that provides effectively to the sporty design ethos. The motive force’s seat is powered, too, which is par for the course on this class and makes discovering your perfect driving place very straightforward; however a reminiscence perform would’ve added a little bit of comfort. The rear seat is extremely snug and equally cushioned as effectively. As with the outdated automotive, it’s set low, so it’s a must to decrease your self in – and also you’ll quickly realise the Civic isn’t going to be your best option for the chauffeur-driven. Sure, legroom is ample (Honda says class-leading, the truth is) and the seat presents nice thigh assist, however headroom is way from perfect and the home windows are fairly small. Additionally, neglect USB chargers, there isn’t even a 12V socket within the again; and I miss the audio controls you used to get within the rear armrest of the earlier automotive.
The Civic is fairly well-equipped by section requirements, with the likes of LED headlamps, dual-zone local weather management, a powered driver’s seat, the part-digital instrument cluster, a sunroof and 6 airbags. It additionally options some section firsts, like distant engine begin, an digital parking brake, the auto-locking on strolling away with the important thing, and Honda’s progressive Lane Watch digicam characteristic (a rear-facing digicam within the left wing mirror reveals you if it’s clear to maneuver when you activate the left indicator). Nevertheless, there are some options the Civic misses, which you can find in rivals – like cooled seats, driver seat reminiscence, entrance parking sensors, and proximity-based boot opening.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
The Civic now comes with a diesel engine, which is similar 1.6-litre ‘Earth Goals’ unit that debuted within the CR-V in 2018. Whereas 120hp and 300Nm of torque sounded a bit insufficient for a seven-seat SUV, for this govt sedan, it’s about being at par with the section. Nevertheless, a vital distinction is that whereas the CR-V diesel is simply obtainable as an computerized, the Civic diesel is simply obtainable with a 6-speed guide. Honda’s costly 9-speed computerized gearbox would have merely pushed the value too excessive. Then again, the petrol engine – a revised model of the venerable 1.Eight-litre i-VTEC motor, now with 141hp – is solely obtainable as an computerized, since Honda merely doesn’t provide a guide gearbox with this engine anymore, worldwide.
Let’s begin with the petrol engine which, after all, feels very acquainted. Honda has re-tuned it to be extra responsive and you may really feel it the second you faucet on the accelerator, the place it leaps eagerly off the road. It additionally needs to be stated that as CVT gearboxes go, this is among the finest on the market. In relaxed, part-throttle driving, it feels as easy as you’d anticipate an auto gearbox to be in a automotive like this. It’s solely once you flatten the throttle pedal that some straining or ‘rubberband’ impact comes into play. It is a little bit of a disgrace, as a result of as with all VTEC engines, this one likes to be revved and will get a second wind on the prime of its powerband. The draw back is that the mid-range is de facto flat and if you end up on this zone between round three,000-5,000rpm you’ll wish to both downshift or rev on. Fortunately, the seven ‘steps’ within the CVT work effectively through the paddles; however nonetheless, on a pleasant highway, you may’t assist however want they’d supplied a guide. And whereas we’re being wishful, the Civic is obtainable abroad with a 173hp/220Nm, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine that sounds nearly good; possibly additional down the road?
Now, for the all-important diesel engine. Whereas this motor felt slightly overwhelmed within the CR-V, it feels significantly better suited to the Civic; at 1,353kg, the sedan weighs over 300kg lower than the SUV! It’s not as punchy as, say, Skoda’s 2.Zero-litre diesel engine, and is way extra linear in its energy supply, as an alternative – very like its 1.5-litre counterpart within the Metropolis and Amaze. Additionally contributing to the extra relaxed efficiency could be very tall gearing on the six-speed guide, seemingly carried out within the pursuits of gasoline economic system. Nonetheless, it revs to nearly 5,000rpm; and although a few of that urgency is lacking, it’s not what you’d name sluggish both. What does assistance is the short-throw gear lever, which makes skipping between ratios an absolute pleasure; and refinement which, general, is fairly good too. Each engines are claimed to ship class-leading ARAI-certified gasoline economic system – with the petrol rated at 16.5kpl and the diesel at an astonishing 26.8kpl. In summation, neither of those powertrains is as thrilling as we’d have favored, however they get the job carried out.
The rationale we lengthy for a bit extra enthusiasm from beneath the hood is as a result of the chassis actually begs for it. They’ve completely nailed the trip and dealing with stability on this automotive. The place the outdated automotive felt sharp however slightly too stiff-kneed, this one feels way more mature and well-balanced. Utilizing MacPherson struts on the entrance and an impartial multi-link set-up on the rear, the Civic stays impressively pliant, even over damaged roads, regardless of its massive wheels and 215/50 R17 tyres. Honda has additionally addressed what most individuals have been afraid of – the bottom clearance – by elevating it 20mm (in comparison with the abroad mannequin) for a complete of 171mm. It feels rather a lot much less prone to bottom-out on pace bumps. It nonetheless handles rather well although, with a pointy steering and actually good physique management. So sure, like its predecessor, the chassis lives as much as the Civic’s sporty appears to be like, and it regardless of its elevated dimensions, the automotive actually encourages you to push it round corners.
SHOULD I BUY ONE?
The sport has modified, and so has the Civic. It’s developed into a much more mature and premium govt sedan; however hasn’t misplaced its enjoyable and sporty character within the course of. The evolution contains the value as effectively, and whereas we’ll solely discover that out on March 7, 2019, it’s secure to imagine it’ll be aggressive for the section, with these prime ZX variants seemingly crossing the Rs 20-lakh mark. We want there was a larger alternative of powertrains – particularly a diesel-automatic and a petrol-manual – and positive, a ‘sizzling’ variant with that 1.5-litre turbo. And in case you plan to be chauffeured, you should be ready for a little bit of stretching each time you get out and in. In all, the 10th-gen Civic looks like the best successor to the beloved eighth-gen automotive, having improved in all of the essential areas with out dropping the traits that loyalists beloved. Not solely will it hold followers of the unique pleased, it’s additionally ok to attract new consumers to its fold.