Pros: Striking Styling, Power delivery, Ergonomics, Muti-Led headlights
Cons: Styling not for everyone, Smallish trunk, Stiff seats
TL;DR: Every bit as fun as the previous SI with turbo power and easy to use automatic.
The Civic is Honda’s bread and butter, it’s Honda’s biggest hitter in sales and it’s an important update for both the brand and the name itself. The 10th generation Civic is all new, unlike the previous, there’s an all-new chassis as well as engine choices. The civic coupe we have here is the touring model which comes with the brand new 1.5L turbo four, while it gains turbo power it loses that famous VTEC that we all love.
On the styling front, the new Civic coupe is very different from the past. The front is more upright with its vertical grill and down the back, the rear has a heavily sloped rear glass. The front end treatment is exactly the same when comparing to the sedan but it’s missing the aggressiveness of the hatch. The rear deck is relatively high so the rear window is pitched at a high angle making it long but narrow so rearward visibility isn’t great but it is overcome by the standard reverse camera which helps greatly in parking or simply reversing the vehicle. Being the standard models the civic is more conservative than the sport inspired SI versions, Honda did mention the new SI model will drop in the near future along with the Type-R which we’re all waiting for.
On the road, the civic feels planted and drives really well. It’s rather engaging and it’s eager to be pushed. Fun is a real factor here, the civic is much more enjoyable than most cars available. Steering is quick and precise with a 2.2 turn lock to lock. The little engine makes enough power and torque throughout the powerband and the CVT transmission is surprisingly suited. Previously CVT transmission has always had a rubber band effect and the engine droned to a single tone. In the civic the transmission is smooth, there is also a sports mode where the user can use the paddles behind the steering wheel. The paddles can make the transmission feel like there’re specific ratio gears as in a normal transmission. By using the sports mode the civic is able to keep the revs up for the instant power while delivering its 174hp and 162lb-ft with a quick dab of the throttle. Locking the gear ratio is nice on the backroads where short bursts of acceleration is needed and it can also aid with engine braking when going down big hills. What’s surprising is the new Civic with it’s turbocharged engine can accelerate just as quick as the previous generation SI.
Inside the Civic the controls are very well laid out, much better than the previous double tier dash cluster and the materials are more premia as well. The cluster is simple with three distinct pods to show engine temperature, fuel, tach and the digital speedometer. The middle pod where it houses the speedometer and tach is a large LCD display, where it also incorporates a multifunctional display on the bottom. This programmable display can show the fuel consumption, service notifications as well as the most important, a boost gauge.
Previously the media controls on the older civics have just simply been a double din unit, but with the 10th generation, they have implemented the latest trends which seem like a tablet stuck on the dash. Even at the top of the screen, there’s room behind the unit to collect dust and debris. The screen is at a higher angle to cut out glare and give the user a flatter surface for better touch response. A lot of people had complained about the missing volume button on the media controls however, the steering wheel has a touch-sensitive switch on the left side which acts as a physical button so it’s not as terrible as some might make it out to be. However, as a passenger, it might be slightly difficult to adjust the volume when traveling over bumps. HVAC controls are right under the media buttons, laid out is the most important driver and passenger temperatures and defrost buttons. If the fan speed or direction of air flow is needed to change, it can be done via the climate button in the middle. The center console is raised to a height that’s comfortable for a centre armrest creating a large space for cups to go deep within the cup holder. The front seats are not powered but are heated, supportive laterally and are easy to swing up and forward for rear seat access. Sitting in the back the civic is surprisingly comfortable, even with the sloping roofline the headroom is adequate for people up to 6 feet tall.
Overall the civic is a real step above comparing to the previous generations and comparing to the competition it has a lot going for it. With Honda’s sensing technology it’s also safe and able to steer the vehicle if the driver isn’t paying full attention. The non-SI civic has never looked or felt so sporty. More importantly for those who requires a bit more rear headroom or truck space the Civic is available in sedan and hatch models. And coming soon, for the gearheads a manual transmission would be available.
The volume slider is easy to use but can be difficult to control because of the touch interface BUT! it’s also a button so click away
Low beam led headlights are more than sufficient
The rear taillights goes across the trunk and is lit by two LEDs at the edge so the middle is slightly darker.
Thank you Honda Canada.
Words and Photos by: Jimmy Mak