If you guys are planning to visit Bangkok this weekend when the doors to the 37th Bangkok Motor Show open for public, the one exhibition you mustn’t miss is Honda’s. The Japanese car manufacturer is displaying most of their current models, but the one car we looked forward to seeing most, the Civic Type R, was nowhere to be seen.
That doesn’t make things any less interesting though, because the three hottest and most anticipated models pulled such a massive crowd, it dwarfed those at neighbouring exhibitors Nissan, Toyota and Hyundai. Introducing the trio; the Honda BR-V, Accord facelift and star of the show, the 10th generation Honda Civic.
Honda Civic Sedan
The new Civic is perhaps one of the most prolific launches to take place at this year in Bangkok, if not the world. Right off the bat, the Thai market will get four trims to choose from – 1.8 E, 1.8 EL, 1.5 Turbo and 1.5 Turbo RS. None of the Thai-bound Civics will be powered by the 2.0-litre engine of old, instead the range toppers are now powered by a turbocharged engine – a decision which sent all Civic loyalists into a frenzy.
Now, the numbers. The 1.8-litre SOHC four-cylinder engine makes 141 hp and 174 Nm of torque, while the smaller VTEC engine is boosted to make 174 hp and 220 Nm of torque. It’s a little less powerful than the facelifted Ford Focus’s 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine (that engine makes 177 hp and 240 Nm), but that’s not what you can consider a deal breaker. Both engines are mated to a CVT – there’s no five-speed automatic or manual transmission, not even in other markets.
When the Civic was officially launched in Thailand a little over a week ago, it was priced from RM101k to RM139k and carried a considerably healthy list of features. Some of them, depending on the variant of choice, include full LED headlights with LED daytime running lights (exclusive for the Turbo and Turbo RS only), C-shaped LED tail lamps, Electronic Parking Brake, 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels, 7-inch touchscreen head unit, cruise control, leather seats and automatic air conditioning.
We sat very briefly in the back seat and are happy to report that many (ourselves included) will find the headroom and legroom sufficient, if not a tad more spacious than we initially thought. What’s more impressive was the low seating position for the driver – something the Ford Focus lacks and certainly adds to the Civic’s well established sporty appeal.
At this point, the only thing you need to be concerned of is the pricing for this Civic. It sits on the higher side of the price range in Thailand, but whether or not the Malaysian pricing will mirror this remains to be seen. Let’s just hope there exists a concrete plan for its local assembly for now. And yes, the turbocharged powertrain will definitely be offered in Malaysia.
If you want to know all about how much the Civic improved from the previous generation, we’ve got a comprehensive report readied just for your reading pleasure.
Honda Accord Facelift
Next up we have the most technologically advanced Accord ever made. Just like the Honda Civic, the full LED headlamps you see featured here belongs to the more expensive trims. Needless to say, it will be made available in Malaysia, and locally assembled too!
Differentiating between the outgoing Accord and the facelifted model is relatively easy, really. If the headlights aren’t obvious enough, the front bumper styling, rear bumper and tail lamps are all given a fresh makeover. In Thailand, the Accord is sold in three trim levels – 2.0 E, 2.0 EL and 2.4 EL. Pricing starts from RM163k to RM192k.
The party piece of this Accord is the updated 7-inch touchscreen head unit which now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This means you can gain access to Siri (for iOS) voice command, access messaging apps and a range of other compatible applications.
The Accord will also come with Honda Sensing – the company’s most comprehensive suite of advanced safety systems and driver-assistive technologies. Some of which include Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, multi-angle rear view camera, Expanded View Driver’s Mirror and Remote Engine Start.
Any Honda model whose name ends with the initial V is bound to find some form of success. The Honda BR-V was introduced shortly after the HR-V took Malaysia by storm, so it’s only natural for everyone to invest some form of interest in the BR-V.
For those who are still not acquainted with the BR-V, it’s a direct competitor to the Nissan Grand Livina and Toyota Avanza. In Thailand, it can be had in either a five or seven-seat configuration. Prices start from RM86,600 to RM94,600.
At its heart is a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, and just like the Honda City, it makes 117 hp at 6,000 rpm and 146 Nm of torque at 4,700 rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels through the Earth Dreams CVT. Some high-spec features include projector-type LED headlights, LED positioning lights, LED tail lamps, 6.1-inch touchscreen head unit and a reverse camera.
Presently, Honda Malaysia has not revealed plans of introducing the BR-V just yet. They’re in the midst of introducing two very important models (both locally assembled) for the Malaysian market, and there’s a good chance of them being the new Civic and Accord. Now, dear readers, would you pick the new Civic, or the Ford Focus facelift?
2016 Honda Civic
Honda Accord Facelift