Finally, after much fanfare, Honda Malaysia has finally taken the wraps off the tenth-generation Honda Civic. Offered in three variants, Honda’s most important model (which is also locally assembled) in its lineup can be had from RM113,800.00.
After the disappointing ninth-generation Civic (which pales in comparison to the eight-generation FD’s hype) and with crossovers pushing C-segment saloons into the zone of irrelevance, Honda needs to do more than just offer good looking cars. Thus, Honda pushes the envelope with the introduction of the first ever ‘turbocharged Civic’, and boy does the market reacted well.
Codenamed the FC, there will be three variants on offer starting with the base 1.8-litre variant. What’s new and interesting is the new forced-inducted 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit, which can be had in two trim levels.
|Name||Honda Civic 1.8S||Honda Civic 1.5 Turbo||Honda Civic 1.5 Turbo Premium|
|Engine||1,799 cc; 4-Cylinder, SOHC i-VTEC||1,500 cc; 4-cylinder, DOHC VTEC Turbo|
|Transmission||7-speed Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)|
|Max Power||141 hp @ 6,500 rpm||173 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|Max Torque||174 Nm @ 4,300 rpm||220 Nm @ 1,700 to 5,500 rpm|
When describing this latest Civic, the word “handsome” is quite an understatement. The front sports a bolder and muscular aesthetics, with the chrome grille and LED daytime running lights offered across all three variants. The range-topper receives full LED headlights, while the other two variants settle for halogen projector units. Complementing the front headlights are a pair of fog lights.
Move to the back and you’ll be greeted with a pair of C-shaped LED taillights which outline the Civic’s sleek tail. The long and extended rear windscreen resembles more of a Sportback rather than a conventional saloon, which means it’ll work better to attract younger customers.
The turbo variants ride on 17-inch rims with 215/50 R17 tyres, with the rim design similar to that of the range-topping Honda City. The 1.8-litre model settles for a smaller and comfort-oriented 16-inch wheels shod with 215/55 R16 tyres. It also utilises a different design compared to its turbocharged siblings.
The tenth-generation Civic took home the award for 2016 Wards’ best interior, so it has to be one of the best interior available for saloons in Malaysia. That’s true, as the new interior matches the exterior’s great looks. Not forgetting, interior space is better than its predecessor, thanks to the wider wheelbase and the added dimensions.
All Civics receive all-black interior and eight-way driver power seat. All turbo variants receive leather seats while the base 1.8-litre variant gets wrapped in fabric as well. What’s most appealing to us is the low seating position in the Civic, giving the car a very sporty vibe.
Honda has once again proven their excellence in interior packaging; the adaptive center console with two-tier storage offers plenty of storage space for the front occupants. Boot volume measures at 519 litres, which is a fair bit smaller than the newly launched Peugeot 408, but it’s by no means small.
For onboard entertainment, the turbo variants come with a 7-inch touchscreen Advanced Display Audio that integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base model receives a smaller and slightly dated head unit compared to the one we just mentioned. GPS navigation is reserved only for the Turbo Premium variant.
Other interior goodies that are standard in all three variants include electronic parking brake, auto hold brake assist, remote engine start, rear view camera, and rear air-cond vents. Speaking about the air conditioning, the dual zone climate control is available only on the most expensive variant.
The Civic has a longstanding reputation of being poorly insulated and notoriously unrefined interior. But all that has been mitigated thanks to generous use of lightweight soundproofing materials, something we look forward to testing ourselves.
It’s safe to say that the entire hype surrounding the new Civic is the word ‘turbocharging’. The all-new L15B7 1.5-litre turbocharged VTEC engine is part of Honda’s Earth Dreams technology. Turbocharging is a taboo in Honda’s world a decade ago, so having Honda to embrace turbocharging in its most important mass production model is indeed an eye opener. The new engine, whose annual road tax costs just RM90, produces 170 hp and 220 Nm of torque, and it is more powerful than the previous 2.0-litre lump which it replaces.
For the 1.8-litre variant, Honda retains the all-familiar 1.8-litre i-VTEC which is a carryover from two generations ago, one that’s also shared with the HR-V. The naturally-aspirated motor belts out 140 hp and 174 Nm of torque, and it should be an ideal choice for the less demanding of buyers. But what’s new here is the gearbox; Honda ditches the five-speed torque converter of old to make way for the new Earth Dreams seven-speed CVT gearbox. Meanwhile, paddle shifters are offered only for the turbo variants.
Recent Honda products in Malaysia have been praised for its generosity in safety features, and this extends to the new Civic as all variants receive six airbags as standard (comprised of two front airbags, two side and curtain airbags). Also available in all three variants are Vehicle Stability Assist, Hill Start Assist, Emergency Stop Signal, ISOFIX, and the all-new walk away auto lock feature. The latter automatically locks the car when the owner walks away from the car. Honda expects a five-star ASEAN NCAP crash test rating for this new Civic.
The striking new Civic is available in shades of White Orchid Pearl, Crystal Black, Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, and Dark Ruby Red Pearl. Assembled in Honda’s plant in Pagoh, the new Civic begins at RM113,800.00 for the base 1.8, followed by the 1.5 Turbo at RM127,800.00 and finally the 1.5 Turbo Premium at RM135,800.00. All pricing are on the road including insurance and GST, bundled together with a 5-Year manufacturer’s warranty. The new Civic is also the latest recipient to receive the Malaysia’s Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) status.
In short, the C-segment saloon is again made relevant thanks to Honda’s 40-year old nameplate. It will probably eat up into the sales of Honda’s own HR-V, CR-V, and Accord models, but that’s a compromise Honda is more than willing to make.
Honda Civic 1.8S
Honda Civic 1.5L Turbo & Turbo Premium
Honda Civic preview at My Auto Fest 2016
Honda Civic at Bangkok Motorshow 2016