When Honda first brought the Civic to India, it was an instant success, much of what came from its stunning looks flanked by low profile and futuristic interiors. However the success was short lived due to its limitations, one of them being the lack of a diesel engine and low ground clearance. Fast forward to today and seven years later Honda has finally brought the Civic brand to India albeit in its 10th generation. But just how good is it to drive, we take it for a spin to find out.
Starting off with the design, the latest iteration of the Civic is a far cry from how stunning the earlier Civic used to look. It’s not that the latest Civic is a bad looker in a way; it’s just that the car lacks that immediate wow factor, something the Civic had and used to grab attention on the streets.
The latest, however, borrows, a lot of its design cues from the recent Honda’s. The face gets a low bonnet flanked by sleek LED headlights and a thick chrome front grille along with a sporty bumper. The side profile gets a roof that flows seamlessly into the boot in an almost coupe like design. The rear gets large C-shaped taillamps and a nicely detailed boot lid.
The interior is also a drastic change from the swoopy and wrap around design its predecessor had. Nevertheless the cabin gets a full black trim with chrome highlights that lend a premium feel, and that isn’t enough the dashboard sports a multi layered design that also comes with wood trim running across the length of the dashboard. Overall you do get a good view out from the driver seat and even the steering is placed spot on. Speaking of which the front seats offer great comfort and can be adjusted in 8 different ways including lumbar support. We do give full credits to Honda for the way it has designed the instrument cluster spread in three separate screens. The centre screen houses the speedometer and can be customised to access music, phone and other important data, while the screens on either side coolant or fuel level indicators.
The backseat though well cushioned looses out a bit on thigh support, also where in most cases, cars which are designed around a coupe end up eating up rear headroom and the view out of the window view. However the view from the backseat is great, but headroom is compromised and taller passengers will find the roof a little difficult to sit in comfort.
Space at the rear is great and you can stretch your legs and sit in comfort without a hindrance. On the flipside the rear A/C vents are not as effective as the front and require some getting used to; also the rear armrest misses out on audio controls, an interesting feature on the earlier Civic.Engine1799cc, 4 cylinder petrol
1597cc, 4 cylinder turbo dieselPower141 hp at 6500rpm
120 hp at 4000rpmTorque174 Nm at 4300rpm
300 Nm at 2000rpmGearbox7-speed CVT,
6-speed manualFuel tank47 litresEconomy16.5kmpl – petrol
26.8kmpl- dieselLength/Weight/Height4656/1799/1433mmVariantsV ,Vx, ZXBoot space430 litresTyre size215/50 R17
For 2019, Honda has along with petrol added an all important diesel heart to the Civic engine line-up. The diesel is a 1.6 litre unit that pumps out 120ps and 300 Nm of torque coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission.
However we decided to get our hands on the petrol variant since that was the only car available for us to drive. Push the start/stop button and the 1.8 litre motor wakes up to life. Press down the accelerator pedal and it takes off in a smooth manner. The motor in question produces 141 ps of power at 4000rpm and 174 Nm of torque at 4300rpm. Sadly it can only be had with a 7-step CVT transmission..!!! Yes a CVT.
While CVT ideally means that the car is not for enthusiasts, Honda’s engineers have calibrated the performance of the transmission in a way that it reduces the rubber band effect. This was also evident during our drive as well, the motor however doesn’t like being driven hard, should you feel the need to make a quick overtake, and the motor gets quite noisy before settling down. But once past the rubber band effect, the car just pulls cleanly till about 4,500rpm.
Should you still feel the need to go quicker, the pedal shifters will come in handy. Honda has smartly engineered the 7-steps into the gearbox that almost gives the feeling of driving a manual gearbox equipped car. The steering lends out positive feedback and can be easily pointed where you need it to point.
The suspension of the Honda Civic also performs does a great job at soaking up the bumps and potholes thrown at it. At the front it gets Macpherson strut at the front and multi link at the rear, however even at the rear where most owners would spend time it’s a smooth drive.
The biggest issue faced by the earlier Civic was from its low ground clearance that caused the underbelly to scrape off many speed breakers. This time around, Honda has addressed the issue by raising the ground clearance to 125mm and during our test we have found that the sedan is able to tackle large speed-breakers with ease, ahh finally….!!!
Honda has also paid full creed to safety and packed the Civic with kit like 6 airbags, hill start assist, electronic parking brake with auto hold, agile handling assist, vehicle stability assist, ABS with EBD, rear ISOFIX seats and multi angle rear view camera.
The Lane watch technology introduces in the Civic uses a camera mounted on the left side wing mirror that in turn transfers a live feed into the touchscreen infotainment system. The system can either be accessed by flashing the left side indicator or pressing a button on the indicator stalk thereby giving a clearer and safer view of what’s coming from the left side. However the tech is only available on the left side of the car and not the right.
The 2019 Honda Civic is back in the market, armed with a sportier youthful design, feature laden interior and it even gets a diesel engine this time around. The petrol CVT may take away some fun from what is otherwise an enthusiastic car to drive. Priced at Rs 17 lakhs the base petrol and Rs 22 lakhs for the top end diesel, the Civic has a lot to offer for the price bracket it is placed in.
Prices for 2019 Honda Civic (Ex showroom and On Road Goa)
Civic PetrolVariantEx showroomOn Road Goa1.8 I-VTEC pearl CVT VRs 17,75,900 LakhsRs 21,41,430 Lakhs1.8 I-VTEC pearl CVT VXRs 19,25,900 LakhsRs 23,17,373 Lakhs1.8 I-VTEC pearl CVT ZXRs 21,05,900 LakhsRs 25,63,507 Lakhs Civic Diesel 1.6 I-DTEC pearl MT VXRs 20,55,900 LakhsRs 25,04,859 Lakhs1.6 I-DTEC pearl MT ZXRs 22,35,900 LakhsRs 27,15,992 Lakhs