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With improvements to its design and user-friendliness, the fun-to-drive Honda Civic Turbo continues to impress.

19 Jun 2019


The 10th generation Honda Civic is now nearly half a decade old. So it's no surprise that the Japanese carmaker has given one of the world's most recognised sedans a light mid-cycle refresh, to give buyers something 'new' to enjoy.

The changes will, however, require a rather keen sharp eye to spot.

The Civic receives the subtle addition of chrome trims around the new LED fog lamps

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Half of which are tweaks to the car's aesthetics, including chrome trims around the new LED fog lamps, as well as a chrome strip across the rear diffuser.

The addition of a 'shark fin' antenna, a feature popularised by BMW, rounds off the updates to the exterior.

The changes on the inside will take an even keener eye to spot but those made to the controls of the infotainment and air-conditioning system, while subtle, hugely improve the ease of operation.

Volume control made easier thanks to the new headunit design that has an actual control knob

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In the pre-facelift models, you had to slide or tap the touchscreen to increase the audio volume, which is something that can be quite tricky while driving. The easier way would to just use the volume control on the steering.

But now, the aforementioned method has been replaced by a conventional volume knob, mounted on the bottom right of the touchscreen display.

More importantly, in the pre-facelift model, turning up or down the fan speed was also done through the infotainment display, and that created yet another inconvenience for drivers.

Fan speed control buttons replace the previous system, which was toggled via the touchscreen

Thankfully, Honda has had the sense to refit the fan speed controls together with the rest of the air-conditioning control panel, allowing for user-friendlier operation.

Elsewhere, Honda has also updated the software for the car's Bluetooth connectivity, improved the voice recognition function and the materials used for buttons on the steering wheel, as well as chucked in a new brownish dashboard trim panel for good measure.

Lock the car and you'll also find that the wing mirrors fold automatically, and vice versa when you unlock it.

But the good ol' dynamics remain

At its heart (of this top-spec variant) is still the well-loved turbocharged 1.5-litre power unit, which puts out 170bhp and 220Nm of torque. The core of the car hasn't been messed with and there's really no reason to.

The 1.5-litre turbocharged unit pumps out 170 horses and 220Nm of torque to the front wheels

Paired to the CVT transmission, power delivery is smooth and punchy enough for the everyday driver to keep the Civic ahead in traffic.

And its steering is still great, quicker off centre and meatier in feel than the facelifted Jazz we drove, while handling, one of the Civic's trump cards, remains to be the best in the front-wheel drive class.

As before, the Civic Turbo comes standard with LaneWatch, which supplements the wing mirrors

And still very much the class leader

So with this facelift, what Honda has done is keep the engineering bits that make this 10th generation Civic such a pleasant car to drive, but made improvements to the ergonomics within the cabin.

The big takeaway is that the Civic, while nearly five-years old now and admittedly still a little pricey, continues to be one of the segment's best.

The changes may be small but they help the Civic continue to be one of the best in its competitive class

The only threat it may receive is that of the incoming Mazda3. But the latter will only be offered here with a naturally aspirated, mild hybrid 1.5-litre engine for now, so those who crave a little more performance should continue to have their eyes on the Honda.
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Car Information

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Price

: $121,999

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC VTEC Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1498cc

Horsepower

:

127kW (170 bhp) / 5500 rpm

Torque

:

220 Nm / 5500 rpm

Transmission

:

Earth Dreams CVT (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

8.6sec

Top Speed

:

200km/h

Fuel consumption

:

16.9 km/L

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