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The all new Honda Civic gets a major makeover that will do well to keep the competition at bay.

15 Oct 2021


With so many capable choices available, the mid-sized sedan segment is a tough one for carmakers and buyers alike. For carmakers, they need to constantly better one another to be the best in this segment. For buyers, well, you're constantly spoilt for choices.

You have the Hyundai Avante, the Kia Cerato, the Mazda3 Sedan and the Toyota Altis, just to name a few. And, of course, you have arguably one of the strongest contenders in this segment - the Honda Civic.

Wait, is this all new?

The 1.5-litre turbocharged engine gives you 127bhp and 180Nm of torque
Now in its 11th generation, the Honda Civic here is all new. It's longer and wider than the car it replaces but it manages to be 40kg lighter, and that helps with the way it dances on the tarmac, even if it has lower power output compared to before.

The Civic still has that 1.5-litre turbocharged powerplant under the bonnet, which sends 127bhp and 180Nm of torque to the front wheels via a CVT. This is some 43bhp and 40Nm lesser than its predecessor. As a result, century sprint is a tad slower at 10.7 seconds (as compared to 8.6 seconds from before).

On paper, the Civic appears a tad boring and there seems to be little to shout about, but in real-world driving conditions the car is anything but.

Reputation still precedes it

The Civic accelerates with enthusiasm and verve
On the move, the new Honda glides with a decent amount of push, making it somewhat zippy around town. It's not the most exciting car, but it does have a level of engagement that will constantly keep you entertained on the road.

A lot of this has to do with the sensitive steering that's well-weighted and precise, as well as the taut chassis setup that supports severe lateral movements when the time calls for it. As such, handling is nice, tight and planted, without any hint of twitchiness that cars in this class often exhibit.

What does dull the driving pleasure a tad is the CVT. We aren't the greatest fans of it, no thanks to its raucous nature caused by the tendency to hang at high revs, which gives a lot of drivers a disconnection between accelerator and engine. But it seems Honda worked around this problem with top-notch cabin insulation, allowing only the harshest sounds to intrude (such as when you pedal to the metal).

The suite of safety systems helps a lot when on the go
Best of all, the suite of safety nannies will promptly kick in to ensure everyone's safety should there be a need. You get blind spot camera that appears on the centre screen, adaptive cruise control that can automatically brake in traffic, as well as collision mitigation braking system, just to name a few.

Good looks and solid quality remain

Design wise, the sedan is less busy than before. It's not eye-catching, but it's not offensive either. It does come across as a car that's more mature and upscale than the outgoing model, which may turn off fearless boy racers from before, but will undoubtedly be a warm welcome for family-focused customers.

Cabin oozes premium feel: Air-con dials sport metal surrounds that moves with satisfying clicks
It's the inside, conversely, that is mighty impressive. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the clean and modern lines as well as the honeycomb mesh design element spanning the width of the dashboard that hides the air vents. Even the air-con dials now sport snazzy metal surrounds that glides with satisfying clicks.

It's impressive, the finishing. There's a good amount of soft touch materials that matches solid plastics and a good amount of space for all five on board to enjoy what is a genuinely nice place.

Worthy consideration for you and me

Honda Civic comes with 493 litres of boot space
With a solid reputation of durability and driveability, this new Honda Civic looks strong and steady to keep things the same way. While it goes up against strong peers that have been known to be reliable, comfortable and stylish, the Civic clearly has what it takes to give them a run for their money.

The only downside I can think of would be the price. At $125,099 (as of 7 October 2021), this Honda right here is one of the most expensive cars in its class, barring the Skoda Octavia (but that's because the Octavia is in COE Cat B). It's about $10k more than the Altis and $20k more than the Avante and Cerato.

But is it worth every cent? I say yes...

Car Information

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Honda Civic 1.5 VTEC Turbo (A)
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Price

: $125,099

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1498cc

Horsepower

:

95kW (127 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

180 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

CVT (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

10.7sec

Top Speed

:

200km/h

Fuel consumption

:

15.6 km/L

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