Longer, wider, lower….these are some of the buzz words you get with the New Honda Civic. They are just that, but also very eye-catching, with their bodywork adornments.
Tom Scanlan gives his first impressions of the New Honda Civic and likes what he sees
These are in black or dark grey and, matched with the Civic range of new colours, hit you amid ships and say, ‘Hey, these cars gotta be flyers!’ The Type R is, of course, but these visual imitations may or may not disappoint on that score. Petrol heads will immediately notice the differences between the ‘ordinary’ new Civics and the R-Types, but the idea remains, so just what are the lesser-performing cars like?
On offer are a 3-cylinder, 1.0-litre VTEC Turbo and a 1.5-litre VTEC Sport, with, respectively, 129 PS and 182 PS; confusingly, there is a ‘Turbo’ with exactly the same engine. Anyway, that’s not bad. I still remember my old Porsche 911 SC that had 207 PS from its 3-litre engine and went like a bat out of hell. So the 1.5’s 182 PS sounded interesting.
First, however, I tried the 3-cylinder version, with its 6-speed manual gearbox. You get the usual sound-track that such engines deliver and reasonable get-up-and-go if you put your foot down. Zero to 62 is quickest in the S version, at 10.2 seconds.
The 1.5 offers a lot more and can really shift along if you give it its head. Whereas the 1.0-litre car is red-lined at a lowly 5,500 rpm, the bigger engine is happy to top out a thousand revs higher. When equipped with the CVT automatic gearbox, the smaller-engined car suffers a bit from a lurch between ratio changes, while the bigger-engined version remains a smooth performer in that respect. Zero to 62 mph is 8.2 seconds in the Sport version.
Combined cycle consumptions range from 60.1 mpg in the 3-cylinder manual down to 46.3 in the 1.5 CVT. Emissions are from 106 g/km up to 139 g/km.
Both versions are, though, perfectly pleasant to drive in everyday conditions, whether in 6-speed manual or 7-speed auto box forms.
The manual six-speed change is fine in the straight up and down changes, like 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6; across the H, it’s a bit notchy, but I put that down to the new-ness of the cars drive, that had hardly more than a thousand miles clocked up.
Similarly with the fuel consumption: my drives, at a fairly leisurely pace with occasional bursts of hard acceleration and braking (brakes worked very well), ended up in the mid-thirties area. I would expect this to extend to the low forties in time, or more if motorway cruising is the main thing.
The interior demonstrates that plenty of thought has gone into the design from both the functional and aesthetic points-of-view.
A case in point is right at the back – the rear tonneau cover is something that other manufacturers might care to take a look at. Whereas I often find these simple items are remarkably fiddly to remove and stow. In the New Civic it just releases via a handle and springs sideways to roll up and stow itself on the other side of the boot…not only that, but, it can work either from left to right or from right to left. It’s only a little thing, but it demonstrates that, actually, such details are perhaps quite important in giving the owner a bit of that good old feel-good factor. However, the front seat passenger may suffer a shortage of knee-room, noticeable when getting into the car, while taller adults in the rear will find their heads touching the roof.
The new Civics start at £18,475 and top versions head up towards ten thousand more, having, of course, much more equipment, mainly in the comfort and convenience areas. But, importantly, all the new Civics are fitted with Honda’s SENSING as standard; SENSING includes eight different high-tech safety systems that aim to keep or warn the driver from impending problems or collisions.
Honda include the message that the driving position is now more ‘engaging’ than in the outgoing version. I am not sure what they mean, but, maybe because you sit a bit lower, you feel more like Honda’s champion racers, Matt Neal or Gordon Shedden!
Car reviewed: Honda Civic 182PS i-VTEC Turbo Sport – On the road £22540 0-62mph 8.2 secs Top speed 133mph Fuel Economy combined 48.7mpg CO2 emissions 133g/km Engine 1498cc 4-cylinder petrol Max Power 182PS@6000rpm Torque 220Nm@1700rpm Transmission 6-speed manual
Honda Civic 182PS i-VTEC Turbo Sport – On the road £20340 0-62mph 10.8 secs Top speed 117mph Fuel Economy combined 58.9mpg CO2 emissions 110g/km Engine 988cc 3-cylinder petrol Max Power 129PS@5500rpm Torque 180Nm@1700rpm Transmission 6-speed manual
Neat rear tonneau cover
Can be driven sportily, watch the fuel
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