Honda Civic: Company went for it and scored big

John Knox

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John Knox

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@kilkennypeoplenews

Honda Civic: Company went for it and scored big

The self imposed challenge was to produce "a car for all people, a car for the world". A broad canvass. Lots of potential pitfalls.
It was a lofty goal fair enough, but Honda were working off a strong basis in that the challenge was undertaken with the already much acclaimed and well proven Civic.
Improving on something that is already a champion, now that is a challenge!
Went for it
Honda went for it, targetting improvements right across the spectrum, and especially in areas like ride, handling, steering and NVH, plus interior quality and overall refinement.
What eventually drove off the production line was a Civic hatchback that is wider (30mm), longer (130mm) and lower (200mm) than the previous generation 5-door, with a hit you in the eye sporty appearance and attitude.
Top engine
For example, the car's floor is lower, as is the centre of gravity - an idea borrowed from Subaru, perhaps? - which helps give Civic a sure footed, unwavering feel even when given its head on secondary road and challenging corners.
Our drive was in the 1.0 litre, three cylinder VTEC turbo petrol unit.
Straight off I have to say it was the best unit of the size I have driven, especially from the point of view of achieving near promised returns.
Other engines of this ilk and size can deliver close to what manufacturers promise, if driven with a light foot.
Civic delivers without compromise as you drive as normal through your daily routine.
This high energy 129ps engine delivers greater torque at low and mid-range engine speeds (180Nm at 1,700 to 4,500rpm).
There was a most pleasing get up and go feel about the drive, and we never found the car gasping for breath, to use a phrase.
We found the drive smooth and silent; the car responsive and fuel returns work out at an acceptable level in the high forties.
New Civic is not a small car, however.
It will be interesting to see how the lengthened body sits with traditional buyers.
One noticed the difference, especially when parking, and the feedback on this aspect of things will be interesting. Against that, the larger body adds to the car in terms of looks and driving dynamics.
For Civic is a looker. It has what Honda term a sharp and aggressive face, pronounced wheel arches and sculpted front and rear intakes that hint at a sporting character.
Quality feel
Civic has a 30mm longer wheelbase, and this works out with benefits in a cabin that has a quality feel and look about it.
There is no plastic look or feel here. The finish is premium class.
The centre console features a piano black finish. New Civic is available with Honda's Connect touch screen infotainment and connectivity system, which offers full smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Civic has lots in terms of mod cons and what people expect in high end cars. That is what Civic is, a high end motor.
The car
Honda Civic 1.0 petrol VTEC turbo Smart Plus 5-dr hatchback, 6-speed €26,250; 988cc, 3-cylinder, 4 valves per cyclinder, 129ps @5,500rpm; 200Nm at 2,250rpm; zero to 100kpm in 10.8 seconds, C02 emissions 110g/km, annual road tax €200; fuel combined (17" wheels) 5.1l/100km (55.3mpg).
Spec
Specification - collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane keep assist system, intelligent speed limiter, adaptive cruise control/intelligent adaptive, cruise econtrol, tarffic sign recognition, Bluetooth TM hands free telephone, parking sensors, 5" monitor audion, steering wheel remote audio controls, climate control auto air conditioning, 16" alloys, USB, 8 speakers; additional on Smart Plus, Honda Connect with Garmin Navigation, rear parking camera, climate control dual auto air con, 17" alloys, privacy glass, front fog lights (halogen), 2 x USB Jack/HDMI Jack, driver seat power lumbar adjust, leather steering wheel and skift knob, alloy pedals, rain sensing auto wipers, electrically retractable door mirrors, remote retractable door mirrors, body colours door mirrors with integrated indicators.