The Honda Civic has been around for a long time and has shown up in some pretty great movies, like Police Academy and Home Alone. The Civic first hit the market way back in 1972. Since then all generations have proven to be popular. Throughout the 90’s it was the “first car” for many a young lad in Ireland and in the UK. In recent years the audience for the Civic seems to have changed. It became slightly higher-end, which is good for reputation but not great in terms of sales. There are not as many of them on our roads as there were in the past. Either that or they lost some of their excitement and they’re just not as noticeable as they used to be. In 2015 the Civic received an upgrade and with it the appeal seems to be coming back. The Civic seems to be regaining the spark that was once there.
If it is performance that you’re after then turn your attention to the star of the Nurburgring – the Honda Civic Type R. Honda has made the Civic line appealing to all types of customers from the petrol head to the people who just want a comfortable car to bring them around.
Under the hood of the Type R you will find a direct injection 2.0 litre VTEC Turbo engine that can achieve a top speed of 270 km/h. Under the bonnet of the Civic proper is a range of i-VTEC petrol and i-DTEC diesel engines. The petrol offerings are the 1.4 litre i-VTEC and the 1.8 i-VTEC automatic. The diesel offering is the 1.6 i-DTEC.
On-paper Honda tells us that the 1.6 i-DTEC engine will return a fuel economy of 3.6l/100km. Our test drive in the Honda Civic Si didn’t come close to that figure. However, we did return in the region of 5.6 l/100km.
The ride in the Civic Si can be a little bit firm, but on smoother surfaces it is a really nice cruiser. The steering is well weighted and responsive. Honda’s Agile Handling Assist System provides good handling quality.
The Civic is a nicely insulated vehicle and road noise is not a major issue. Apart from the insulation, the noise levels are kept low because the Civic is a very aerodynamic choice of vehicle. It doesn’t have the blocky wing mirrors that you might find in other vehicles. The only place where you might feel and hear the road is through the tyres if they are too large.
The interior of the Civic feels very open and airy, this is because the front windshield is relatively large and a lot of light comes in. There is no question that the plastics are of good quality but there is something about the airiness in the vehicle that seems a bit thin. The interior of the Mazda3, the Golf, or even the new Opel Astra would be more appealing in some ways. In other ways though the Civic beats the rest – specifically in the infotainment system which is very clever and easy to use. It’s brilliantly connected and allows people to browse online as well as to gain access to every day apps.
All Honda Civics come with the very intuitive City Brake Active System. What this does is it uses radar around the vehicle to monitor the car’s surrounds. If the vehicle senses a collision it automatically applies the brakes. This works only at speeds between 5 and 32km/h. The 2012 Honda Civic scored five stars in the Euro NCAP and from what we can make out the updated version has only improved in the safety end.
The Civic offers good leg and head room to the front. The head height to the rear is not as good because of the slope in the rear of the Civics’ roofline.