The Civic was introduced in 1972 but unfortunately was sold officially in India from 2006 to 2012. Imports like the EG8 and EK Civic were imported by people in the 1990’s.
In 2006, looking at Toyota’s success with the evergreen Corolla in the Indian market, Honda decided to launch the Civic against the Corolla. The then Civic came with a 1.8L engine with i-VTEC.
The interiors of the Civic was very futuristic compared to that of the Toyota Corolla. A digital cluster and controls of the audio system on the rear arm rest made the Civic a car with more features than it’s then rivals including the Skoda Laura.
The new Civic was launched in the Indian market in 2018 and it uses the same 1.8L engine as the previous generation. Honda is offering the latest Civic in petrol as well diesel. The petrol engine is a Naturally Aspirated engine (NA). While the diesel variant is a turbo diesel (i-DTEC) which is being offered in manual transmission, unfortunately the petrol engine is only being offered with an automatic transmission only.
The new Civic has some good features such as the camera in the back of the car being switched on everytime the driver gives the indicator to turn left. The traffic behind you is shown on the infotainment screen so that the driver does not have to move his or her head to see behind in the left rear view mirror. The driver can keep the camera on at all times by the click of a button located at the controls of the headlights.
This is an advantage in my opinion in heavy rain, fog, snow or when the visibility outside isn’t clear. Also since the Civic does not come up with heated mirrors, it’s a nice feature to have in bad weather conditions.
The car’s cabin is very silent and very well insulated thus cutting out the outside noise by a considerable level. Stereo system and speakers are good but could be better in my opinion. The leg room in the back is decent and despite being almost 6 feet tall, with my seating adjustment I was able to sit in the back seat comfortably.
But being a tall person, the roof touches your head and so if the passenger behind is 6 feet or more, they will not be comfortable in the back as they will have to slide down thus reducing the legroom in the back. The seats are soft and good for long distance driving.
How is the Civic to Drive?
The petrol 1.8L engine is mated to a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) and since that is the variant I drove, it was a disappointment. As any CVT Transmission, there is a lot of rubber band effect when you put your foot down on the accelerator and the car does not shoot the way you want it to.
Even though the car is equipped with sports mode and paddle shifts behind the steering the overall effect while upshifting or downshifting is almost the same between gears. The steering is light and good for city traffic. The suspension setup is where I like this car. The setup is way better than its predecessor as the bumps and rough patches cannot be felt unlike the older civic and on the roads of Mumbai, it takes these bumps very well. It does not feel sporty enough, atleast on the Indian roads and hence I would not consider this a performance or driver oriented car.
How is the overall build quality of the new Civic?
The build quality is light and the car when being driven or driving, speeds can be felt by the passengers. The doors are light thus making it easier to open and shut. The car also has a lot of plastic in the interiors hence making it feel sub standard and not premium for the cost.
Would I buy the new Civic?
Well the answer is not simple. At the current pricing it’s a big ‘No’ for me. Although it has good features such as the camera being on when turning etc, the car overall just doesn’t feel 26L worth. Also at the price, being a car enthusiast and petrol head, the CVT just doesn’t do it for me. I would prefer a torque converter gear box or a manual petrol variant.
Yes, if the car was priced between 10L-15L I would consider it, but at the current price, it’s a ‘No’ from me.
Let me know what you think on the new Honda Civic