Honda Civic 1.8 Elegance
In spite of my reservations this 9th generation Civic is a beautiful car to look at. It is elegant and yet sporty. A bit like its personality. And it’s oh so smooth. Everything about is easy to use, works effortlessly and just happens, smoothly.
Honda really build quality cars. Although not cheap if just look at the price list, they remain the best bargain on our roads. Just a bit wider than the competition, just a bit better in every department. To own one, is to love one. This new Civic is very good. I rode it almost exclusively in Econo mode and always had enough power.
Maybe on the Highveld with four adults on board and the weekend’s baggage in the large boot you will need to disengage the green Econo button. The display rewards you with a green glow when you are driving with fuel efficiency in mind, otherwise it glows blue. The petrol companies must hate the green Econo button.
The 1.8 i-vtec generates 104kw at 6 500 and 174Nm @ 4 300 of torque.
There is quite a lot of hard plastic in the cabin. It is all very functional. The overall impression will be pleasing for a long time I think. The doors and other surfaces a normal person will touch are soft.
The door sill is quite high for older people, but I think one will get used to it quite quickly. It’s not a big issue.
On a car of this class you would expect a light for the vanity mirror on the passenger side.
I got around 7.9 litre/100km, which is a full litre more than Honda claims. My driving included a 7 storey parking garage every day and 50km of highway driving. I kept the Econo button on most of the time. On the N2 to Cape Town the consumption does drop to the mid 7s at 120km/h.
The interior is more spacious than any of its direct competition. It has good shoulder space and adequate leg room at the back. The rear seats have a 60/40 split. The seats are comfortable and the driver’s seat is highly adjustable ans supportive. The boot is a healthy 440 litres.
The Civic has a number of nice touches. The front doors have courtesy lights which illuminate where you have to get out.
Buttons for audio/ phone, cruise control and computer are all on the leather clad steering wheel. The dual display actually works very well. On top is the digital speedometer, fuel gauge and consumption indicator. Below you get the other dials like the rev counter and warning lights.
A large centre console between the seats has storage space inside, cold drink holders on top and slides forward to become an armrest.
Fit and finish is outstanding. The cabin is an island of tranquillity.
The car drives like a Honda. It’s fun, responsive and has superb road manners. The Civic comes with adaptive electronic power steering which always feels just right. No dead spots or numb areas. The EPS together with Honda’s vehicle stability assist massively enhance the car’s cornering and general handling. It is a both a fun and a safe car to drive.
The brakes feel good and have very little fade.
The driving position is good and all round visibility above average.
It can be an effortless driving experience or a hands-on involved drive. The choice is up to you.
The Civic has more than enough space for two adults, three children and their luggage.
The model tested, the Civic Sedan 1.8 Elegance costs R259 900 . Prices range from R209 900 for the base 1.6 Comfort to R282 900 for the 1.8 Executive Automatic.
All Hondas come with a 3 year 100 000km warranty and a 5 year 90 000km service plan.