Honda Civic Dtec review

Honda Civic Dtec

Honda Civic Dtec

Honda Civic I-Dtec 1.6

The top of the range Honda Civic is sublime.

I admit I am slightly biased toward Honda. But still.

This turbo charged diesel does it for me. It is a normal useful everyday car on the one hand and it is a performance boy racer on the other just champing at the bit. Unleash it and you unlock automotive  bliss.

If you have the extra cash and you want a pocket rocket on occasion but a civilised car the rest of the time this Civic will deliver. I loved it.

Many members of the public and friends spontaneously commented on the car’s good looks. The guys liked the rims too. So take it from us. She is a looker.

The lines and dimensions gel. She looks right.

Honda Civic showing off her flowing lines.

Honda Civic showing off her flowing lines.

But how does she go?

I got 5.7l/100km on average for the week she was with me. During the car’s week I drove her she rode up parking garages, pulled away in little acceleration tests and topped 180km/h. I am confident you will achieve sub 6l/100km figures.

Acceleration, even in fifth is good enough to overtake on the open road in normal conditions. In lower gears the torque is very satisfying. Thank you.

The torque maxes out at 300Nm, and with the relatively light body you can imagine the pulling power of this 1.6 turbo diesel.

I topped 180km/h without trying.

The brakes, steering, road feel all result in a true driving experience. Man, it’s fun to drive.

Interior

After you get used to the slit dash, the interior of this car impresses with its well considered layout and clever use of space. With the rear seats down you get 1200litres packing space and boot only is 467 litres.

The rear seats can be tipped up cinema style to form a second storage area in the rear cabin. They also have a one-motion, dive-down feature (split 60:40) to create a flat loading space. This is a luxury car and comes with all the expected goodies.

Seats are very comfortable.

Exterior

The comments I got were overwhelmingly positive.

Pretty butt.

Pretty butt.

Driving experience

The Dtec Civic is very much a driver’s car.

Awesome acceleration, great road holding and brilliant handling.

Summary

The Civic looks like a hot two door sports hatch. It is hot and it is sporty, but it is actually a four door and very practical.

Price as tested is R324 500. The 1.8i Elegance costs R270 500 or R284 600 in automatic, the executive R24 000 more.

Also look at the Golf GTi, Opel Astra Sport, Renault Megane, Ford Focus.

Warranty is 3 years or 100 000km while the service plan is for 5 years or 90 000 km.

Civic_butt_side

Honda Civic 1.8 Elegance review

Honda Civic 1.8 Elegance

I have to start with admitting two things. Firstly, I am a Honda fan. My wife owned one for 12 years. Secondly, I took a dislike to the concept of the split instrumentation when I read about it.

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.

Bad 

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.

Good

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.

Driving impressions

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.

Costs

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.