Back in its days, Honda Civic was known as the best premium sedan in India and it wouldn't be wrong to say that the Civic was ahead if its time, which didn't actually worked in favour of Honda. While the initial sales of the 8th-generation Civic were good, it failed to attract much buyers thereafter. Such was the built quality of product that till now you can see many Civic in pristine condition rolling on the roads. Honda then decided not to bring the 9th-generation Civic to India.
But the market is more mature now and Honda wants to make another attempt in the premium sedan space, this time with the 10th-generation Civic, that has a more dynamic design, a new frugal diesel engine and new age features. We got a chance to drive the new Civic ahead of its launch next month and here's what we feel about Honda’s re-attempt with the new Civic in our Honda Civic test drive review.
Honda introduced the Civic for the 1st time back in 1972 and since then, it has become the largest selling Hondas ever, clocking 25 million units globally. While the car is available in hatchback, coupe and sedan body forms Internationally, Honda in 2006 decided to bring only the sedan version to India. Needless to say, Honda Civic was a huge success and a lot has to do with its design. Carrying the futuristic design forward, Honda is now launching the 10th-gen Civic.
There's a lot of chrome treatment given to the new Civic, which has become a trademark of sorts for the Honda cars in India, be it the City, Amaze or CR-V. The bonnet lines, rectangular head lights and a wide profile make the Civic look aggressive from the front. From the side, the Civic has very sharp and angular styling, something similar to a bullet out of a gun, making it look fast, sharp and pointed, even at a standstill.
In a day and age when automakers are making their cars look more subtle, Honda Civic stands out for being experimental and bold. And the rear-end it where all the fun lies! The C-pillar gets a fastback design that makes the Civic look long and sporty. Also the Boomerang inspired tail lights looks really cool. Overall, the Honda Civic is one of the best looking premium sedans in India.Honda Civic Rear-end. (Image: Ayushmann Chawla)
While the exterior of the new Civic is dynamic, the cabin is a balance of luxury and sportiness. The cabin has a cockpit style design with a large central tunnel bifurcating the passenger and driver seats. Dark grey tone on the dashboard and ivory leather seats complement each other. The seats in itself are very comfortable both at the back and front and the space inside the cabin is generous too. While the rear seat legroom is ample, the sloping roofline leaves less headroom for a 6-foot tall passenger. Also the big transmission tunnel creates a problem for middle passenger in the rear seat.
In terms of the equipment, the Civic is loaded to the brim and gets a sunroof, a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay that doubles up as a reverse parking screen, remote engine start, rear AC vents and more. However, we didn't like the screen response and also ventilated seats are missing. We also missed the futuristic full digital instrument cluster from the previous civic as the new one has a 3 dial arrangement.
Practicality wise, the central tunnel can hold a lot of stuff thanks to a double layered design to keep your mobile phones, cup holders and under arm storage space too. The boot is incredibly deep, wide and spacious. That said, the door pockets are not wide enough.Honda Civic Cabin. (Image: Ayushmann Chawla)
The new Civic gets the same 1.8-litre petrol engine like the 8th-gen Civic and for the first time a 1.6-litre diesel engine with the segment best 26.8 kmpl mileage. The petrol engine gets only a CVT gearbox, while the diesel gets only a 6 speed manual gearbox. The petrol engine produces 141 PS of power with 174 Nm of torque. The engine felt a bit underpowered it was not easy to overtake vehicles at high speed. But the diesel engine with 120 PS and 300 Nm was a different ball game altogether.
Not only did the engine performed incredibly well, thanks to the EarthDream technology it's efficient too. There's ample torque on the tap and the 6-speed gearbox complements the engine well. That, along with the accurate electric power steering, enhanced the overall driving experience. The NVH levels are also something Honda has worked hard to keep in check, and they have excelled in this department too. The ride quality felt supreme and the Civic easily tackled potholes and crevices.
Honda Civic is also a highly safe car and has received an ASEAN NCAP 5-star rating earlier, thanks to safety features like 6-airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist, Hill Start Assist, and the Honda Lane Watch. The lane watch is essentially a blind spot detector that activates a camera on the left ORVM, displaying the vehicles behind, when you use the left indicator.Honda Civic 1.6-Litre Engine. (Image: Ayushmann Chawla)
Honda has not only retained the charm of the previous 8th-generation Civic, which was a benchmark of sorts in its segment, it has actually managed to enhance it exponentially. Among all the other things we liked about the Civic (including the driveability and features-list) the stand out factors for us are the segment best 26.8 kmpl mileage and a design that makes the new Civic stand out in the crowd. And at the end, we are happy that the Honda Civic is back and back with a bang!