Now, I normally wince when I’m told that a car has a CVT. But in the latest Civic, you’d only be nit-picking if you still had a complaint about the gearbox.
The CVT in here is so seamless that were it not for the spec sheet, I might have assumed that the transmission was actually a torque converter automatic.
There’s no whining or droning, and the dreaded “rubber band” effect only appears if you shift into “S” mode.
Wind and road noise levels are also much lower than expected, especially for a car that competes in the bread-and-butter segment.
I expected Honda to deliver a Civic that would please petrolheads, and that’s exactly what the carmaker has done.
The Civic’s ride/handling balance is spot on – pliant enough to deal with undulations, yet firm enough to confidently take on a series of bends.
The car’s turn-in is sweet, while the low seating position and taut body add to the sense of agility. Whether the corner in question is a gentle winding one or a sharp 90-degree turn, the Civic always displays admirable poise. Equally well-judged is the Civic’s helm. Although more feedback would be appreciated, the steering’s precision deserves our praise.
Overall, the Civic’s handling is only second to the segment-leading Mazda 3. But although the 3 is nimbler and has a more responsive powertrain, it cannot match the Civic’s space and refinement.
The latest Civic looks cool, delivers a sporty drive and offers an upmarket and spacious cabin. It will win back fans who were turned off by its predecessor.
In fact, I have a good feeling that we’re going to be seeing plenty of 10th-generation Honda Civics on our roads in the years to come.
Honda Civic 1.6 (A)
Type Inline-4, 16-valves
Bore x stroke 81mm x 77.5mm
Compression Ratio 10.7:1
Max power 125bhp at 6500rpm
Max torque 152Nm at 4300rpm
Power to weight 100.1bhp per tonne
Gearbox CVT with 7-speed override
Driven wheels Front
0-100km/h 11.6 seconds
Top speed 200km/h
Consumption 14.9km/L (combined)
CO2 emission 153g/km
Front MacPherson struts, coil springs
Rear Multi-link, coil springs
Front / Rear Ventilated discs / Discs
Type Hankook Ventus S1 Noble 2
Size 215/55 R16
Traction aids ABS, VSA
Kerb weight 1249kg
Turning circle 10.6m
Price incl. COE $114,999 (no CEVS rebate/surcharge)
Warranty 5 years/unlimited km
+ Better quality than before, good handling, much improved refinement
– Rear floorboard not flat, CVT unrefined in “S” mode, lower hip point is a problem for some
Check out the Honda Civic models