Published on August 3rd, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda Civic 9th Generation Test Drive Review, Penang and back
This is the 9th generation Civic from Honda and it looks like it has finally matured. Insiders from Honda Motor Company have mentioned that the Civic will probably not grow in size anymore as it has matured in its dimensions. Car manufacturers have been ‘growing’ all their product in recent years and as cars get bigger, roads and car parks remain in size. This is a problem in many cities around the world. At some point manufacturers need to realize that their products can’t always grow and instead should improve within just like this new Civic. Now Honda designers have introduced a new generation Civic that keeps to the same dimensions of the previous Civic with a slightly larger cabin space sitting on a slightly shorter wheelbase for better road dynamics. Its boot space remains as before. 3 versions are available for sale. A 1.8L, a 2.0L and an all new 1.5L Hybrid.
So how do they perform on the road? Well we got a taste of all 3 models on short hard drive session. The petrol driven 2L and 1.8L shares a suspension setup that can be best described as best in class in our books. Historically Honda chassis engineers have never failed to provide great handling combined with good comfort in all their vehicles. The high speed stability is good with speeds up to 180km/h holding a firm secure steering feel. On the back roads of Perak state, this new Civic showed its real colors with good steering feedback and precise cornering feel as we tried to shake the wheels loose off the unmaintained tarmac. The revised engines are quick of the mark and are smooth in their power delivery. Honda engines have in the past been a class leader in power and smoothness and these new models continue that tradition. Our only disappointment is the lack of 6-speed gearboxes in the 1.8 and 2L as the competing brands are all selling their cars with 6-speed boxes. Still, fuel economy is better over the 8th generation Civic and power delivery is a tad higher.
On the 1.5L Hybrid drive the new engine works its charm with the firm chassis to provide a spirited drive. Unlike its immediate competitor, the Prius, this Civic hybrid is livelier on the move. Handling is good and steering wheel feels much better. The handling feels even better against the Civic 1.8L and this could be due to the additional weight in the rear (the Lithium Ion battery pack sits behind the rear seats).
This new Civic cabin is a few mm lower than the previous 8th generation Civic giving it a more streamlined profile for added fuel efficiency. There is a flat under floor pan to aid in wind-flow and its nose and tail is more aerodynamic now for lower air flow drag. In cabin features come with keyless GO for the 2L and Hybrid Civic. There is a new updated in car entertainment system with a 5-inch information screen on the top center of the dashboard.
Owners can change the wall paper on the screen and it carries fuel efficiency, drive and entertainment information. All functioning buttons sit on the left side on the steering wheel and is easy to learn and use in just a few tries. On the instrument panel, all Civic models get a colored display to show how fuel efficient the driver is behind the wheel. Colors blue, light blue and green for best efficiency teaches the driver how best to get efficiency from the Civic on a daily drive. New Civic owners will have 4 passengers fit nicely and the driver in the 2L and Hybrid Civic will get an 8-way electric powered seat for added comfort. Asking price has moved a little for all models.
The All-New Civic is available in Alabaster Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic and Taffeta White. For the Hybrid variant, it is available in Frosty White Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic and Taffeta White. The 1.8L is selling at, RM131,980, the 2.0L at 131,980 and the 2.0L Navi at RM136,980. All prices are on the road price including insurance. The Civic Hybrid is selling at RM119,980. Honda Malaysia is introducing a new and attractive after-service package:
5-year warranty with unlimited mileage*
5-year warranty with unlimited mileage* for IMA battery
Extension of preventive maintenance interval from 5,000km to 10,000km
Free labour service up to 6 visits for every alternate paid service until 100,000km
*terms and conditions apply
By introducing a new after-service package, it provides excellent ownership experience to new Civic owners.