Published on May 12th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
2016 Honda Civic Previewed: Best Standard Equipment EVER!
Well it’s finally here, or at least ready for bookings. That’s right, Honda Malaysia has officially opened bookings for the all-new 10th generation Civic! Set to be launched within the next 2 months (Q2 2016), the latest Civic changes thing dramatically for both Honda and the C-segment as a whole.
We were in Thailand testing their version of the car and found out for ourselves just how much this new Civic will bring to the market. First, we have to address that new engine.
For at least a decade now, Civics have been offered with 2 engine options – a 1.8-litre base model or a 2.0-litre high spec model. With the 10th gen Civic, the 1.8-litre base model still remains, but a 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo now sits at the helm. Another change to the powertrain is the introduction of a CVT with a torque converter.
Visually, the Thai-spec models are easy to tell apart. The base 1.8-litre has a chrome front grille, smaller rims, and has a single exhaust at the rear. On the inside, the instrument cluster is only semi-digital, and has a blue-on-white theme to it. The VTEC Turbo on the other hand has a blacked-out front grille, LED headlights, a spoiler and larger rims with a more aggressive pattern. The interior is also more aggressive, with a red theme on the fully digital instrument cluster, a larger touch-enabled infotainment unit and paddle shifters.
The 1.8-litre i-VTEC SOHC engine has been improved dramatically and functions well with the CVT gearbox to deliver up 8.8% better fuel efficiency than it did before with the 5-speed automatic. Power output does not see a noticeable gain – it still puts out 141PS and 174Nm of torque. However, it is significantly quieter, more progressive, and more at home in the new Civic. Not at all a bad option.
The 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo however is a whole different story. More fuel efficient thatn the 2-litre i-VTEC it replaces, the turbo also gets more power to the wheels.. 173PS and 220Nm of torque to be precise. About 20PS and 30Nm more torque than it did before. But it’s not just the higher numbers that count in its favour. The Turbo delivers that power in a way that is relevant to the everyday driver.
Honda has masterfully tuned the 1.5-litre to behave itself in the city. So if you’re light footed in traffic, you’re not going to get a sudden surge of power. Most people find this a letdown, but Honda knows its audience is an urban one that deals with heavy traffic on a daily basis. So at lower speeds, the turbo is just there to fill the gap in the CVT’s response. And it does this very well.
Once you’re up to highway speeds, then the engine really comes into its own. At about 3000RPM, the digital boost gauge fills to the brim and you get all the power you could ask for. I may be mistaken, but it feels as if the power builds again slightly at around 5000RPM. In either case, this is a pretty rev happy engine. With paddle shifters equipped, the CVT does a good job at simulating a 7-speed automatic.
To summarize, the 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo makes it one of the best in its segment to drive and to own, as it balances an apt amount of power with superb fuel savings. As the first mass-market Japanese car with forced induction, it ticks all the boxes without making it feel like the engine is being pushed to its limits for power.
Perhaps more interesting than the new engine is the way Honda Malaysia plan to equip this car. Those going for the 1.5-litre VTEC turbo will benefit from a superior powertrain, some lovely tech on the inside in terms of the instruments, larger rims, and of course those gorgeous LED headlights.
But standard equipment in the Civic is set to rock the market.
Get this: every Civic sold will come with 6 airbags, an Electric Parking Brake, Brake Hold, and two extremely useful and rare features. Allow us to explain these.
Remote Engine Start
This feature allows the driver to start their vehicle engine up to 40 metres away with their key fob. This lets your activate the air conditioning to cool down the cabin before entering. If you’re worried about someone driving away with the car, Honda have thought about this. You need to step into the car with the key and hit the start button again before it can be put into gear.
Walk Away Auto Lock
Picture this, you turn off the car and walk to your destination without wondering if you had locked your doors. Yup, that’s a reality with the new Civic. The Civic will sense if all the occupants have left, and then automatically lock all doors as soon as you’re 2.5 metres away.
These features are pretty much industry-first when it comes to Japanese C-segment cars and the last 2 are so rare they’re hard to find even in premium continental cars!
In summary, the 10th generation Civic is definitely one to look out for. A huge improvement over the previous model and a return to the radical design and performance elements of the 8th generation Civic with plenty of new tech thrown in to give it the edge. This is without a doubt a Civic worthy of the name.
No word on pricing has been released, but orders are being taken and we’ll see it in the Malaysia for the first time at My Auto Fest 2016 on the 20th-22nd May at Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre.