Published on March 6th, 2023 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda Civic e:HEV Relaxed Hybrid Test Drive To Desaru
We drove the Civic e:HEV to Malacca to find out what’s the best possible fuel economy we could get, then a fast drive to Desaru along the back roads of Johor.
In March 2022, the Honda Civic celebrated 50 years of delivering fun reliable driving to millions of drivers around the globe.
So, with the latest 11th generation of the Civic which is on sale right now, Honda needed to challenge a new segment, the European rivals that have been dominating the middle class ‘upgraders’ for the last few years with easier priced models like the A-Class sedan, the A3, the Golf TSI and the 218i Gran Coupe.
Yes, its seems that the German car manufacturers had all developed vehicles to bring many Japanese car owners into their showrooms with clever technology and their ‘premium’ brand image.
So, just like what Mazda did a few years ago with the Mazda3 Skyactiv, Honda needed to move up the ladder and so this 11th generation Civic was born.
With this latest Civic, Honda engineers paid careful attention to the drivetrain and noise management to create a tranquil, calming cabin environment, whilst enhancing the overall vehicle drive-ability to deliver more than what the rivals had.
This latest Civic with an e:HEV powertrain has a 72-cell lithium-ion battery and two compact, yet powerful electric motors paired with a newly developed 2.0-litre direct-injection, Atkinson-cycle petrol powered engine.
With both powertrains working, yes, there is the petrol engine and the electric motor working together to deliver a maximum power of 181bhp and a spirited 315Nm of torque.
The latest version of the internal combustion engine has several new elements within its architecture to help achieve a thermal efficiency of 41 percent, one of the highest figures within the automotive industry for a production road car.
The two powerful electric motors work together to provide the primary drive force for the all-new Honda Civic. The engine is controlled by a new, compact Power Control unit which now sits under the bonnet with the rest of the powertrain.
Sitting under the rear seats is the latest version of our Intelligent Power Unit and whilst smaller and lighter, it benefits from an increased energy density. This system delivers a feeling of instant torque and powerful acceleration whilst still offering outstanding fuel sipping efficiency.
There are quick acting drive modes shifting seamlessly between EV, Hybrid and Engine without any necessary input from the driver.
The Economy Leg Of The Drive
With the chance to win a prize, we briefed our co-drivers that there would be no driver change, toilet, drink, food or any break until we reached our destination.
We will be driving this leg of the journey and we were ready to ‘feather the throttle, keep a low speed (within reason) and be in the top three.
The drive to Malacca took about 3 hours and yes we got a fuel sipping 29.4 kilometers to a liter of premium fuel and took a third place win.
The Fast And No Holds Barred Drive To Desaru
The next leg of the journey was to Desaru Resort, via a tea break in Kluang. This journey was undertaken by my experienced co-drivers and they did not hold back on the accelerator and the use of the drive modes.
The e:HEV RS worked its charm providing very responsive power and smooth delivery from each gear, up and down the revolution range without a hitch.
The drive along the back roads of Johor state was the best way to appreciate the suspension comfort and handling. The rear seat. Where we were, delivered the right amount of comfort, even with a tall driver in the front seat. The arm rest, a/c vents, headrest all were aligned well to our torso and we reached Desaru without the need to get a full body massage.
Our two drivers were not only impressed, they were also surprised for the amount of technology and features that came with this RM166k Honda.
Yes, it is priced closer to the rivals, but it is spacious, well groomed in all areas, and has a cabin fit and finish to shame some rivals and even better some with a RM200k plus price tag.
So, What’s The Civic e:HEV RS Noteworthy Features
You get a ‘Key Card’ which is introduced for a compact and convenient keyless entry and start function. A first in the segment, this advanced feature is one step ahead in its technology and is offered exclusively right now for the Civic e:HEV RS.
Other notable features in this model are the 9” Advanced Display Audio with Wireless Apple CarPlay™ as well as the ultimate convenience of Remote Engine Start feature which is particularly useful for Malaysian weather to cool down the cabin before entering the car.
Honda’s safety and intuitive technology, the Honda SENSING, is made standard in the Civic e:HEV RS. The full suite of enhanced and newly improved Honda SENSING safety features includes the following:
- Lead Car Departure Notification System (LCDN)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
- Low Speed Follow (LSF)
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS)
- Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Auto High Beam (AHB)
So, here is a new Civic variant with a high quality cabin outfitted with luxury appointments that delivers good handling and drive dynamics. It is more spacious and has a larger footprint.
Plus, it makes some European rivals look less equipped. Now all that is needed is to make the ‘H’ logo be as desirable as the rival European logos.
Honda Civic e:HEV Specifications
Engine: 2.0-litre DOHC 16v Atkinson Cycle
Power: 143PS @ 6000rpm & 184kW @ 5000-6000
Torque: 189Nm @ 4500rpm & 315kg-m @ 0-2000
0-100km/h: 7.9 seconds
Top Speed: 180km/h
Fuel Consumption: 4.0 (L/100km) Average
Selling Price: RM166,500.00