This is no surprise that the Honda Civic is one of the most anticipated cars in 2019. Ask why? When the eighth-generation made its way to India in 2006, it became the favourite sedan for many as it had an excellent suspension, immaculate steering feel and an energetic fuel-guzzler. Despite the fact it was only available with a 1.8-litre gasoline engine and the low ground clearance was a bane for our roads, the Civic did very well in the Indian market. And after a hiatus of six years, the Civic marks its return in India, in its 10th generation. We got our early hands on the car. How is it to drive? Read on our Honda Civic review to learn more.
In terms of design, the 10th generation Civic looks nothing like the eighth-gen car. That said, we love how edgy and modern the design is, and yes, it also stands out on the road. The India-spec Civic has been raised quite a few millimetres, however, it doesn’t affect its overall stance. The full-LED headlamps at the front and the signature Honda grille gives the Civic a very dominant front end. It also comes with LED fog lamps, which is a first in the segment. In side profile, the Civic features a coupe-like roofline and a set of dapper 17-inch alloy wheels. At the back, the roofline flows onto the C-pillar and then pours over the snazzy LED tail lamps. In all honesty, the Civic looks dapper and it certainly continues the tradition of being distinctively different from other executive sedans.
The interior, in our opinion, isn’t as striking or radical as the exterior. The all-black dashboard is simple and so is the driver information display in the middle, with a large rev counter and a digital readout for the speedometer. In our Honda Civic review, we were quite impressed with the seats, although with a high centre tunnel running across the middle-portion, the Civic is essentially a four-seater at best. And since the Civic comes with an electronic parking brake, the centre console is freed up for essential storage spaces. In fact, you can also store large-sized bottles in all four door compartments. Then there’s the segment-first lane-watch camera neatly tucked into the rear casing of the left-side ORVM that lets you know if there are any obstacles on the left side. In terms of seating, the Civic is a low-slung vehicle, so getting in and out of the car can be quite a bit of an effort. Honda has used decent switchgear and plastics for the Civic, although some of them are borrowed from smaller Hondas making them not as special as they should in a car of this size. In fact, the steering wheel controls, borrowed from the Amaze, are not as plush and hard to operate from what we would have liked.
The Civic comes with an option of two engine and gearbox options – first up is the 1.6-litre diesel that comes paired to a six-speed manual and is capable of churning out 118bhp and 300Nm of torque. Second, we have the same-old 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol that only comes paired to a seven-step CVT gearbox. Honda seems to have taken this decision in a market survey. In our Civic review, we drove the former. Right from the get-go, the engine feels smooth and refined and turbo lag, though evident, is masked very well. After the turbo starts singing its song, there is ample surge of power at the flex of the right foot. The oil-burner revs freely towards the 4,000rpm mark, at which point the max power of 118bhp is generated. But as the engine revs towards the redline, the diesel-gruff tends to become gradually intrusive. The suspension setup is brilliantly tuned, it glides over bad roads and it easily dismisses large breakers with great poise. The handling is where the Honda impressed us, the steering weighs up nicely and the car darts into corners with real enthusiasm. That said, the Civic is a well-suited package for a typical Indian buyer, although, it does not retain the enthusiast qualities of its predecessor. To read our full Honda Civic review, and to learn our take on the executive sedan comparison, be sure to visit us at autoX.