Last Word First
With unmistakeable looks, this new 2017 Honda Civic is powered by Honda’s own one-litre, three-cyclinder, VTEC turbo-petrol, with 129PS and 200Nm of torque, and prices starting at €23,750. Those seeking more propulsion can opt for the four-cyclinder VTEC turbo-petrol, 1.5, 182Ps with 240Nm, starting at €28,550. Both of these engines are brand new, with a diesel option not getting here until Spring 2018.
Grown up in every aspect, the Civic is a visual charmer inside and out, comes as standard with a vast array of safety features under its Honda SENSING umbrella and delivers a great drive from its bigger road print. This latest Honda Civic has all the ingredients to deserve a place in your driveway. A test drive must.
Make: Honda, Model: Civic, Format: 5-door, 5-seat hatchback, Trim Levels; 1.0 litre versions, Smart, Smart Plus Pack, Premium, 1.5 litre versions, S-Design, GT-Pack, Prestige Pack, Drive: Front-wheel drive, Engine: 1.0, 3-cyclinder VTEC petrol turbo, Power: 129Ps, Torque: 200Nm, Transmission; 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic CVT, Annual Road Tax: €200 & €280 for the 1.0 litre and 1.5 litre repspectively, Boot space; 478 litres, expanding to 1,245 litres with rear seats folded.
Some of the Competition
VW Golf, Opel Astra, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, Kia cee’d, Peugeot 308, Hyundai i30, Citoren C4, Audi A3, Toyota Auris, Seat Leon.
With looks like no other, this latest Civic is wider, longer, and lower than any of its nine predecessors. All models feature LED daytime running lights and
distinctive C-shaped LED rear lights. Aside from being bigger, the 2017 Civic is also lower, by some 20mm from the former, the driving position a delight to anyone with tarmac in their veins.
Customers will love the changes and indeed the specific mood their new Civic adopts on their colour choice, the black model at launch looking decidedly maurading, whilst the white, blue, red and sonic grey pearl, all exuded their own individual vibe, all different due to the Civic’s angular outer design.
Honda have ditched their double dash seen on the previous Civic, resorting to a more ‘normal’ set-up. That said, it is pure Honda, clear and precise, with a host of safety and comfort features that place the Civic up there with any of the competition.
A piano-black finish on the centere console, which houses a new seven-inch colour TFT-LCD Driver Information Interface (DII) display, includes a large digital tachometer and speedometer readout. Integrated into this DII display is a large area in which the driver can switch between a variety of infotainment screens, including navigation instructions, SMS and email text display (complemented by voice activated responses), audio track information, smartphone contacts, journey trip information, and smart vehicle maintenance information.
Scrolling and selecting the information to display in the DII is performed via thumbpad controls on the left spoke of the steering wheel. This combination of thumbpad controls and DII display in the driver’s forward line-of-sight helps to minimise distractions for the driver whilst driving.
A two-tier storage tray in front of the gear lever allows for charging of mobiles via charge pad on some grades, a gap through the centre console allowing for cables to be passed from the second tier tray to the front tray, helping to keep cable connectivity and device charging and connectivity neat and tidy. LED lighting aids visibility for the two-tier tray layout at night.
The second-generation Honda infotainment and connectivity system – CONNECT – gives us access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Honda Connect can be specified with optional Garmin satellite navigation, with pre-loaded maps, photo-real junction views, lane guidance, real-time traffic avoidance, 3D building and terrain views, and Eco Routing. Free map updates will be provided for five years, a benefit unique to Honda.
With Apple CarPlay iPhone users can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music from the touch-screen or by voice using Apple’s Siri commands. The supported apps on CarPlay include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and other compatible third-party software where specified. CarPlay is compatible with iOS 8.4 or later and iPhone 5 or later.
Android Auto, (compatible with Android 5.0 and higher), allows drivers use Android smartphones through both touch and voice interfaces, minimising the potential for distraction. Android Auto supports features that include Google Maps, Google Now, messaging, music and numerous other popular apps, which are market dependent.
SENSING as Standard
Honda have decided to compliment the new Civic with a comprehensive array of safety features that is commendable. Called SENSING, this suite of active safety technologies includes:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System: helps to bring the car to a stop if the system determines that a collision with a vehicle detected in front is unavoidable.
- Lane Departure Warning: will detect if the car is straying out of its current lane without the turn signal being activated.
- Road Departure Mitigation: uses data from the windscreen-mounted camera to detect whether the car is veering off the road. It uses the Electric Power Steering to apply subtle corrections to keep the vehicle in its lane, and in certain situations can also apply braking force.
- Lane Keeping Assist System: helps to keep the car in the middle of the current lane, by detecting road markings and making small steering adjustments to steer the vehicle within the white lines.
- Adaptive Cruise Control: allows the driver to set a desired speed and following distance from a vehicle detected ahead.
- Traffic Sign Recognition: detects and automatically recognises road signs and displays the signs on the car’s instrument binnacle’s
- Intelligent Speed Assistance: combines the automatic speed limit set by the driver with TSR to automatically adjust the vehicle speed to that indicated by the last road sign
- Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC): Predicts and automatically reacts to other vehicles ‘cutting-in’ on multi-lane highways.
- Blind Spot Information: uses radar technology to automatically detect and alert of vehicles in the driver’s blind spot
- Cross Traffic Monitor: uses rear side radar sensors to warn the driver of approaching vehicles when reversing
- Multi-angle rear view camera: provides the driver with options for complete visibility and therefore peace-of-mind when reversing; a normal 130 degree view, a wide 180 degree view and a top-down view
- Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control
- Indirect Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) .
Check out SENSING on http://bit.ly/2nIUlOZ
On the Road
With its dimensional changes, its all-new suspension front and back, the relocation of the petrol tank from the floor to the rear, (loosing the Magic Seats in the process), the Civic delivers a very engaging drive. On standard suspension it coped well with the meanders of Wicklow roads on my test launch, (those choosing to go Premium, GT or PrestigePack get active dampers), bringing the Civic up to rival the best in class on the road.
Special mention must be levied on the Civic’s new 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder VTEC Turbo. While it may be akin to other manufacturers with their three-pot offerings, Honda’s own engine produces a lively 129PS, which is very easy to live with. It’s fuelling and turbo management is a revelation, giving it an ability to respond to throttle without the need to have the fleet of foot of a guy called Flattley.
With a definite swing away from diesel, the advent of manufactrers producing super-effiecient three-cyclinder turbo-petrol engines is the future, and with this and their 1.5 litre, four-cyclinder VTEC turbo-petrol, Honda engineers have certainly proved to us that two threes are sexy.