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Car Talk With Mabs Kekana

Date: Jan 9, 2017

The name Honda is synonymous with reliability and value for money. One of the most trusted brands in the world, the Honda has adapted over the years and offered the customers what they need.

Honda Civic

 

The name Honda is synonymous with reliability and value for money. One of the most trusted brands in the world, the Honda has adapted over the years and offered the customers what they need.

I have had the opportunity to spend time with a few Hondas throughout my career as a motoring specialist. One of those vehicles is the Civic on numerous occasions. I had the pleasure of spending time with the new Honda Civic, which was launched in August last year. Honda have put all the stops to ensure that the new Civic is a modern car. Technology is on par with the best in its segment.

Over the course of the past nine generations, the Civic has continuously evolved to meet changing customer needs around the world.

It has consistently set the bar for fuel efficiency, driving performance, build quality and owner satisfaction. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Honda's longest-running automotive nameplate is also its biggest-selling model globally, with more than 23-million Civics sold to date. The 10th generation Honda Civic was realised on three main pillars, beginning with a charismatic design that offers tremendous depth of appeal supported by the car's technology and performance.

It is also soulful, delivering new levels of dynamic, sporty performance that remain true to its heritage -- and that of the Honda brand.

And, finally, with the focus on comfort, Honda incorporated advanced equipment developed for an era that demands new levels of integration between people, smartphones and the vehicle, while also increasing the Civic's comfort, safety and quality standards.

Exterior

In aiming for superior levels of design and comfort, the challenge for Honda engineers was to combine a sleek and aerodynamic exterior with D-segment levels of spaciousness and comfort.

The newcomer's striking styling carefully reflects a revolutionary silhouette for a four-door sedan, creating the overall impression of a sleek sports coupé. Special attention was paid to the detailed surfaces in order to fuse quality with sportiness.

The result is a clean, sculpted body shape that emphasises the new Civic's sporty character, reinforced by the lower and wider stance, along with a longer bonnet and short front overhang.

This gives the new Honda sedan a more aggressive, athletic and dynamic appearance, while also creating more interior room compared to the outgoing model. Overall, the wheelbase has been increased by 30 mm, and the total length by 109 mm, while the height has been lowered by 20 mm.

The reduced height and the more dynamic aesthetic appeal also translate into a lower centre of gravity for greater on-road stability, boosting cornering confidence and encouraging sporty, engaging driving.

Contemporary renditions of Honda's signature design cues are evident throughout the newcomer's execution, including a solid wing face that spans the entire front width of the car, while incorporating the brand's bold grille design and the new slim headlight treatment.

Advanced full LED headlights and LED daytime running lights are fitted to the 1,5-litre TURBO models for the first time, with the remaining models in the range equipped with projector-type halogen units. LED daytime running lights are standard on all models. At the rear, the new Civic's characteristic bracketed tail light design has been re-interpreted with eye-catching LED light bars on either side.

A selection of futuristic-looking 16 and 17-inch wheel designs completes the sophisticated and athletic design.

Interior

The all-new Civic's interior treatment embodies Honda's 'Daring ACE Design' concept, combining high-quality materials with an ergonomically intuitive centre console and a sporty yet comfortable driving position.

The uncluttered interior design features extensive use of attractive soft-touch and accent materials that heighten the sense of premium quality. On an ergonomic level it offers refined, user-friendly access to the various controls.

This includes the new high-deck centre console that encompasses key features such as the all-new Electric Parking Brake and Brake Hold function.

To reduce cabin noise and further enhance ride quality, the interior package is fitted with lightweight sound proofing materials. This includes underbody coverings and a noise isolation door system.

Overall, Honda has managed to significantly reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) to achieve segment-best levels of on-road quietness.

The slim A-pillar of the new Civic provides an excellent viewpoint for the drivers, and improves visibility by minimising blind spots. Driving comfort has been significantly bolstered through the fitment all-new sleek seat designs featuring a broader range of fore/aft and height adjustability, as well as a hip point lowered by 20 mm.

Leather seats (heated in front) are standard on all but the entry-level model, and the steering wheel offers tilt and telescopic adjustment.

Rear-seat knee space has increased by 55 mm, along with further gains in shoulder room for the rear occupants. Boot capacity has also improved by 20 percent.

Ahead of the driver is a completely new advanced full-colour LCD multi-information cluster.

Technology

An extensive range of advanced technologies have been introduced in the all-new Civic to make driving easier and safer, while also increasing driver and passenger comfort.

One of the most exciting new features is the advanced interface provided by the high-resolution, seven-inch- WVGA LCD display that forms the centrepiece for the digital audio system.

The expansive IPS display can be viewed from both driver and passenger seats, and the air-conditioning can also be operated on the display panel.

The innovative system enables connection with numerous smartphone functions, including maps for ease of navigation operation. It's is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,  making this the most convenient and connected Civic ever.

The system is also compatible with various media formats, and can be operated by controls conveniently located on the multifunction steering wheel.

In addition, a switch on the steering wheel can perform alphabet searches and switching of content. A separate switch for the volume, which is frequently used, has also been added.

Several other Civic firsts are also included, such as Walk Away Auto Lock operated by the smart key system, standard on the Sport and Executive models.

The system automatically locks the car doors once the key is approximately 2,5 metres away from the vehicle, thus ensuring additional security and day-to-day convenience. Smart keyless entry is standard on 1,5-litre TURBO models.

The range-topping Civic Executive derivative reinforces its premium status with a raft of additional safety features, including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed Following (LSF)
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
  • Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Lane watch with side-sensing cameras

Performance

Performance comes into sharper focus with the latest Honda Civic, featuring an all-new 1.5-litre VTEC TURBO engine that features Honda's 'Earth Dreams Technology' - the company's next generation set of technological advancements for driving performance and fuel efficiency.

Honda's first-ever 1.5 VTEC TURBO engine produces an exceptional 127 kW of maximum power at 5 500 r/min, along with 220 Nm of maximum torque - the latter available in a broad range between 1 700 and 5 500 r/min to enhance all-round drivability.

These outputs are comparable to a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated engine, but offer the equivalent fuel economy of a Honda Jazz. The engine achieves Euro4 emission requirements, making it one of the most environmentally-friendly engines in its class.

With an engine bore pitch of only 80mm, this unit is extremely compact, and achieves a substantial weight reduction compared to a conventional naturally aspirated engine.

It also boasts dual variable valve timing control to deliver a superb combination of output and responsiveness, while also ensuring efficiency to the benefit of fuel consumption across a broad range of operating parameters.

A small diameter turbocharger and electric waste gate optimally control the intake exhaust boost control for greater response, while a high tumble flow intake port and high compression ratio also contribute to the Civic's overall operating efficiency.

The new Civic is also available with a refined and updated version of the 1,8-litre SOHC i-VTEC naturally aspirated engine. It produces 104 kW and 6 500 r/min, allied to a torque peak of 174 Nm at 4 300 r/min.

In line with Honda's 'Earth Dreams Technology', both engines are paired with an exhilarating and sporty new series of CVT gearboxes as standard. This ensures powerful and smooth performance, with the added benefit of maximum efficiency.

This combination achieves a combined cycle fuel consumption of 5,9 l/100 km for the 1.5 VTEC TURBO, and 6,3 l/100 km for the 1.8 SOHC i-VTEC - the latter representing an improvement of 8,8 percent compared to the old model.

Both engines feature Honda's ECON mode, which optimises the engine and transmission for maximum fuel economy. Additionally, Eco Assist helps the driver achieve the most efficient driving style by means of a changing colour indication on the instrument cluster.

Safety

Honda's new Agile Handling Assist (AHA) feature is integrated with the Civic's EPS and vehicle control systems to facilitate driving enjoyment, as well as overall control and stability.

AHA anticipates a loss of control during cornering and helps to prevent it by continuously modulating brake and throttle inputs in small, imperceptible increments to assist overall driver control.

An additional safety net is provided by means of the Vehicle Stability Control, which is standard on all models, incorporating Hill Start Assist, along with ABS anti-lock brakes and electronic brake force distribution (EBD).

All models are equipped with dual front, side and curtain airbags, complemented with a reverse camera and rear parking sensors on all but the base model.

Model range and pricing

The new Honda Civic range comprises four models, spanning a choice of two engines and four specification grades.

1.8 Comfort CVT - R330 000

1.8 Elegance CVT - R370 000

1.5T Sport CVT - R430 000

1.5T Executive CVT - R460 000

The recommended retail pricing includes a five-year/200 000 km warranty, a five-year/90 000 km service plan, as well as three years of AA Roadside Assistance.

 

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