The all-new Honda Civic sedan is bigger, better equipped and, for the first time – boosted.
With a new-generation turbocharged engine under the bonnet, we want to answer a simple question: is the new Civic any good?
Honda calls this car the boldest Civic yet, and there’s some truth to that. It certainly isn’t as bland as the sedan that came before it, and with its swoopy styling you might even say it’s a bit of a looker from the outside.
There’s a bold grille, high-tech led headlights and led tail-lights on our RS model, as well as 17-inch alloy wheels and a slinky rear spoiler.
The big talking point, though, is the new engine – it’s a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit, which basically has the opposite attributes of the existing engines fitted to the Civic.
Why is it so different? Because turbo engines are all about delivering lots of torque down low in the rev range, where the Civic – along with most Honda models – has long been the sort of car you need to rev to get the most out of… But it’s worth noting that lower-spec Civics still get a non-turbo engine.
But with the turbo, the 10th-generation Civic has a very different demeanour on the road. It has a good amount of thrust from down low in the rev range, and the car is all the better for that, because you’re not ringing it’s neck all the time to get the most out of it.
It’s still front-wheel drive, and like the existing Civic there’s a CVT auto gearbox. If you want, you can do the shifts yourself using the paddles, too.
In the past, the Thai-built Civic sedan wasn’t a standout in terms of driving dynamics – the UK-built hatchback was where it was at for fun behind the wheel. Honda says it has stiffened up the underbody with the new RS badge clearly suggesting this is a sporty model, and it drives better than before, with improved suspension and steering.
Not only is it better to drive, though, it’s also better inside.
This RS model kicks off at just under $32,000, and as such it’s loaded with equipment including a touchscreen media unit navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 10-speaker stereo system. As well as that you get leather seat trim, heated front seats and, because it’s the sporty model, drilled alloy pedals. A sunroof is standard, too.
The biggest thing, though, is that this doesn’t feel like a small sedan inside, with a level of space that makes it feel much bigger than it actually is. Honda has a history of that, and it’s certainly true of the new Civic, too, and the back seat is spacious as well.
It has a boot that’s as big as some mid-size models, too, with 519 litres of space making it easily big enough for a weekend’s worth of suitcases or a set of clubs.
The tenth-generation Honda Civic is a big improvement over the old model, and we can’t wait to test it against its competitors.