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All you need to know about the Honda Civic

by Clare Louise

Do we even need an introduction for the Honda Civic? For it’s a car that has such cult following enthusiasts across the country are still holding on – and, yes, pampering too – their machines even after an average of 8-9 years. Executive sedan buyers need not normally drive their cars for such a long while.

But, of course, it’s the Honda Civic we’re talking about. And yes, for those not aware, Honda launched the Civic here, for the first time, all the way back in 2007. It was globally in its eighth-generation form. The Civic was nothing short of a revolutionary executive sedan. From the first-in-class digital speedometer to a rev-happy 1.8-litre i-VTEC motor, the eighth-generation Civic had it all.

That said, there were some minor issues with the eighth-generation Civic too. For one, its ground clearance was just too low to be acceptable to our broken roads. Moreover, the rev-happy petrol engine wasn’t very frugal either. And, of course, there was no diesel engine on offer. Even with all its shortcomings, the Civic nameplate had a strong going in the Indian market. Sadly, Honda decided to drop the Civic from its product portfolio in 2013.

But the good news is, after skipping a generation and half, the Civic – now in its tenth generation – was finally introduced in the Indian market after a hiatus of almost seven years. This time around, Honda  seemed to have fixed all the shortcomings. However, things are quite different now, as almost every consumer is picking up an SUV rather than a sedan. So, will the earlier sedan’s cult status help it in reviving the segment?

Not exactly as some of us anticipated, but I’ll get to it towards the end of this blog. For now, let’s talk about the radical new Civic. Yes, the Civic now looks radical and contemporary. And, truth be told, it certainly looks better than any of the mid-sized SUVs out there. Be it the sharp LED headlamps, coupe-like roofline, or the low-slung stance, it looks better than any other model in the same price bracket.

Come to the inside and things aren’t as radical as on the outside. Still, the dashboard gets a neat layout with every control in place. Given the modern times, it now gets tons of features such as a Lanewatch camera, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with support for Apple Carplay and Android Auto, cruise control, steering-mounted controls, keyless entry and go, electronic parking brake, and so much more.

The instrument cluster, though not as futuristic as the earlier model, now gets a semi-digital treatment, with a large informative TFT display at the middle, flanked with an engine temperature meter and a fuel gauge. Thankfully, the Civic still gets a digital speedometer readout, which is now placed inside the TFT display.

Being an executive sedan, the space inside is quite good too. Although ingress and egress take a bit of an effort, once in, you’re welcomed with plush seats stitched with leather. These seats are very comfortable with the right amount of cushioning, but the car is best suited for four passengers, thanks to a centre tunnel at the bottom and the absence of a middle headrest at the rear, which, for reference, the fifth-generation Honda City gets.

Now, to the powertrain options, you get the same 1.8-litre naturally-aspirated i-VTEC motor along with a first-for-the-civic diesel engine. The petrol engine comes mated to a 7-speed CVT automatic transmission and produces 140bhp and 174Nm of torque. The diesel engine, on the other hand, is a 1.6-litre unit, which makes 118bhp and 300Nm of torque. It comes mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Honda’s decision on the powertrain front were according to market analysis, as, in Honda’s speak, most customers pick either the petrol-automatic or the diesel-manual. Regardless, the Honda still drives great, well, at least the diesel version. The petrol Civic isn’t as zealous as the erstwhile model, thanks to the power-sapping CVT auto. The ride quality of the Civic is composed, and it still proves to be a great handler.

So, there you have it, folks. All the history of the old Civic combined with a brief introduction of the new one. For more on the Honda Civic, make sure you visit us at autoX. Also, grab the latest info on the new cars, only at autoX.