The Honda Civic has been one of my favorite cars to have launched this year. The stunning design and the involving drive left me wanting for more. To my delight, we have just received one in our garage as part of the long-term fleet. The car you see in the pictures is the diesel version of the Civic and we chose this variant because of the manual gearbox it offers.
Look at the Civic from any angle and it looks jaw-droppingly good. The silhouette catches your eyes first, as the coupe-like swooping roofline, stubby boot and the tastefully designed 17-inch alloys make the car seem in motion even while standing still. The front and the rear of the car has the wow elements too. The well-detailed LED headlamps with the daytime running lamp outlining the lower portion look striking. The typical Honda grille looks more dynamic in the Civic as it protrudes more as compared to its other cars like the City. The rear design is even better. The heavily raked rear windscreen, short boot and those fantastic boomerang-shaped tail lamps just make you go wow every time you see this car.
I like the interiors of the new Civic too. Sure, they might not be as revolutionary as the eighth generation car, but the new car’s asymmetric lines and the way all the important controls are tilted towards the driver makes you feel special. Once inside, the driver seat is a comfortable place to be in and thanks to the electric adjust, its easy to find the ideal driving position. What I wasn’t impressed with is the visibility. Despite being 6-foot-tall, for me the combination of low seat height, high dash and the car’s wide dimensions make it a bit difficult to judge in heavy traffic. The test car is the top-of-the-line ZX variant and it comes loaded with features. You get useful ones like electronic parking brake with auto hold, auto dimming rear view mirror, electric driver seat adjust, dual zone climate control and keyless go, among other things. Even the safety equipment is reassuring as you get stuff like six airbags, ESP, ABS and importantly, being a new father, ISOFIX child seat anchor points is a blessing.
The Civic diesel is powered by a 1.6-litre turbo engine. Although the basic architecture is the same as the 1.5-litre motor found on the Honda City, the materials used here are significantly different and this engine also has a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) which helps it produce 120PS. To make it more practical than the eighth-gen car, Honda has increased the ride height on the new Honda Civic. The suspension setup, too, is modern with Honda employing independent setup both to the front as well as the rear.
First impressions of this car are extremely positive. The diesel engine is surprisingly smooth and it has the punch too. The gearbox, too, is one of the best manuals I have experienced in a very long time. It is light but more importantly has mechanical feel to it, and the way it slots into gears just lifts the whole driving experience. I like the ride quality too. The suspension setup isn’t too stiff or soft and it goes about its business silently too.
Going by the first impressions I can’t wait to spend more time with the Civic. In the coming months I will be using this car for my daily commutes and I also plan to take it out for a long road trip. The next three months are going to be exciting.
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