We’ve got a new car in our long-term garage and it’s one you’ll be very familiar with — you probably passed about a hundred of them on your way to the mall today. The Civic is everywhere and that’s because it caters to those who want a relatively low cost vehicle that’s safe, dependable and provides good fuel economy — and there are many people in the hunt for such car. It’s been a dominant force in the C-segment for decades, but in the coming weeks, we’ll be keen to see what else this tenth-generation model offers — and right off the bat, we must say its got a fair bit of aesthetic appeal now which wasn’t always the case.
Back in the day, if you wanted to stand out you wouldn’t buy one of these, but now you might. It’s bigger than the predecessor (105mm longer and 44mm wider) and the liftback profile may even turn a few heads. It gives it the appearance of a hatchback, but it’s a saloon, and a decently styled one too but a deep shade of red or blue would work better than white. Our LX trim tester rides on 16in alloys, has LED running lights (and LED taillights) and a thick chrome grille. Moving on to the cabin, it affords plenty of leg- and head-room in both rows. Some of the kit includes single-zone auto AC (with rear vents), smart key with starter button, auto headlights, cruise control and rear parking sensors. On the safety front it gets two airbags, ESP, ABS with EBD, hill-start assist and a tyre-pressure monitor.
Now, I know I mentioned fuel efficiency as one of the reasons people would consider the Honda but it’d be folly to base your car-buying decision on a claimed figure by the manufacturer; a lot depends on the way you drive of course, and even though ours has the weakest motor offered in the range, a 1.6-litre four-pot (other options include a 2.0-litre and a turbocharged 1.5-litre) and should get you around 8.0 litres per 100km, I’ve managed 13.1 so far trying to squeeze out all of the 123bhp and 151Nm of torque. You have to keep your foot floored and build up some speed before attempting any overtaking manoeuvres and this wreaks havoc with your efficiency, and be warned, this has a CVT meaning it sounds like it’s stuck in first gear whenever you call on those horses. Not nice... I’ll be easing off the throttle and that average will tumble to a far more respectable figure. And my ears will thank me too.