The Honda Civic hasn’t been seen on our roads for a few years now despite that there are many who still swear by it. In fact the 8th generation car that used to sell in India has aged so well that even now it looks quite modern. So what Honda has got now in the form of this tenth generation is actually stepping into the future. The Civic sells in almost every corner of the globe and it arrives in India at a time when the sedan segment as a whole is fishing in troubled waters. But it comes pretty loaded in order to capture your attention the way it captured ours even before we drove it.

Looks

The design is extremely appealing on the Civic and that makes it stand out in the segment. The big chrome bar on the grille that stretches all the way to the profile is a nice touch. The car also gets projector lamps along with LED lights. The profile looks really appealing as well. The bulging wheel arches, the 17-inch alloys and the sloping roof that gives the car a coupe like design make it look extremely sporty. But the rear is where you love this car the most. Especially the C-shaped LED lamps are a novelty that makes the Civic exclusive. According to Honda design is one of the three pillars the Civic stands on but in our opinion it is the strongest of those 3 pillars.

Interiors

The car also gets a remote engine start and walk away door lock which are very practical features.

There’s a lot to look forward to inside the new Civic. There’s a 7-inch touch screen system that is compatible with both Apple car play and Android Auto. Ergonomics are spot on; especially the 2-tier smart phone tray with wire management pass through adds a lot of utility. An electric parking brake also ensures more space in the car. The car also gets a remote engine start and walk away door lock which are very practical features to put in the car. And yes the digital speedometer finds a place in this Civic as well. The car also gets 2 zone climate control along with electrically adjustable drivers’ seat. Yes how can the Civic not have a sunroof. But one of the biggest pulls of the 8th gen Civic, the music controls on rear arm rest are missing here. The 160 watt audio system comes with 4 speakers, 2 of which are placed in the rear deck, something that will take you into the past. At 430 litres the car now gets a deeper and wider trunk.

Engine

The new Civic comes with petrol CVT and diesel manual options. The diesel is a 1.6 litre 120 PS engine while the petrol is a more powerful 1.8 litre mill that churns out 141 PS. A lot more torque is available in the former and that makes it more fun to drive. And Honda says it gives a class leading mileage of 26.8 kmpl. With its CVT gearbox the petrol variant is more suited to give you a relaxed drive in the urban chaos. However, if you do want to get a more spirited drive you can always rely on the Sport mode and paddle shifts here. The claimed fuel efficiency on this BS6 compliant engine is 16.5 KMPL. Noise, Vibration and harshness levels are too kept in check on the Civic. Factors that contribute to that are engine compartment isolation, sound absorbing undercover as well as body sealing. Honda says full body air leaks have been reduced by 58 % when compared to the earlier car.

Ride & handling

According to Honda the chassis design is the most sophisticated in the history of the Civic. This gives you a car that handles really well and gives you a stable, planted drive experience. And as we experienced the fully independent suspension does do duty with aplomb. In fact, the impressive ride quality is probably the best of what the Civic has to offer. The electric power steering comes with some assistance therefore giving you a more reassuring drive on the car. The view from the driver’s seat is clear owing to a thin A-pillar. The ground clearance too has gone up on the car and that also gives you a more confident drive.

Verdict

The Civic car has got a 5-star rating in the Asian NCAP. Some prominent safety features include 6 airbags, hill start assist, brake assist, lane watch. The last one a worthy addition as it displays the feed from a camera placed on the left side view mirror and helps the driver change lanes with ease. The Civic certainly has been worth the wait. It’s a car that is more than capable to give a big push to the fortunes of Honda in India as well as the segment it is a part of. To all the buyers who chose SUVs love sedans in the last few years, the Civic is calling you back with all its might.

Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars

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