HONDA CIVIC RANGE 101: TYPE R, HATCH & SEDAN

Here’s what the experts at some of Australia’s most important motoring websites thought of the Honda Civic range. 

AN AUTOMOTIVE LEGACY

For more than 40 years the Honda Civic has offered a combination of performance, reliability, economy, innovation, practicality and driver enjoyment. The latest model takes all of Honda’s know-how from the last four decades to create an incredible all-rounder, whether it’s the grown-up sedan, sporty and practical hatch or mighty Type R. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s what Australia’s leading automotive experts said about the range.

THE EXPERTS

  • David McCowen, News Editor, Drive
  • Matt Campbell, former Senior Editor, CarAdvice
  • Peter Anderson, Contributor, CarsGuide
  • Alan Zurvas, Author, Behindthewheel.com.au
  • Sam Charlwood, News Editor, Motoring.com
  • Louis Cordony, Road Tester, MOTOR Magazine

STYLING

We all feel the need to stand out from the crowd in one way or another which is why, when Honda’s designers were tasked with designing the tenth generation Civic they set out to challenge the status quo in the small car class. Their resulting vision was a striking and bold statement that will have you looking back after you have parked up and walked away.

In the words of Alan Zurvas of Behindthewheel.com.au, “The segment is chock-full of offerings, and competition is stiff…this new-gen Honda Civic impresses with its value, design, comfort and handling.” 

INTERIOR

Innovation has always been a driving force at Honda and the Civic packs more technology inside it than ever before, all of which has been integrated seamlessly into the driving experience to make it as intuitive as possible. Apple CarPlay®* and Android®^ Auto are included as standard on all Civic models, allowing you to access a number of your smartphone’s functions safely and non-intrusively using either voice control or the large touchscreen which caught the eye of Peter Anderson from CarsGuide.com.au, “The central part of the dashboard is an excellent, high-definition fully digital readout that gets just about everything right.”Anderson also noticed the ways in which Honda has tried to keep technological distraction down to a minimum, even when it comes to sorting out the tangles of cables which most of us have cluttering up our cars, “The USB and HDMI ports are hidden away in a multi-level arrangement under the dash, with a clever cut that has little notches to help control your cables. A very thoughtful touch.”

*Apple CarPlay, iPhone and Siri are trademarks of Apple Inc. registered in the U.S. and other countries. CarPlay and Siri requires iPhone 5 model and above running i0S 7.1 or higher^

Android Auto and Google are trademarks of Google Inc. Android Auto and Google Voice Search requires Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or above.

PERFORMANCE

In the Honda Civic range, Honda’s legendary VTEC system is combined with turbocharging in VTi-L models* and above to offer more power, economy and fun from a smaller, lighter package as Alan Zurvas of Behindthewheel.com.au states, “Engines have always been a Honda strength, and although late to the turbo party, the 1.5L^ makes up for its lack of power by being incredibly willing and able.”

All Civic models come equipped with an innovative CVT gearbox, a type of transmission which is able to not only keep the engine in its sweet spot for economical cruising but also maximise the available power when needed as CarAdvice.com.au explain, “The CVT auto is pretty clever, too: it picks when you're driving a bit harder and adjusts its reactions accordingly, while the sport override mode makes it ever more eager to rev out.”

*VTi-L and above in Hatch and Sedan. Standard in the Type R

^Hatch and Sedan

PRACTICALITY

Don’t let the Civic’s sleek shape fool you into thinking any compromises have been made in terms of space and usability. It is in fact one of the largest cars in its class, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by CarAdvice.com.au, “The space on offer is good, though, with easily enough space for a six-foot occupant to sit behind a six-foot driver, even for a long period – there’s ample leg and toe room, and fine headroom as well.”CarAdvice.com.au also praised how well the cabin had been thought through in terms of storage, “There are decent door pockets with bottle-holders all around, while the massive, deep centre console box is brilliant.”And finally of course there’s also ample room for all the other tasks we call on our cars to perform as CarAdvice.com.au also points out, “The boot is likeable, too: it has 517 litres of space, which is more than some cars in the mid-size segment.”

DRIVER APPEAL

Of course it isn’t just the engine and gearbox which make the Honda Civic so much fun to drive. This tenth generation model features all-new suspension and steering which, added to it being lighter than the previous model make it more nimble, agile and a joy to drive as  Zurvas says, “All the different variants of the new Honda Civic share the same sophisticated suspension and steering system.”

And CarAdvice.com.au also pointed out that the Civic’s clever new suspension also makes it the most comfortable cars in its class, “And the ride comfort is, for me at least, the best you can get at this price. There’s a great combination of control over bumps and cushioning, too.”

VALUE

Every model in the Honda Civic range offers exceptional value for money thanks to combination of performance, economy and equipment as CarAdvice.com.au points out, “As you’d expect for this type of car in one of the most competitive segments of the market, the entry-level Honda small sedan comes decently equipped for the money.”

The Civic has always been a byword for reliability which is why we back it up with a five year unlimited kilometre warranty and Honda Tailored Servicing which make getting, and staying, on the road incredibly easy. 

BEST OF THE BEST

We obviously couldn’t talk Civic without mentioning our hot hatch hero, the Civic Type R with its incredible 228kW and 400Nm turbocharged engine and racetrack honed handling. The first performance Civic was unveiled in 1997 and today’s model takes all of those decades of know-how to create Drive’s current Performance Car of The Year under $60,000.

McCowen summed up the feeling behind the wheel with this, “The relationship between clutch, throttle and gearshift is spot-on, big Brembo brakes offer perfect bite and the pin-sharp steering is equally at home around town or on track.”

The Type R was also voted Motor Magazine’s Performance Car of the Year 2018, beating rivals with hefty six-figure price tags and crazy kilowatt numbers. Here’s what Louis Cordony thought in his original review of the car, “Buyers new to the brand will find it a dynamic class act that’s both hugely capable and forgiving. It’s also very liveable. The ride’s polished, you won’t suffer tinnitus on highways, and we can think of worse transmissions – automatic or manual.”

OVERALL

We’ll leave the final word on the new Civic to two of Australia’s leading motoring journalists.

“The Civic is a solid cruiser in daily conveyance, combining strong low-range torque and a nonchalant driving demeanour with an open air cabin that cleverly packages some of its features. The CVT naturally pushes for decent real-world economy, bringing a combined claim of 6.8L/100km* during our time with the car.” Sam Charlwood, Motoring.com.au.

“This new-gen Honda Civic impresses with its value, design, comfort, and handling... Overall though, it pleases me to declare that Honda is back.” Alan Zurvas, Behindthewheel.com.au,

Ready to experience the Honda Civic range for yourself? Click here to view the showroom.

*Sedan and Hatch VTi and VTi-S

WANT TO READ MORE? SEE WHAT ELSE THE EXPERTS HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE HONDA CIVIC RANGE BY READING THE REVIEWS IN FULL:

CarAdvice

CarsGuide

Behindthewheel.com.au

Drive

Motoring.com.au

MOTOR Magazine