Honda Civic Sport review
Joel Helmes has filed this Honda Civic Sport review.
The new 9th generation Civic is certainly a touch more conservative in the styling department than the model it replaces.
The 8th generation seemed to rock the boat just a little with traditionally loyal Civic buyers split over the previous models more daring looks.
In particular the placement of the rear door handles on the window frames and the sweeping rear end was a turn off for some.
The new one has more of a “straight down the line” look and I personally think it’s a step in the right direction.
It’s a very good looking car and the 17” alloys on the Sport model only help to highlight this attractive new look.
Don’t for a minute however let the Sport badge and the sleek new styling scare you – this is a car that’s much more mild than wild.
Under the bonnet of the Civic there are three different engine choices –
- A 1.8 litre four cylinder petrol engine which produces 104kW and 174Nm.
- The hybrid version which mates a 1.3 litre petrol engine with a 17kW electric engine and delivers a total of 67kW and 132Nm.
- A 2.0 litre four cylinder petrol engine which produces 114kW and 190Nm.
The hybrid comes with a CVT auto, the 1.8 offers a choice of a 5 speed auto or manual gearbox, the 2.0 litre comes only with the 5 speed auto.
As you would expect the Sport has the two litre engine.
I’m pleased to say that the get up and go is pretty good even in eco mode.
As you would expect from Honda the acceleration is smooth and refined and the auto transmission does a good enough job of getting the power to the wheels.
Fuel economy is quite reasonable; the official figures for the Sport are 7.5 litres per 100 combined.
I managed to get pretty much exactly 9.0 litres per 100 in the city which is below the claimed urban figure of 10.4L/100Km.
The Civic makes for an easy car to drive with nice light and direct steering, competent brakes and respectable road holding and ride.
I also liked that the wing mirrors are positioned back away from the A pillars and that means your front/side visibility isn’t blocked, a definite safety advantage.
Inside the Civic Sport cabin I found a mix of good and OK.
First of all the good points, I really liked the dashboard design in particular having the large digital speedometer being up so high, it’s easy to find and read as you’re driving along – well done Honda.
Around that digital speedo are lights which change colour from dark blue to green depending on how heavy you are on the accelerator.
The steering wheel is definitely on the small side but the buttons are all in the right spot and overall it has a nice quality feel about it.
There are also lots of storage spots in the cabin, the door trims and most of the interior panels have a quality feel about them, there’s adequate leg room (particularly in the back), and you get BlueTooth and Aux and USB inputs.
The elements of the interior that were a little less exciting include a very low roof line on the models fitted with a sunroof (I whacked my head against the roof at one point and was less than impressed).
The dashboard is made of uninspiring hard plastic, and I must admit I was never particularly comfortable in the leather driver’s seat.
I think this was mainly due to the leather on the lower back support being a touch too tightly sewn, in other words it didn’t feel like it had any give.
I also found a little frustration with the climate control.
Essentially if you set the climate control to “Low” the air would be freezing (as you would expect) but bringing the temperature up a degree to 19 degrees seemed to stem the cold air and instead much warmer air was the result.
Something else that I thought was a little “odd” was the dashboard info screen, you have a choice of four different pages to look at (no sat-nav or reversing camera available) – a blank screen, a picture of the car, the fuel consumption and trip times, or the stereo info.
For the small amount of info that’s available on the screen it seems a little bit of overkill.
Back on the positive side the boot size is generous and the Civic boasts a five star ANCAP rating.
The Civic range starts at $20,990 while the Sport which boasts the bigger engine, sunroof, alloys, and leather interior will set you back from $27,990.
The verdict on the Civic Sport is a tough one, I didn’t dislike the vehicle mainly because you have to respect how well put together it is.
As reported there a few things that let it down but for $27,990 you certainly get a good looking, well built, (reasonably) economical, safe, and easy to drive vehicle.
Next week I check out the entry level VTi-L.
NUTS & BOLTS
Engine: 2.0 Litre four cylinder petrol – 114kW and 190Nm.
Transmission: 5 speed Auto.
Safety: 5 Star ANCAP Rated.
Economy: Urban – 10.4L, Extra urban – 5.9L, Combined 7.5L
Price: From $20,990 (VTi-L)