2019 Honda Civic Petrol & Diesel Roadtest Review – Drive Kingclass

The Civic is the largest selling model from the Japanese car maker Honda. Infact it is Honda’s longest running model and one of the most loved model along with the Accord. The Civic is to Honda what the Corolla is to Toyota, 3-series is to BMW and the C-Class is to Mercedes-Benz. The Civic sells in around 170 countries. India has seen the Honda Civic being imported by individual’s right since the 80s and later Honda officially getting it here in 2006. The Civic sold handsomely at that time and is still regarded as a very futuristic car for its looks and the digital instrument cluster that it came with. Honda discontinued the Civic in India in 2013 due to lack of demand and a lack of a diesel variant then. Now things have changed, Honda is all set to introduce back the latest generation Civic and yes it also has a Diesel version. We drive the All New Honda Civic on some amazing Bangalore roads to get you this extensive roadtest review.

Food for Thought

Honda introduced the 1st generation Civic way back in 1972 as a 3 door hatch. The Civic was based on the Honda N600 and was available as a 3-door and 5-door hatch then. The Civic has grown in dimension and gone up-market with its generations. It is largely due to the success of Honda Civic the Japanese car manufacturer was able to become the global automotive giant. India saw the 8th generation of the Civic in 2006. Currently the Civic is in its 10th generation. Honda showcased the All New Civic at the 2018 Auto Expo in Delhi. Honda has sold more than 25 million units of the Civic globally in 170 countries. The Civic Type – R which is the sports version is the fastest front wheel drive car in the world. The latest gen Civic is based on the all-new Honda compact global platform which the Accord and the CR-V also share. The Civic is available in Sedan, Coupe and Hatchback body styling globally.

Exterior & Styling

Well, if you happen to be a big fan of the 8th generation Civic which was sold in India (2006-2011) you won’t be disappointed with the all-new 10th generation Honda Civic. Also, we are glad that Honda decided to not bring the plain and boring looking 9th generation Civic to India, and we’re sure most of our readers agree with us. In its 10th generation avatar, the Honda Civic is built on an all-new platform. The 2019 Honda Civics’ design is now radically changed and it looks sharp, stylish and stunning from any and every angle. Starting with the front, the taut and tidy proportions of the all-new Civic gives the car sleek and swept-back body lines.

The bulging wheel arches are complemented and accentuated by its design details and nothing looks out of place or an afterthought. The bonnet features sharply designed character lines that draw your attention down to the aggressive front fascia, which is highlighted by chrome plated thick Honda wing that runs the full width of the all-new Civic. It is flanked by the new full-LED headlights cluster which looks mesmerizing at night, it continues with the in-line configuration and right below the headlights sits the all-LED fog lamps neatly housed within the blacked out portions of the front bumper, which is highlighted by chrome accents surrounding the fog lights.

The all-new Civic sits low, really low, just like the 8th generation Civic. The A-pillars are thin which lends the cabin an open and airy feeling environment while enhancing the forward visibility. The aggressively sloped roofline neatly integrates itself with the arching C-pillars that carry the overall curvature of the roof all the way to the rear corners of the long deck, where it intersects with the distinctive C-shaped ‘light-pipe’ all LED taillights. Coming to the side, the first thing you’ll notice is the massive and sporty looking dual-tone 17-inch wheels. The car features chrome door handles and blacked out B-pillars. Both the outer rear-view mirrors are finished in dual-tone with integrated LED turn signal indicators and the left outer rear-view mirror houses the left side blind spot camera. A chrome strip surrounds both the windows and the quarter glass on the thick C-pillars.

Then it’s the sharply creased and looped upper body side line which bulges over the rear wheel arches and meanders aggressively inward to join the upper end of the distinctive LED taillights; while the upswept lower body side line is split in half by the bulging rear wheel arches before bending inward to meet the rear bumpers upper surface. After 10 generations here is the all-new Honda Civic. It has grown to be a stunning C-segment sedan and Honda has made a game-changing move with this latest offering which exudes vigour and premium build quality.

Interiors

Honda has stepped up the game in interior design. It feels cozy and spacious at the same time. We got to sample the top-end diesel and petrol variants and if you thought the 8th generation Civic featured futuristic interiors, the 10th generation Civic just takes it to another level. Brushed metal finishing, leather, and soft-touch materials can be found in places that matter. You get leather-wrapped steering wheel on both the petrol and diesel cars, with paddle-shifters on the petrol car feels nice to hold. The blinking start/ stop switch looks awesome, to say the least. While the three-part full-colour instrument cluster greets you with a futuristic welcome animation, and the entire panel looks edgy and simple to read. You can choose to change to a different kind of information on the middle display toggling between distance to empty, average fuel consumption etc. We wish it had the options to choose between different themes or different driving modes (eco/ sport).

The 7-inch advanced infotainment display looks like its floating on the dash. It features a navigation system and much more with a nice, fluid and user-friendly interface and it also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Right below the infotainment system is the dual-zone climate control for the front passengers. The driver can choose to sit in the cold climate of Kashmir, while the co-driver chooses to sit in a more pleasant environment of Bangalore, that’s the beauty of dual-zone climate control. Sadly, the rear passengers have to make do with a simple aircon blower which can only be turned on or off. The gear lever is leather wrapped on both the automatic petrol and the manual diesel cars and the entire area surrounding the gear lever looks solid and premium.

HDMI, USB ports and all the sockets are all placed below the dashboard and can be accessed from the sides. The empty space in front of the gear lever has a hole to access the ports and it can be used as the cable organizer for all the cables and wires used, that’s quite clever. The center armrest can be slid forward and backward and can also be opened to access the deep storage space under it with one… actually two cup holders, clever bits again.

The leather upholstery used for the seats in soft to touch and very supportive. It offers one of the best under-thigh support, for a car that sits so close to the ground. Plus, the added advantage of 8-way electrically adjustable driver seat just adds to the comfort and convenience. The rear passenger seats are just as comfortable and supportive with enough room to stretch your legs. Talking about the headroom, even with a sloping roofline there is enough headroom for all the passengers, especially the ones sitting behind. The rear passenger seat also gets a center armrest with cup holders, it is also a 60:40 split-seat setup. The only eyesore is the black carbon fiber looking strip on the front seats which ruin the all-beige look. Overall fit and finish of the interiors on the 2019 Honda Civic is classy and luxurious with smart and clever touches all over.

Engine, Transmission, and Drive

The 10th generation Civic is available with numerous engine options globally but the India-spec car has simplified this to offer two engine and gearbox options, petrol automatic with paddle-shifters and a diesel 6-speed manual. The petrol engine is a 1,799cc, four-cylinder, i-VTEC unit which makes 141PS at 6,500 rpm. The torque figure is 174Nm at 4,300 rpm. This is mated to a continuously variable transmission. The ARAI claimed fuel efficiency figure is 16.5 kmpl. The diesel engine is the same 1,597cc turbocharged engine that we first saw in the CR-V. It makes a similar 120PS at 4,000 rpm and 300Nm at 3,000 rpm here. The only available transmission with this is a six-speed manual and comes with a claimed fuel economy of 26.5 kmpl which in our opinion is phenomenal for a car of this size. Dimensionally, the new Civic is 4,656mm long, 1,799mm wide and 1,433mm tall. Wheelbase is 2,700mm. The sedan can hold 430 liters of cargo which also hold a full-sized spare tyre with the same dual-tone alloy wheel. There are disc brakes on all four wheels, these work in conjunction with 215/50 Yokohama tyres and 17-inch dual-tone alloy wheels.

Both the cars offer similar driving dynamics, with limited time to sample both the petrol automatic and diesel manual cars. The diesel was our preferred choice amongst the two, with a manual gearbox mated to the 1.6L diesel engine it was sure the one with better acceleration and more torque. On the other hand, if you don’t like the diesel clatter and the hard acceleration of the diesel motor, the petrol automatic is the one to go with. The CVT gearbox on the petrol motor is smooth shifting and linear across the rev-band. One can hardly tell if the petrol motor is running when the engine is idling, it is silky smooth, refined and extremely silent. The suspension setup on both the cars is good and aids in better driving dynamics, special mention goes to the rebound damping while tackling bad roads and mountainous speed breakers, not even once did we scrape the underbody of the car. For an electrically assisted power steering, it is communicative, well weighted and precise, and offers good feedback under various driving conditions. It’s one of the better driving cars ever to have come out of the Japanese car manufacturer’s production line.

Safety

The All New Honda Civic comes loaded with safety features which include, six air-bags, ABS with EBD, VSA, Electrical parking brake, brake assist, auto brake hold, agile handling assist, hill start assist, adaptive steering control, multi angle rear view camera, ISOFIX, Honda Lane Watch, ASEAN NCAP 5-star rating to name few.

Competition Check

The Honda Civic competes with the likes of the Skoda Octavia, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla,

Verdict

Honda has come a long way with the Civic, this has been an instrumental model for making the Japanese brand iconic and known as it is today. The all-New Civic has all the qualities that make it a complete package in its segment, which includes the diesel motor that the previous model was lacking. Aggressive pricing should be a deciding factor for any company to make or break their product. The 8th generation Civic was priced perfectly. But, back then everything was cheaper. Also, back then the dollar price was around ₹43 and today it’s more than ₹70. If Honda decides to offer the 2019 Civic similarly priced, it’ll surely kill the competition. We at Motor World India are expecting the price to be anywhere between 16-20 lacs ex-showroom.

4.72 Out of 5
Exteriors
Interiors
Engine & Gearbox
Ride & Handling
Safety

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