The latest iteration of the Honda Civic will be rolling on Malaysian roads very soon. Like next month soon.
For those of you eagerly anticipating the new 10th generation Civic, you would have already read that it comes with the all new 1.5-litre turbo engine.
On top of it, the new Civic ups its sporty exterior design from the previous generation for an even more dynamic look.
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So before the new Civic arrives on our shores, Honda Malaysia rounded up the usual suspects (Malaysia’s motoring media) and sent us to Chiang Mai, Thailand where we could drive the car and learn what’s in store for the Malaysian market.
The new Civic is already available in Thailand and comes with two engine options and four variants. Likewise, both engines - the 1.5 turbo and the naturally aspirated 1.8 litre - will soon be introduced in Malaysia.
The basic specs are as follows: the turbo engine produces 173PS at 5,500rpm and 220Nm of torque from 1,700-5,500rpm. The 1.8 pushes out 141PS at 6,500rpm and 174Nm of torque at 4,200rpm. Both engines are mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Interestingly, the 1.8 is the entry level variant while the lower displacement 1.5 turbo will be the mid to high-end variants.
While Honda Malaysia didn’t announce the number of variants, they did say that it will mirror what the Civic has offered previously i.e. three variants. And you’re looking at the previous price range too between RM120K and RM140K.
Honda Malaysia however added that all variants will come with six airbags. It is also aiming to dominate and be the best where the C-segment is concerned. Having seen the new Civic only in pictures, it’s safe to say that the new design looks even better in person.
The lines flow upwards from the front fascia to the rear giving it an athletic stance and the fastback design of the C-pillar is simply classic. It’s also lower and wider than the previous Civic but the specifics are not available as yet. The 1.5 turbo has a premium interior design which is minimal and refined. It comes with smart entry and push start and the centre console has an enormous stowage space as centre consoles go.
The instrument panel has a digital display which looks modern and exiting and there are paddle shifters, electronic parking brake and a brake hold function. The cabin is also roomy with plenty of leg and head room for rear passengers.
We took a day trip up north to Chiang Rai travelling around 170km one way with both the 1.8 and 1.5 turbo.
Both cars displayed a high level of handling and comfort.
Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) was minimal although the turbo produced a louder exhaust note. It still drones due to the CVT gearbox but it is a fuller and raspier sound. A big improvement where Honda CVT exhaust notes are concerned.
The 1.5 turbo we drove came with a boot wing which makes it look even sportier but it’s the response and the power delivery that makes it exciting to drive.
It’s not going to overwhelm you but it gives the driver a lot of confidence when you’re driving at speed because it has a firm brake bite and it hugs the corners very well with only a slight amount of body roll. The 1.8 is impressive as well although it lacks the delivery of the 1.5 turbo. Both cars however have very well insulated cabins which even masks the high speeds.
Only when you look at the speedometer do you realize how fast you are travelling. This is the new age of the Honda Civic which exudes style, quality finish and confident, comfortable driving at low and high speeds. It isn’t the car your dad drove back in the day. Its grown and when that happens, you leave childish things behind.
The Civic is ready for booking at all Honda Malaysia's 88 dealerships nationwide.