Time out with refreshed Honda Civic

By RIZAL JOHAN | 14 October 2015

The new Honda Civic facelift sedan was officially launched last November in Malaysia and while this review may be long overdue, CarSifu took its time because we were interested to see how the car ages.

Review units tend to go through different hands within the local motoring media outlets and, as such, takes more of a beating than individually-owned vehicles.

It was a good opportunity then to see how the wear-and-tear affected the car on a surface-level. We left out stuff like the brakes, engine, transmission and tyres because there is just too many factors involved.

Honda Civic - 01
Instead, we looked at the things that everyone would notice such as the upholstery, door handles, chrome-fittings and the like.

First though, let’s refresh our memories on the facelifted Civic which comes in three variants: the entry-level 1.8S, the mid-range 2.0S and the high-spec 2.0 Navi.

There was a reduction in price when the facelift was introduced from around RM2,000 to RM4,000 between the three variants.

And after the introduction of GST in April this year, the price went down even more from around RM600 to RM1,000.

The Civic is now priced at RM113,198 (1.8S), RM124,779 (2.0S) and RM132,210 (2.0 Navi). All prices are on-the-road with insurance and inclusive of GST.

Honda Civic - 02
For this review, we got our hands on the top-of-the-range 2.0 Navi which sports the new colour introduced for the facelifted Civic, Twilight Blue Metallic.

The eagle-eyed among you would have figured out that this colour was previously available on the Honda CR-V.

If you can’t tell the difference between the facelift and the pre-facelift model, well then that’s understandable as the design changes are minimal.

The facelift Civic has updated the front-fascia with a honeycomb grille and a wide U shaped chrome element cradling the Honda logo.

And there is also a bit more chrome between the front fog-lamps.

The interior has also stayed pretty much the same with the exception of the piano black trim and the touch-screen display which has been expanded to 7-inch compared to the previous 6.1-inch.

Honda Civic - 14
This head unit includes navigation, Mirror Link, Personal Media Access, Bluetooth, two USB ports, an HDMI port and reverse camera.

Everything remains the same under the hood with the 2.0litre SOHC i-VTEC engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission which outputs 155PS at 6,500rpm and 190Nm of torque at 4,300rpm.

Driver and passenger seats are wrapped in leather as is the steering wheel which gives off a rather premium surrounding. Another eye-catching feature is the tiered layout of the dashboard which clearly separates various functions of the instrument cluster.

The large tachometer right behind the steering wheel takes a big chunk of the real-eastate and with good reason; its a prime feature in sports cars and while this is not a Type R Civic, it still leaves a good impression nonetheless.

Another sporty and welcome feature are the paddle shifters.

Honda Civic - 15
The Civic has the convenient keyless entry with push start ignition.

Funnily enough, the placement of the push start and the hazard light button, being side-by-side and both are circular and red, can be confusing initially.

Overall, the cabin is spacious and comfortable for front and rear passengers with a wheelbase of 2,670mm and being in the driver’s seat is simply a joy as it has a cockpit ambience with its driver-centric layout.

Get behind the wheel of the Civic and it provides responsive acceleration with a light but weighted feel to the steering and provides good turning radius.

Anyone who thinks that this car is too long for them to drive will be in for a surprise as it behaves like a compact car.

And if you are in the mood for a little spirited driving then the Civic is sure to put a smile on your face.

Floor it and the exhaust note floods the cabin, not excessively though, and the car pulls away confidently in a straight-line and is very well behaved around turns and bends too.

Honda Civic - 12
Now this Civic review unit, which has clocked over 14,000km, is in really good shape despite being a review unit which has been “abused” by many hands over the year.

There are some very minor scratches behind the driver side door handle but the chrome handle itself is relatively scratch-free.

Inside, the new car smell has all but disappeared.

However, the leather upholstery looks and feels good and the piano black trim which is found on the door armrest and around the gear shifter is still shiny and without any scratches.

Honda Civic - 05
The only significant area where scratches are visible is the tray area in the centre console located below the climate control panel. This however, is to be expected as its plastic material becomes a temporary home for keys and coins among other things.

These are areas where your hands come in contact with the most including the steering wheel, the controls on the steering wheel and the stalks all look new including the power window switches.

So far, the wear-and-tear of the Civic is very minor despite it being used by many test drivers. We think it would be in even better shape in the hands of an individual owner.