Civic Duties

BY Burnpavement

Historically one of Singapore’s most popular family sedans, the all-new 10th-generation Honda Civic has now arrived, with a radically sportier look and for the first time, a turbocharged engine.

Like how night follows day, cats chase rats and angry netizens flood social media with complaints when the MRT system breaks down, the Honda Civic is one of life’s great constants; an institution that has seemingly been around forever and is perennially popular with the masses. As with previous models, this remained the case for the previous 9th-generation car, despite being widely panned for its lacklustre interior and handling. Perhaps stung by the criticism, Honda went back to the drawing board and completely redesigned the car for 2016, resulting in the sleek, low-slung machine you see here.

The latest ”FC” generation Civic is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor, eschewing the traditional three-box sedan shape for a much more rakish, coupe-like fastback profile. The full-width chrome grille sits above optional LED headlights and makes the front end look even lower and wider, while the distinctive boomerang-shaped taillights ensure that other drivers will never mistake the car they’re tailing for something else.

Inside, the dashboard now features a traditional instrument cluster instead of the double-decker displays of the old car, which is accompanied by a 7-inch touchscreen for all the infotainment and climate controls (including Apple CarPlay). The new Civic is claimed to offer increased cabin space and a larger boot, although it loses the flat floor that made transporting rear passengers a cinch.

So far, so good, but the real highlight of the new Civic is to be found under the bonnet. For the first time ever, a turbocharged engine is available for the Civic, a milestone that has been eagerly anticipated since it was announced last year. This all-new 1.5L DOHC VTEC Turbo pumps out a sprightly 173hp and 220Nm of torque, and hustles the car from standstill to 100km/h in 8.6 seconds. The Civic is also available in CAT A-friendly form, with a development of the old 1.6L SOHC i-VTEC mill, with 125hp and 152Nm. Both engines are hooked up to CVT transmissions developed under Honda’s ”Earth Dreams Technology”.

For a mass-market family car, the equipment list is impressive: the Civic 1.6L comes with keyless entry, steering wheel controls, paddle shifters, cruise control, Hill Start Assist, a rear view camera and the aforementioned 7-inch touchscreen. To that, the 1.5L Turbo adds 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, LaneWatch (a blindspot monitoring system), 8-way electric seat adjustment and LED headlights.

Such is the anticipation for the Civic that at least fifty buyers had made pre-orders way in advance and collected their new cars at the launch event. Tempted? The new Civic 1.6L is priced at $110,999, while the 1.5L Turbo costs $127,999.