Perennial Favourite

BY Burnpavement

Now in its tenth generation, the Civic returns revised from the ground up to compete with a new generation of small family sedans

Universal appeal. For a long time that is what the Civic has offered, being both a practical and reliable saloon for the family man and a peppy handler for the keen driver. Look on the road and you will still see many Civics from the 90’s plying our roads in various states of tune. From humble family runabouts to full on track-stars, they all testify to the popularity of the civic platform.

However the Civic has also had its share of lows, most recently with progress stagnating after discontinuation of the ‘FD’ generation in 2011, as rivals came out with powerful turbocharged engines, more tech-toys and snazzier looks. For 2016 though, the Civic is all-new from the ground up and if looks are anything to go by, this is a proper revitalisation of the Civic with swept back LED headlights, a wider stance and a sleek fastback profile.

The spec sheet also looks promising with a new 1.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder on offer, featuring technology like direct fuel injection and an electronic wastegate for the turbocharger. Predicted output is 170 hp with peak torque arriving from a low 1800 rpm while mileage is around 15 km/l, which compares well with rivals like the Volkswagen Jetta (122 hp, 16 km/l).

However, enthusiasts will grieve at the omission of the tactile manual gearbox Hondas are known for, with only a CVT available as of now. If it’s any consolation, the CVT has a sport mode to minimize the slushiness they are known for. What drivers will appreciate however, is the redesigned suspension, torque vectoring and new chassis being stiffer and lighter than any Civic before.

In addition, the body itself now has full underbody panelling and triple-sealed doors for a quieter cabin, while hydraulic suspension bushings — technology typically reserved for the premium marques — help isolate road vibration. The pragmatic will also appreciate more space with 2 inches more rear legroom, marginally more boot space with a larger opening and a large center console.

Much like the Jazz and Vezel, the Civic’s new cabin follows the theme of sharp lines and techno-chic while Honda promises improved materials and contemporary cabin tech. A whole suite of driver assists such as lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control are available, while niceties like a full TFT instrument flanked by a 7 inch touchscreen loaded with Apps like Google maps and Google Now can also be had, bringing the Civic into the new age.

With the 2016 model, it looks as though the Civic has stepped out from its slump — now armed with ammunition to take on its rivals in the form of sharp looks, a strong powertrain and a refined tech-laden cabin. There is little doubt that if priced right it will be a popular car, though we at Burnpavement will continue to hope for a sporty “Si” model available with a manual gearbox, acting as an affordable way to bridge the gap between the base car and the manic Type-R.