Honda Civic Long Term Review
If you don’t need an SUV’s driving position and practicality, the Honda Civic is one of the best sophisticated and fun to drive sedans
I have always been a big fan of sedans and do end up regretting my decision of selling my second-generation Skoda Superb. So when the Honda Civic joined the MotorBeam long term fleet, I was very eager to experience a sedan again, something which I have been missing since months, after having jumped ship to SUV camp. First things first, this is a striking car and Honda’s latest design reflects sportiness, more so when you see the car from the side where the coupé like roofline makes its presence felt.
However, before I could soak into the Honda experience, Mumbai rains decided to play havoc which not only meant broken roads but also flooding in certain areas. The Civic being a low slung sedan, has to be driven very carefully over bad roads, more so over speed-breakers but the ground clearance is good enough to not touch the underbelly even on the worst of roads, one just needs to come down to a crawl. That said, psychologically you just hope and pray that the car doesn’t bottom out when crawling through a speed hump, it just hurts your heart if it scrapes.
The low ground clearance (when compared to an SUV) is the only issue with the Honda Civic but then I faced similar issues with the Superb too, although, as I said above, it’s very much manageable as long as you don’t drive fast over bad roads. The ride too is on the stiffer side but this D-segment Japanese sedan is an absolute treat to drive around the twisties as the steering is bristling with feedback and body roll is well contained too, this is a fun car and puts a smile on your face almost every time.
The Civic comes with a good set of features and equipment including a LaneWatch camera but ventilated seats would have been great too
What’s even better though is the driving position, which is quite sporty, and the instrument cluster is very easy to read too. The Civic is a long car but that’s not been an issue at all as trips to the mall are quite infrequent nowadays. The LaneWatch camera works like a charm and is very useful to eliminate blind spots on the left side but ventilated seats would be a great addition considering cheaper cars come with this comforting feature.
Our tester is powered by Honda’s 1.6-litre oil burner which offers great drivability but is quite vocal too. It feels punchy throughout the rev range and also revs nicely to the redline but doesn’t make much progress in the top-end. The 6-speed gearbox is smooth shifting and the clutch is light too although an automatic would be a brilliant addition to the diesel-powered Civic, as this is a car which simply excels in the city. Brake hold and electric parking brake further add to the convenience.
What I love about the Honda Civic is the sporty feel it offers without compromising on practicality. The i-DTEC mill is quite frugal too and is returning around 16 km/l with a mix of city and highway usage. The good economy is assisted by the low rolling resistance tyres which aren’t the best in terms of grip or probably the diesel torque really overwhelms the tyres when you get off the line with enthusiasm, spinning the wheels in glee. It’s been a fun experience with the stunning looking Civic and I can’t wait to drive it more.
- Striking and sporty design
- Feature-loaded cabin with good driving position
- Frugal diesel engine mated to a smooth gearbox
- Responsive steering with great feedback
What’s Not So Cool
- Low ground clearance
- No diesel automatic
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