Snazzy looks and brilliant driving manners make the Civic a very nice sedan

Honda Civic Long Term Review

Car Tested: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC ZX
Kms Done: 4121 kms
Test Started at: 6447 kms
Test Concluded at: 10,568 kms
Mileage: 15.53 km/l, 17.81 km/l (best), 13.26 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 265.35-litres
Total Fuel Cost: Rs. 20,698/-
Fuel Cost Per Km: Rs. 5.02/-

Gorgeous design and a fabulous ride and handling balance make the Civic an outstanding sedan

I drive a fourth generation Honda City petrol and I absolutely love the car for its downright performance. When the Civic entered our long term fleet, I was really looking forward to spending some quality time with it because I wanted to dive deep and see how the new Civic is like to live with on a daily basis. Having driven the older Civic quite a few times, I used to love its performance and driving dynamics but quite frankly the ground clearance used to be a cause of concern too. Got the Civic diesel home and grew such a nice bond with the car that it was seriously hard to let it go when its tenure with us came to an end.

The excellent driving position coupled with the snug driver’s seat feels remarkably sporty

I had driven the new Honda Civic for the first time in 2019 when we were shooting a comparo of it with the Jeep Compass. Was so smitten by the car’s handling that I was longing to drive the car “properly”. Thankfully, the same car entered our long term fleet and the first thing that I noticed when I sat in the driver’s seat was the sheer width of the car. The Civic is low-slung and wide in typical Honda fashion and this is one attribute that I like about my City too. Once you get used to the dimensions of the sedan, driving it is an absolute breeze. Outward visibility is quite decent and the LaneWatch camera is a boon at times. The driver’s seat is snug and comfortable, however, I never really sat at the rear when the car was with me.

The diesel engine suffers from turbo lag lower down but the mid-range punch makes up for it

The tenth-generation Honda Civic is available with a 1.8-litre petrol engine or a 1.6-litre diesel unit in India. The diesel engine is offered only with a 6-speed MT and while 120 PS and 300 Nm don’t sound much on power, the fact is that the Civic diesel is quite peppy in the mid-range. Yes, there is a fair amount of lag before the turbo starts spooling and then the Civic starts gaining pace quickly and in-gear acceleration does feel very sprightly. The oil-burner also fares well in terms of refinement with the clatter not being too bothersome and much better-controlled than Honda’s 1.5 diesel engine.

The eye-catchy design combined with the ergonomic cabin sets the Civic a class apart

Superb ride quality, confident handling and a slick-shifting gearbox all make the drive very enjoyable

The driving position is just too good. Each and every control and button falls within easy reach of the hand and the positioning of the gear lever is just spot on. There’s a nice sporty vibe inside the cabin which brilliantly complements the sexy looking exterior. The new Civic is a rare car on our roads and it does grab a good number of eyeballs due to its wide and low stance and the very attractive looking rear of the car. Even at night, the amber fender lights and the LED headlamps look striking. In fact, the Civic is one of the very few cars in India to come with fender lights (these lights are compulsory in the US) and that’s why identifying a Civic from far is easy in the dark.

The cabin is neatly laid out and has a functional design

Being a global model, Honda hasn’t cut corners on the Civic. Yes, the quality of the cabin may not feel as premium as a VW from a similar segment but the fit & finish is quite good and everything feels built to last. The Civic absolutely shines in the ride and handling department. The handling is just too good and the body control is mind-blowing, something that you must experience. I feel the Civic’s handling is slightly better than the outgoing Octavia’s too. While I mostly drove the car within Mumbai itself, I did manage to extract some time for a quick Lonavala drive and really enjoyed pushing the Civic on the ghats. Some more power would have been welcome too!

The new Civic has sufficient ground clearance and doesn’t scrape its underbelly

The Honda Civic diesel’s ARAI rated fuel economy is 23.9 km/l and while I couldn’t achieve that much in this stint, I did manage to extract 15.53 km/l which I calculated using the tank-to-tank method and I was pretty satisfied with this number for a D-segment sedan. The ride is also very comfortable and the Civic doesn’t get unsettled easily on uneven roads. The suspension isn’t very stiffly sprung and there’s a fine balance between comfort and sportiness. The manual gearbox has short and slick throws, the gears are well-gated but the clutch isn’t feather-light. It is somewhere between light and heavy.

With a full tank of diesel, the Civic can easily cruise for ~700 kms

To sum up my experience, the Honda Civic is a brilliant car for sure. Looks smashing, has a decent set of features and drives really well. Yes, some additional power and possibly a diesel automatic combo would have been welcome for sure, especially at this price point but apart from these things, there’s not much that can go wrong with this car. Honda cars are known for their reliability and fuss-free ownership experience and that is something that even I can vouch for with my City. The Civic could have had slightly more attractive pricing but word on the street is that Honda dealers are offering good discounts on this car and it is without a doubt a very desirable sedan in its segment.

The D-segment has been witnessing low demand year on year due to the preference towards SUVs

What’s Cool

  • Attractive and eye-catchy design
  • Feature-loaded cabin with good build quality
  • Frugal and punchy diesel engine
  • Excellent driving dynamics and ride quality

What’s Not So Cool

  • No diesel automatic option
  • Pricing could have been a bit more attractive
I cherished every moment with the Civic and it was hard to say goodbye to this sensational sedan

Further Reading –

Honda Civic Long Term Review – First Report

2019 Honda Civic Review

2019 Honda Civic Video Review

Honda Civic Pros & Cons In Hindi [Video]

Honda Civic vs Skoda Octavia – Shootout

Honda Civic vs Jeep Compass – Shootout [Video]