The tenth-generation Civic is set to become much sportier and gets new engines ahead of its launch in early 2017
The tenth-generation of the Civic, Honda’s family-sized hatchback will make its world premiere later this month at the Paris Motor Show.
We’re not ones to be sucked in by flashy press releases from car manufacturers offering “lifestyle ambient mood settings” or “a driving experience to stir the soul” all of which is generally PR nonsense. However, Honda’s press release for the Civic has caught our attention.
If you picture a Honda Civic driver, Type-R aside, they are likely to be past retirement age, with a flat cap and drenched in beige. Well, Honda is clearly fed-up with this image and have gone all Formula 1 on us.
Its press release for the Civic mentions dynamic this and aggressive that, with ‘Sport’ getting 13 separate mentions – 13, in a Civic. So Honda, you have our attention, now knock our socks off.
The all-new Civic is now bigger (which doesn’t sound too sporting). It’s 130mm longer but crucially 30mm wider and 20mm lower with short overhangs, giving it a more aggressive and sporting stance.
The Civic's "sharp and aggressive ‘face’, pronounced wheel-arches and sculpted front and rear intakes hint at its sporting character.
It has been engineered from the ground up and the new Civic has a lightweight (16kg lighter than before) structure and more rigid body shell (a 65% improvement), while the car’s centre of gravity has been lowered by 10mm. Aerodynamically it’s also improved and includes complete underbody panelling – hang on a minute, they might be serious about this sports thing.
There’s a new suspension system with MacPherson struts at the front to provide high lateral rigidity for enhanced handling and an all-new multi-link suspension at the rear. Its engineers have set out to make the new Civic the best handling car in its class, with matching ride comfort.
Under the bonnet are two all-new VTEC turbo petrol engines, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo developing 127bhp and 148lb ft of torque as well as a 1.5-litre four-cylinder with 180bhp and 177lb ft of torque. Both are available with a newly-designed six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic.
Inside, there’s more room on offer as front shoulder room has increased by 10mm and there’s 30mm more space between the front seats while the seats have also been lowered to give the driver “a greater connection with the car.”
In the back, you get an extra 20mm of shoulder room and an impressive 95mm additional leg and 45mm knee room, while the boot has 478 litres of storage capacity.
The dashboard is all-new and redesigned, putting technology first. There’s a 7.0in digital screen between the instruments and Honda’s second-generation infotainment system will feature Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto.
Safety features are extensive and include autonomous collision avoidance braking, land departure warning, road departure mitigation, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.
This is a vital car for Honda to get right as the Civic is its best global seller and Honda appears to be leaving no stone unturned. Rivals like the Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra and the now ageing Ford Focus, all outsold the Civic in 2015. It'll also face tough completion from the new Hyundai i30.
A four-door sedan (saloon) version of the Civic has been on sale in the US for the past 12 months, while a mainland Europe saloon will also be shown at the Paris show.
To surmise, Honda wants this car to be fun, agile and dynamically rewarding with a distinctively sporty character. It arrives in early 2017.