Honda’s first Thaibuilt Civic was a hit
IF THE previous generation Civic seemed a little cheap and cheerful, the eighth generation reignited the Civic brand. It really needed a boost, given that it was then facing classy European models from Ford and Holden and several pricedriven small cars from Japan.
Honda’s Civic has been a mainstay of the brand since the 1970s but most models have tended to be conservative.
The eighth generation stepped forward with an adventurous shape and a futuristic cabin, available only as a four-door sedan.
The Civic came in three models, plus a hybrid (which really is a subject on its own).
Under the shapely new skin, the four-cylinder petrol engine options were a 1.8-litre fitted to the VTi and VTi-L and a 2.0 in the Sport. Transmissions were a five-speed manual and a fivespeed auto. The allindependent suspension copped criticism. The handling was fine and grip good but the ride was not as comfortable as it should have been.
The VTi was quite well equipped with air, cruise, power windows and mirrors standard, plus a full-sized spare. The VTiL had a six-stacker CD system with MP3, alloy wheels and auto air, while the Sport had a sunroof and leather trim.
Hondas are generally robust and reliable and the Civic, well- engineered and well-built, was no exception. Few issues are reported to Carsguide, and those that are tend to be of an individual nature and not widespread. Check for a verifiable service record. Hondas need regular and proper maintenance to live a long and happy life.
All models came standard with ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution; electronic stability control became available only in 2008 when it was fitted to the Sport. The base VTi had dual front airbags, but the VTiL also had side front airbags, and the range-topping Sport had all of that plus curtain airbags. ANCAP rated the base model at four stars.
Honda claimed the 1.8-litre averaged 6.9L/100km, the 2.0-litre 8.4L/100km. On Carsguide’s test, the Sport returned 8.2L/100km, impressive for a 2.0.
Step up: Model No. 8 gave Civic a needed boost