Very civilised

Honda’s first Thaibuilt Civic was a hit

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Reviews - GRAHAM SMITH graham.smith@cars­

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

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