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Mercury (Hobart) - Cars Guide - - COVER STORY -

PRICE The Civic starts with the VTi for $22,390, in­clud­ing cruise con­trol and re­vers­ing cam­era, though no parking sen­sors. The VTi-S adds al­loy wheels, sen­sors, fog lights and key­less en­try and start for $24,490. The VTi-L at $27,790 adds the turbo en­gine, 17-inch al­loys, auto lights and wipers, dig­i­tal au­dio and dual-zone air­con. The sporty RS costs $32,290 with LED head­lamps, leather trim high­lights, body kit and heated front seats. Head­ing the line-up at $33,590, the VTi-LX adds sat­nav and ac­tive driv­ing aids. TECH All mod­els get a seven-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen with An­droid/Ap­ple mir­ror­ing but only the VTi-LX gets Honda’s ac­tive driv­ing aids — au­tonomous emer­gency brak­ing, lane-keep­ing as­sist and, for the first time, adap­tive cruise con­trol with low-speed fol­low. PER­FOR­MANCE The RS is the show-off but the VTi-L and VTi-LX share the same corker of an en­gine. This 1.5-litre turbo four makes the nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 1.8 in the VTi and VTi-S seem pos­i­tively lethar­gic. Ex­pect 0-100km/h in about 7 secs.

DRIV­ING The RS rides on more ag­gres­sive rub­ber so there’s more tyre roar in the cabin over coarse roads. Chas­sis balance and steer­ing wheel feed­back are con­sis­tently good across the range. This car is un­ob­tru­sive around town and un­re­lent­ing when you do take it for a week­end spin. Just like the Civics of old ... only now with a CVT drone.

DE­SIGN The ex­te­rior styling is all crease­work and con­tours; the fairly con­ser­va­tive in­te­rior is well put to­gether. Cut­ting the boot off re­sults in the hatch be­ing about 10cm shorter than the sedan. This model is still 30mm wider and 130mm longer than its pre­de­ces­sor, free­ing up space through­out the cabin. Rear pas­sen­gers pick up 95mm ex­tra legroom and 45mm of ex­tra knee space, while the cargo ca­pac­ity is 414L.

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