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.