Ninth generation delivers the goods
Smaller outside but even bigger inside than recent Accords, Honda’s new Civic has arrived in New Zealand, Dave Moore writes.
When you compare the first Civic of 41 years ago with the new ninth generation version the only connection is the name. Connect the dots of each Civic through the years and it all forms an exponential growth curve, meaning that newer smaller Hondas have slipped into the range to do the original Civic’s job.
The 2012 Civic Sedan range arrived in New Zealand this month and the good news is that despite its extra cabin volume most models are cheaper than the equivalent outgoing versions.
As before, the 2012 Civic is available in three versions with the manual 1.8 S model starting at $32,900 compared with last year’s $33,800. Automatic, asks another $2000.
The 1.8 S uses an improved version of the previous 1.8-litre I-VTEC petrol engine, delivering the same 104kw and 174Nm of torque, though the figures do not impart the improvements in the mid-range with a flatter, more amenable torque curve, that is noticeable on the road.
The 2.0 S model is an automatic-only and comes with leather and a power glass and shade two-way sunroof, and asks a reasonable $38,500 compared with the old car’s $40,500.
The 2.0 S still uses a 2.0-litre I-VTEC fourcylinder engine but this time instead of being a separate twin-cam unit, the engine is now an enlarged version of the smaller single-cammer, putting out 114kw and 190Nm of torque.
Fuel consumption for the 1.8 is listed at 6.8 l/100km in manual form and 6.7 with automatic, and the 2.0 litre returns 7.5L/100km compared with the earlier model’s 8.4 l/100km.
The hybrid Civic costs a little bit more at $43,500 thanks to improvements to the model’s powertrain which is now closer to that of the company’s recently-launched CR-Z hybrid sports car, though unlike the Z car the Civic can still be driven on electricity alone.
The hybrid is powered by a Jazz Sport-derived 1.5-litre petrol engine, paired with the latest version of Honda’s integrated motor assist system, producing a combined 82kw and 172Nm.
All the new Civics have a nose-down, tail-up attitude, a neat soft-wedge profile. The window silhouette is narrow and crisp, and pointy lozengeshaped front lamps slide into the new smiley-face chrome-moustached grille.
The hybrid adds a wee vestigial spoiler, its own unique IMA hybrid grille and blue tones to its headlights and tail lights.
From the rear, the new car looks a little like a miniaturised C-class Mercedes-benz, which is a good move, because the rear of the old car could easily be mistaken for the Holden Cruze sedan.
CIVIC SEDAN: The 2012 Civic Sedan range arrived in New Zealand this month and the good news is that despite its extra cabin volume most models are cheaper than the equivalent outgoing versions.