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However, Apple CarPlay comes with Siri Eyes Free mode and Android Auto with Google Voice for hands-free operations. Both connect via USB cable rather than being wireless.
Bluetooth phone and audio streaming are also standard and there’s a two-tier smartphone tray at the bottom of the front console with a useful cable management opening.
The top-spec Civic VTi-LX gets dedicated Garmin satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic updates. All other models rely on smartphone links for navigation.
The standard 180-Watt audio system has eight speakers, while the RS and VTi-LX feature a 542-Watt premium audio with 12 speakers, including two satellite speakers, centre speaker and sub-woofer. Digital radio is available on VTi-L, RS and VTi-LX models. SAFETY In addition to the common denominator safety features (airbags, enhanced brakes and stability/ traction control) all Civic variants get a multi-angle reversing camera; emergency stop signal; low tyre pressure warning; hill start assist; and Isofix child seat anchor points on the two outer rear seats.
VTi-S and above get front and rear parking sensors as well as LaneWatch which uses a camera mounted at the rear of the left-hand mirror to provide an 80-degree view of the left lane when the left indicator is activated.
The top spec Civic VTi-LX takes safety to a higher level with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assist technology that includes automatic emergency braking; forward collision warning; lane departure warning; adaptive cruise control with low speed follow; lane keeping assist and road departure mitigation. DRIVING Our test car was the top-of-the-range Honda VTi-LX sedan which, with its raft of safety equipment at an affordable price, is likely to be the preferred choice for family buyers.
All-round visibility is excellent including the safety and convenience of narrow A-pillars.
The interior has an elegant look and feel with a high level of comfort. The front seats are well-proportioned and comfortable while the rears could easily pass for those in a car in the next size up.
The dashboard is logically designed with a tachometer and digital speedometer directly in front of the driver and a large infotainment touchscreen in the centre of the dash.
We love the instrument lighting that increases and decreases in brightness to reflect driving efficiency ranging from green through bluish-green and up to blue. Great way to become aware of the most fuelefficient style of driving.
The new 1.5-litre turbocharged engine pulls strongly with little effort and contributes to a very pleasant environment to counter the hustle and bustle of urban driving. The quiet engine and underbody streamlining contribute to one of the quietest small cars that we’ve driven.
The CVT is well-matched to the engine with the option of paddle shifting for manual control if required.
A new generation of G-Design shift logic aids acceleration and has a more positive driving touch with reduced turbo lag.
Honda claims the Civic VTi-LX will $22,390 (CVT) $24,490 (CVT) $27,790 (CVT) $31,790 (CVT) $33,590 (CVT) $50,990 (six-speed manual)