2017 Honda Civic VTi-S Hatch
When Honda Civic first appeared back in the 1970s, it was a tiny city car with a super economical petrol engine.
Recently introduced Gen’ 10 Honda Civic is a big car for its class that still has an economical four cylinder petrol engIne.
It ain’t the prettiest thing on the road by a longshot with a mish-mash of disparate body lines but actually driving the new Civic VTi-S hatch is very satisfying.
The VTi-S hatch driven uses an ancient, single cam, 1.8-litre petrol engine and not the new 1.5 high tech turbo.
Doesn’t really matter because the old plonker has plenty of get-go and uses minimal fuel into the bargain. We saw 6.0-litres/100km without trying.
All new Gen’ 10 Civics are autos using a stepped CVT which functions like a conventional auto – because it runs through what’s called a torque converter, just like a conventional auto.
Honda must have spent some time cutting noise, vibration and harshness associated with the VTi-S powertrain because it is smooth as silk and sweet running while making minimal noise.
THE SPORTIEST CIVIC
The CVT efficiently taps into available power and torque making the drive feel decidedly sporty.
Same goes for the car’s dynamics which qualify this new model as the sportiest Civic ever.
The steering in particular feels great in your hands offering quick response, with good weighting and no bump steer deflection when you hook through rough corners.
When you can hear it, the engine has a pleasing raspy voice adding to the car’s sporty allure.
Thanks in part to a clever brake vectoring system that aids cornering, Civic is a driver’s car unlike many competitors which only qualify as cheap moving boxes for commuting.
There are some omissions in the new Civic range in particular the availability of advanced driver assist technology, packaged as “Honda Sensing’ and only fitted to the range topping LX model. All the others get only a smattering of this high tech safety equipment.
Civic’s ANCAP crash rating is 5-stars.
And what the heck is Lanewatch for – a camera built into the left exterior mirror that pipes a rear view image onto the car’s centre screen when you turn left. That’s what the mirror is for isn’t it?
Ah well, the tech boffins obviously couldn’t help themselves.
➔ Great performance from fairly basic engine
➔ Super sporty feel for a mainstream small hatch
➔ Impressive steering response
➔ Quiet cabin
➔ Roomy interior especially rear seats
➔ Unobtrusive CVT auto
➔ Generous level of standard equipment
➔ Leather sports wheel
➔ Reasonable economy at approximately 6.0-litres/100km
➔ Helpful front and rear park sensors
➔ Quality feel
NOT SO MUCH
➔ Minimal driver assist features
➔ Display audio phone streaming a cheap alternative
➔ Space saver spare
➔ Annoying proximity locking system
ENGINE: 1.8-litre,SOHC, petrol four cylinder 104kW/174Nm
TRANSMISSION: CVT auto
THIRST: 6.0-litres/100km (tested)
0-100KMH: About 8.5 seconds
ALTERNATIVES: Hyundai i30 SR $25,950, Kia Cerato Sport $24,790, Mazda3 Touring $25,290, Subaru Impreza 2.0i-L $24,690, Toyota Corolla SX $26,000