No fuss Honda Civic a solid commuter

Honda Motor Southern Africa recently announced a series of improvements and upgrades to its Civic range. We spent some time in the tried and tested 1.8-litre naturally aspirated Elegance, middle-of-the-road, model derivative in the range.

The updates are limited to the exterior and interior only. Our test car produced 104kW of power at 6 500 rpm and 174Nm of torque at 4 300rpm and to be honest, this was just about enough to use in and around town. The fuel consumption came in at 8.9-litres per 100km, which is just about acceptable in this segment.

I can’t help but think the more expensive 1.5-litre turbocharged models would be better. The Elegance retails for a suggested price of R408 500 and to upgrade to the turbo you would need to haul out R474 700 for the privilege and the boost.

The entire range also continues with the seldom approved of Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and perhaps because I used the Civic for basic commuting I could almost have lived with the set-up. But this said, I don’t like a CVT transmission and wish Japanese manufacturers would opt for conventional torque converter boxes.

With the drive part doing exactly what it says on the box, what are the changes? The front end receives a redesigned front grille, a bolder, three-dimensional bumper, chrome garnished fog lamps and new styling details.

At the rear there are new chrome detailing along with 17-inch wheels featuring scythe-shaped spokes in Dark Grey completing the tweaks. Does it work? Not for me, but I am one man with my own tastes. Your opinion might differ.

On the inside the changes are subtle once again with the most attention being given to making the various controls more accessible and user friendly. And the already impressive low cabin noise levels have been further improved by making changes to the sound proofing.

This is a no fuss commuter type car given a little nip and tuck. And trouble-free commuting it should be too with a five-year/ 200 000km warranty, a five-year/90 000km service plan and AA Roadside Assistance for three years.

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