Honda: 2014 Civic LN review

Honda: 2014 Civic LN review

Back in the day I was a composer for TV and games and things, and one of the first things you learn is that it’s not about you. Your music is not there to distract from the visuals, it’s there to support it. Sure, certain themes stand alone, but in the whole mix of elements of a TV show, computer game or film, your music supports the scene. If the audience notices your music, you might just have overdone it. In a metaphorical sense that’s what the Honda Civic LN does for your journey.

Honda Civic LN 2014 frontHonda has produced a car which fails to make me notice it. It’s a car so perfectly supportive of my intent to get from A to B that I almost forget it’s there. It’s not engaging like a sports car (it never once egged me on to late-brake into a corner), it’s not plush and opulent like a high-end Euro, and it’s not coarse like some cheap runabout with a thrummy engine.

No, the Honda Civic LN 2014 dashboardCivic occupies a territory that that other stalwart of consumer acceptance, the Toyota Corolla, occupies: it’s a Buddhist landscape of having everything while having nothing.

I’ll clarify: if you are buying a car like a Civic, driving is not something you get excited about, driving is something that you do so that you don’t have wait in the rain to catch the bus. When you drop into the seat in the Civic LN you have got everything you need for the journey at your fingertips, and you don’t want it to be fussy or complicated.

In the Civic’s case, it’s fairly comfortable and spacious, you press the pedal on the right to start moving and move the round thing in front of you to change direction. It also has all those other car-type things like wheels, a motor, windows…umm…a glovebox, but it doesn’t give you back emotions or connection. It just ‘is’.

It can be complicated and multi-faceted if you want toHonda Civic LN 2014 front interior delve more deeply. The entertainment system connects to your phone, you can browse the internet or look at the reversing camera image via the 7-inch screen and, if the fact that you can check Facebook on your car’s dashboard isn’t enough, there’s an HDMI (i.e. high-definition video) just in case you want to watch a movie on the not-so-big screen. The seats aren’t comfortable enough to watch anything recent by Peter Jackson, though.

The LN is the premium model so it gets leather seats and a leather-covered steering wheel, satellite navigation, sunroof, rear parking sensors, paddle-shift gears, a 2-litre 114kW petrol engine rather than the lower spec 1.8-litre 104kW engine, and 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/45R17 tyres as opposed to 16-inch alloys with 205/55R16 tyres.

It has a futuristic split dashboard which can be a little difficult to see if you are short (I’m not, but I pretended I was temporarily for the purposes of this review).

It has the obligatory 5-star ANCAP crash test rating and if you are light with your right foot Honda says it will deliver 7.5l/100km on the combined cycle. I managed 7.1l/100km with a passenger on a trip from Auckland to Waikino and back, which was predominantly open road driving at around 100kph.

Honda has created a car that’s a bit like the perfect robot butler. It looks a bit high tech and you might not understand what’s going on underneath the surface, but it should be able to anticipate your needs and guide you through your day with no fuss, never interfering in your thought process and never giving you anything to become attached to.

Price: The LN starts at $39,990 for the base model or $42,990 for the sport option, or you can get a Civic S for $33,900 or $36,400.


  • Lots of equipment
  • Almost zero fuss


  • Fiddly dashboard and instrumentation layout

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