Honda Civic 1.8S 2012 Review

Honda Civic 1.8S 2012 Review

The first Honda Civic was introduced a couple of years before I was born – 1972. It was a time when you couldn’t give away the big-cubes muscle cars that now sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the oil crisis was very real and Soichiro Honda had a plan: a small, light car with a 1169cc engine that would get you from A to B (unless you hit C).

Yes, back in those days a one-star crash rating was common. Not now, though. The new Civic 1.8 VTEC 5-speed manual that we’ve had for the last week gets five stars with its six airbags ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist, electronic stability control and other safety measures. There’s even Motion Adaptive

EPS (electronic power steering) which initiates steering inputs that prompt you to steer in the correct direction during, for example, strong crosswinds or slippery cornering.

Interestingly the Civic is still considered a small car despite being almost one metre longer. It has 66.7 more kW than the original Civic; 104kW and 174Nm don’t provide high thrill levels, but do the job, and the resulting balance between adequate power, moderate engine size and Honda’s technology will give you around 6.7l/100km combined – not bad for a petrol motor in a car that’s a comfortable, spacious ride.

Really, the new Civic is related to the old Civic only by the fact that it has four wheels and the same name. Unlike you and your great-great-great-great grandfather there is no shared DNA.

The Civic’s styling still looks futuristic even several years after its introduction. It doesn’t look dated on the inside or outside and that’s good. The outside is all about sharp creases and a steeply raked windscreen. You get a ducktail spoiler on the boot, 16-inch alloys and colour-coded door handles, wing mirrors and bumpers.

The dashboard is split. You look at the rev counter through the steering wheel and the speedo and fuel gauge above the wheel. Either side of the digital speedo changes from blue to green if you are driving economically. To the left of the speedo is a screen which displays the trip computer and miscellaneous other features.

To the right of the steering wheel an Econ switch turns on the fuel saver system which alters a number of systems in the car including engine control, gear changes (but only in the CVT and automatic variants), IMA and regenerative braking (if it’s the IMA model which we drove a few weeks ago – read the review here), air conditioning and cruise control.

The steering wheel contains functions for the cruise control, Bluetooth phone integration and stereo. The stereo itself is an average-sounding unit which does the job but won’t vibrate your trousers. You can hook up your MP3 player (at the bottomof the dashboard) or iPod (in the central storage binnacle). The driving position is comfortable and visibility is OK but not brilliant rearwards right behind the car. There are no reversing sensors either.

 

In our car the upholstery and interior plastics were light-coloured which added a sense of spaciousness into the cabin in contrast with the dull greys that are the norm.

I drove a couple of friends out to Hobsonville point. They were impressed with the comfort levels of the Civic. Hobsonville Point is now a new suburb half an hour from downtown Auckland consisting of tiny sections with expensive houses that all look the same, but back in 1972 when the first Civic was revealed, it was an air base. You can still see this in various buildings. However, I’m not a military man and far prefer Civic duty.

Pros:

  • Drives well
  • Comfortable
  • Good balance of economy vs performance

Cons:

  • Rear visibility is poor when reversing and there are no sensors
  • Boot is a little on the small side

Price: from $34,900 (or $32,900 if you want the manual version)

Performance

Engine

Engine Type: i-VTEC (Intelligent Variable Valve Timing with Electronic Lift Control) performance and economy enhancing technology
Maximum Power (KW @ rpm): 82kW @ 5500rpm
Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm): 172Nm @ 1000-3500rpm
i-VTEC (Intelligent Variable Valve Timing with Electronic Lift Control) performance and economy enhancing technology
VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) for optimising power and efficiency
Drive-by-Wire (DBW) electronic throttle control
Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) Combined Engine
Fuel tank capacity (litres): 50
Recommended Fuel: 91-octane regular unleaded fuel
Switchable IMA Boost Program with 2 modes (Eco Assist): Normal and Econ for your choice of driving style

Handling

Brakes: 262mm (14″) front ventilated brake discs and 160mm (14″) rear drum brakes
MacPherson strut front suspension
Multi-link Double Wishbone rear suspension with front and rear stabiliser bars

Transmission

CVT automatic transmission
Gear Logic Control with Grade Logic Control
Sport mode

Safety & Security

Safety

Driver and Passenger front i-SRS airbags
Side airbags in front seats with OPDS (Occupant Position Detection System) on passenger seat
Full length side-curtain airbags
3-point ELR seatbelts (front and rear). Pretensioners, load limiters and height adjustable anchor points for front seatbelts
3 child seat tether points and ALR (Automatic Locking Reel) seatbelts in the rear
Seatbelt reminders (all seats)
Active headrests for front seats
Height adjustable headrests for all 5 seating positions
Electronic Stability Control – VSA (Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist) incorporating Traction Control
Motion Adaptive EPS (Electronic Power Steering) with crosswind assist
ABS (Anti-lock braking system ) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist)
Impact absorbing bumpers
G-CON (G-Force Control) Collision Compatibility body design
Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) collision compatibility body design
Child-proof rear door locks
Side intrusion beams

Security

Integrated security alarm system
Engine immobiliser
Remote central locking on all doors
Key less entry, with boot opener
Interior master door lock switch

Fuel Economy & Environment

Fuel Economy

Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms : 4.4

Emissions

Emissions fall within Euro V standards
Emissions fall within ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) standards
Emissions fall within AT-PZEV (Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle)
Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) CO2 (g/km): 104

ECON system

ECON Fuel Saver System
ECON Switch for Super Economy Mode
Ecological Drive Assist Programme for improved fuel economy
Auto-Stop fuel saver
Drive Efficiency Rating
Instant Fuel Economy Monitoring System with ECO Drive Bar
Instant Fuel Economy Monitoring System
Economy History – last 3 drives + current drive fuel economy

Styling and Features

Dimensions

Dimensions

Length (mm): 4549
Width (mm): 1753
Height (mm): 1434
Weight (kg): 1280
Max Weight (kg): 1740
Wheelbase (mm): 2670
Track – Front/Rear (mm): 1500/1530
Ground Clearance – non-load (mm): 150
Ground Clearance – full-load (mm): 110
Turning Radius (m): 5.42
Steering Wheel Turn Lock to Lock: 3.11

Exterior

Body

Power adjustable, manually retractable body coloured door mirror with integrated side turn indicator
Body colour bumpers and chrome door handles
Ducktail boot spoiler

Features

Variable intermittent front windscreen wipers with automatic rain sensor and automatic speed adjustment
Wheels: 15

Lights

Halogen headlamps – low/high beam
Front fog lamps

Interior

Cargo & Seating

Ergonomic seats
6-way manual driver’s seat adjustment
4-way adjustable front passenger seat
Rear window lock/unlock switch in drivers door
Power windows with drivers auto up/down and anti-trap
Boot light
Compact spare wheel
Rear seat folding centre armrest with cupholders
Magazine Rack Drivers Seat
Magazine Rack Passengers Seat
Spring loaded handgrabs, one with fold down coathook in rear
Cupholders
Centre console storage
Coin pocket
Velour interior trim

Comfort & Convenience

Air conditioning dust and pollen clean air filter
Auto Air Conditioning
Foot-rest
Leather trimmed tilt and reach adjustable 3-spoke steering wheel
Cruise control integrated into steering wheel
Drivers vanity mirror
Passenger vanity mirror
Door pockets
Front map reading lights
Door courtesy light
Ticket/card holder (driver only)
Glove Box
Accessory power outlet (12V socket)
Dual display dashboard for reduced driver fatigue and enhanced safety

Driver display

Multi information display (iMIDI) with clock, Bluetooth, iPod/mp3 integration
Outside temperature display
Tachometer
Average fuel economy (litres/100km)
Instant fuel economy
Fuel consumption display
Switchable Ecological Drive Assist Programme
Distance to empty
Average Speed Indicator
Bluetooth HandsFreeLink
Digital Odometer and Digital Trip Meters
Eco Guide/Eco Store
Elapsed Time Indicator
IMA System Power Flow Indicator

Entertainment

Audio

Audio type : In-dash stereo tuner
Speakers: 4×17 cm
Front Tweeters: Yes
CD player
MP3 compatible
WMA compatible
Folder control compatibility
USB input (memory stick and iPod compatible)
AUX 3.5mm input for music player (e.g. MP3 player / iPod)
Steering wheel audio controls
Speed sensitive volume control (SVC)

Bluetooth

Integrated steering wheel bluetooth
Bluetooth hands free telephone (HFT) system

Warranty

Vehicle 3 year, unlimited kilometre warranty
IMA Battery: 8 years or 160,000km, whichever comes first
IMA Battery Warranty upgrade available: 12 years or 160,000km, whichever comes first

Model Options

Civic 1.8S Manual

Price from $32,900 + ORC

Model Features

Engine Type: 1.8-litre, 16 valve
Maximum Power (KW @ rpm): 104kW @ 6500rpm
Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm): 174Nm @ 4300rpm
Brakes: 282mm (15″) front ventilated brake discs and 160mm (14″) rear solid brake discs
5-speed manual transmission
2 ISOFIX child seat attachment sets
Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms : 6.8
Emissions fall within Euro IV standards
Emissions fall within LEV II (Low Emissions Vehicle) standards
Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) CO2 (g/km): 161
Weight (kg): 1209
Max Weight (kg): 1670
Track – Front/Rear (mm): 1499/1522
Body colour bumpers and door handles
Variable intermittent front windscreen wipers
Wheels: 16
60/40 folding rear seats
Velour interior trim

Civic 1.8S Auto

Price from $34,900 + ORC

Model Features

Engine Type: 1.8-litre, 16 valve
Maximum Power (KW @ rpm): 104kW @ 6500rpm
Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm): 174Nm @ 4300rpm
Brakes: 282mm (15″) front ventilated brake discs and 160mm (14″) rear solid brake discs
5-speed automatic transmission
Hill Start Assist
Gear Logic Control with Grade Logic Control
Sport mode
Racing-inspired steering wheel mounted shift paddles
2 ISOFIX child seat attachment sets
Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms : 6.7
Emissions fall within Euro IV standards
Emissions fall within LEV II (Low Emissions Vehicle) standards
Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) CO2 (g/km): 159
Weight (kg): 1226
Max Weight (kg): 1690
Track – Front/Rear (mm): 1499/1522
Body colour bumpers and door handles
Variable intermittent front windscreen wipers
Wheels: 16
60/40 folding rear seats
Velour interior trim
Paddle shifters for +/- SportShift on steering wheel

Civic 2.0S Auto

Price from $38,500 + ORC

Model Features

Engine Type: 2.0-litre, 16 valve
Maximum Power (KW @ rpm): 114kW @ 6500rpm
Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm): 190Nm @ 4300rpm
Brakes: 282mm (15″) front ventilated brake discs and 160mm (14″) rear solid brake discs
5-speed automatic transmission
Hill Start Assist
Gear Logic Control with Grade Logic Control
Sport mode
Racing-inspired steering wheel mounted shift paddles
2 ISOFIX child seat attachment sets
Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms : 7.5
Emissions fall within Euro IV standards
Emissions fall within LEV II (Low Emissions Vehicle) standards
Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) CO2 (g/km): 178
Weight (kg): 1293
Max Weight (kg): 1690
Track – Front/Rear (mm): 1499/1522
Body colour bumpers and door handles
Variable intermittent front windscreen wipers with automatic rain sensor and automatic speed adjustment
Wheels: 17
Front fog lamps
60/40 folding rear seats
Leather upholstery
Paddle shifters for +/- SportShift on steering wheel
Electric glass sunroof with tilt/slide function and integrated sliding shade, with onetouch open/close function and anti-trap

Civic IMA CVT Auto

Price from $43,500 + ORC

Model Features

Engine Type: i-VTEC (Intelligent Variable Valve Timing with Electronic Lift Control) performance and economy enhancing technology
Maximum Power (KW @ rpm): 82kW @ 5500rpm
Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm): 172Nm @ 1000-3500rpm
VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) for optimising power and efficiency
Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) Combined Engine
Switchable IMA Boost Program with 2 modes (Eco Assist): Normal and Econ for your choice of driving style
Brakes: 262mm (14″) front ventilated brake discs and 160mm (14″) rear drum brakes
CVT automatic transmission
Gear Logic Control with Grade Logic Control
Sport mode
Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms : 4.4
Emissions fall within Euro V standards
Emissions fall within ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) standards
Emissions fall within AT-PZEV (Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle)
Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) CO2 (g/km): 104
Auto-Stop fuel saver
Drive Efficiency Rating
Economy History – last 3 drives + current drive fuel economy
Weight (kg): 1280
Max Weight (kg): 1740
Track – Front/Rear (mm): 1500/1530
Body colour bumpers and chrome door handles
Ducktail boot spoiler
Variable intermittent front windscreen wipers with automatic rain sensor and automatic speed adjustment
Wheels: 15
Front fog lamps
Velour interior trim
Switchable Ecological Drive Assist Programme
Eco Guide/Eco Store
IMA System Power Flow Indicator
Front Tweeters: Yes
IMA Battery: 8 years or 160,000km, whichever comes first
IMA Battery Warranty upgrade available: 12 years or 160,000km, whichever comes first

Words and photos: Darren Cottingham

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