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Honda Civic VTi-LN sedan
Honda is billing it as Civic “reimagined and reinvented” – and the latest 10th generation Civic sedan could have what it takes to inspire significantly more buyers to try a model and brand that arguably has drifted into the doldrums in recent years.
A hatch version is scheduled for release in Australia in the first half of 2017.
The VTi-LN is the top-shelf sedan model and, as befits its status, Honda hasn’t skimped when it comes to standard features and driver assistance technologies. The latter includes adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, collision mitigation braking with forward collision warning, and lane watch blind-spot monitoring.
The last of these uses a camera integrated into the passenger-side mirror head to provide an 80-degree view of the left lane, when triggered by the left turn indicator coming on or when the driver presses a separate switch in the end of the stalk. The image is displayed on the centre display screen.
This is the only model in the range to include an integrated navigation system. Other models provide navigation functions via a Smartphone and either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
The Civic sedan is big on space. The boot is cavernous, although the old-fashioned gooseneck-style hinges intrude. An annoyance is the lack of boot tie-down points to secure items. A spacesaver spare is stored under the floor.
The front pews are firm but comfortable, although only the driver warrants cushion height and tilt adjustment, and neither features lumbar adjustment, a surprising omission given this is the top-spec Civic. The cabin also impresses with rear occupants well catered for, both for space and excellent seating comfort.
The VTi-LN’s 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine delivers agreeably solid and responsive performance, despite its relatively small displacement. On the downside, hard acceleration liberates an intrusive level of engine roar, a tendency exacerbated by the use of a CVT gearbox. Otherwise the CVT does a reasonable job, though I would argue it’s not the best that I have experienced. No conventional auto or manual gearbox option is offered.
The Civic isn’t overly sporty but certainly proved a capable handler when pushed hard through twists and turns. But if you push too hard and exceed the moderate grip levels of the 50 series Yokohama tyres, under-steer will set in. Steering is nicely weighted and consistent.
Space, ride and handling compromise, equipment and driver-assistance features.
No lumbar adjustment, engine noise, spacesaver, no tie-down points.
||1.5-litre, DOHC turbo-petrol 4-cyl.
|Acceleration to 100 km/h
||91 RON ULP
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.