Honda Civic VTi-L sedan

Mid-grade models benefit from safety upgrade.

Honda’s popular Civic sedan range has come in for an update, headlined by the introduction of Honda Sensing safety and driver-assist technologies on the mid and upper VTi-L and RS grades.

Honda Sensing includes Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Road Departure Mitigation System and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow.

There’s a refresh of the exterior styling and interior design, too. The front bumper has been redesigned with a new lower grille, finished in matching gloss black on all variants. A piano black upper grille is now fitted to all models, apart from the VTi.

The VTi-L scores electrically-retractable door mirrors with auto-fold function, while a new Platinum White pearlescent colour has been added to the paint palette.

Interior updates include:

  • New dashboard trim inserts featuring a geometric embossed finish.
  • New seat trims on the VTi-S grade and above, all featuring a chequered accent centre panel on both the seat base and backrest.
  • New volume control knob, incorporating audio on/off functions.
  • New hard keys for the core display screen functions.
  • New, smooth-finish steering wheel-mounted rocker switch for remote volume control.
  • New push buttons for one-touch adjustment of fan speed on the dual zone climate control airconditioning system.
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto now is standard across the complete Civic sedan line-up.

Honda Civic sedan MY19 interior

What hasn’t changed is the Civic’s amenable driving manners. Though holding no pretentions of overt sportiness (big brother, the Civic Type R, takes care of that), the VTi-L goes well and is a car you could happily live with every day.

Its 127kW/220Nm 1.5-litre direct-injection, turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, driving the front wheels through a CVT auto, makes for smooth, brisk performance. 0-100km/h comes up in a respectable 7.5 seconds. ADR combined cycle fuel economy is 6.0-litres/100km, though on test we averaged 10.0

Ride quality and handling rate among the best in the Small car segment. Inside, rear and front, is comfy and spacey. At 517 litres – some 22 litres more than the last locally-built VF-series Holden Commodore – boot space amounts to sizeable.

In all, there’s much to like and little to dislike, a point obviously not lost on buyers. In Australia, in excess of 360,000 Civics have been sold since the first-generation vehicle went on sale locally in early 1973. Globally, the Civic is Honda’s longest-running automotive nameplate and its best-selling model, with more than 25 million sales since 1972.

KEY STATS

  • MLP: $27,990 (plus on-road costs)
  • ENGINE: 1.5-litre, VTEC, turbo-petrol 4-cyl.
  • TAILPIPE CO2 (g/km): 142

FOR:

Road manners; smooth, responsive engine; spacey interior and boot.

AGAINST:

Space saver spare wheel, no rear seat air vents.