Honda Civic 1.8 E review: Refined sedan in sports car clothing

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Thanks largely to its great packaging and handsome style, the 10th-generation Honda Civic is a popular choice among Filipino car buyers—and that’s just based on the number of units I see on the road every day. According to Honda, they’ve sold more than 10,400 units as of March this year since the current-generation’s introduction in 2016.

For 2019, Honda gave its compact sedan some small styling and tech updates to improve upon an already solid package.

New exterior features in the 2019 Civic include a slightly reshaped front bumper, new LED headlights with integrated DRLs, and 16-inch Shark Gray metallic alloy wheels, giving the sedan a more aggressive stance.

Honda Civic

The new Civic retains its prominent hood and fastback roofline. I like this long hood-short trunk proportion because it makes the car look sporty. This Civic is long and wider that it almost looks like it’s the same size as the Accord. Almost. The rear still features those distinctive C-shaped LED taillights that look pretty slick.

The 1.8-liter mill is more than enough for city driving. It doesn’t offer the performance you’d expect from a sports car, but that’s because this car isn’t one (although you’d be forgiven to think that it is because it definitely looks the part).

The 1.8-liter motor delivers ample pulling power in both city driving and spirited highway driving. Driving in 20kph traffic yielded about 7.2 to 7.4kpL. At moderate 50-60kph speeds, the car
averaged 9 to 9.2kpL.

The Civic may be big, but its road manners are pretty impressive. Steering is precise and handling is commendable despite the car’s size.

INTERIOR

Honda Civic

For a sports car feel, Honda gave the Civic a low seating position coupled with a high center console. Fortunately for those not blessed with model height like me, the driver’s seat has a height adjuster, albeit a manual one.

There’s plenty of room in the cabin for five people. Even those at the back won’t feel cramped.

The infotainment system is a 7-inch touchscreen that supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I like that there are physical hard buttons and a volume knob rather than just an all-touch panel. This and the steering wheel-mounted controls make selecting and adjusting easier without taking one’s eyes off the road.

Honda Civic 1.8 E Specs

  • ENGINE: 1.8L SOHC i-VTEC
  • TRANSMISSION: Earth Dreams CVT
  • POWER: 139hp @ 6,500rpm
  • TORQUE: 174Nm @ 4,300rpm
  • BRAKES: ventilated discs front, solid discs rear
  • SUSPENSION: MacPherson strut with stabilizer front, multi-link rear
  • TIRES: 215/55 R16
  • SAFETY: driver and front passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, vehicle stability assist, multiview reverse camera, hill start assist, speed-sensing door locks
  • DIMENSIONS: 4,649 x 1,799 x 1,416mm; 1,226kg
  • PRICE: P1,185,000

Speed says

The 2019 Honda Civic 1.8 E CVT is a refined, grown up car with a sporty flair. It’s great for everyday driving and can deliver exhilarating performance when you want it to.

Words Katrina Rivere-Diga
First published in Speed Magazine September 2019 issue

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