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The all-new Honda Civic, now in its 10th generation, has returned to India. A lot is new, including a diesel engine option for the very first time here. Read on to find out how it fared in our road test.

Honda Civic i-DTEC

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is a legend and is now here in India in its latest generation packing a diesel engine with a manual transmission, no less. Odd as it may sound to some, the grunt and potent feel of a turbo-diesel is always welcome with a stick and the fact that petrol engine is still a 1.8-litre i-VTEC unit, albeit paired with only a CVT, doesn’t make me change my mind or alter my excitement level. Besides, this is the same 1.6 i-DTEC turbo-diesel engine from the larger and much heavier CR-V. This should be interesting.

Honda Civic i-DTEC

The new Honda Civic looks as grand as it looks sharp. There is plenty to make it appear every bit the modern car it is, from those LED headlamps to the shapely tail-lamp clusters to those pronounced lines giving the metal forms that quite few concept cars would manage to exhibit, let alone pull off well in production. On the styling front, it looks like a tight, svelte, four-door coupé. The long bonnet and sloping roof work well to make it stand out of the crowd, as do those smart 17-inch alloy wheels. It also bears a distinct family face which many say looks like the new Amaze. I disagree. I believe it looks more like the Insight, with a futuristic face and those headlamps and that is a big positive. After all, a stand-out design is what more than half the buyers in this segment seek.

Honda Civic i-DTEC

Inside, Honda have made their futuristic design approach evident. The styling on the information display, the centre console, and the overall theme of the cabin seems rather well-executed. However, the one very evident downside is the quality of materials used. The cringe-worthy elements, in particular, were the tacky plastic look of the silver lining in the info-display and the feel of the steering-mounted controls. But the one that really got to me was the feel of the door-panels. The fit-and-finish could do with a serious re-look in terms of robustness ― particularly considering this i-DTEC ZX costs more than Rs 22 lakh before taxes and faces competition from some solid names, the likes of the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, and Škoda Octavia, all of which have their highest manual variants priced below Rs 20 lakh. If you can get past that aspect, the Honda Civic feels rather comfortable. The seats are reasonably supportive, but a longer seat base and improved thigh support would be welcome.

The rear seats are also quite comfy and can comfortably seat two, while three would be a tighter fit. The centre arm-rest, though, simply pops out and plops on to the seat like a lifeless so-and-so. A better structured take would be a nice touch. The boot, at 430 litres, is large, but some of its rivals offer more. Even so, it can pack in a bunch of bags with ease.

More on page 2 >


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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