The new Civic isn’t as dramatic on the inside as it is on the outside. Still it looks modern thanks to the flurry of asymmetric cues. It is a well thought-out cabin too with most controls falling to hand easily. With Honda cabins being top-notch as far as ergonomics are concerned, we were surprised by the placement of USB, HDMI and 12V charging ports, that are hidden behind the centre console and are extremely difficult to locate. Overall plastic quality is quite good and stuff like the soft touch dash-top and door pads (not as good as the Octavia’s) feels premium. But lower down, the hard plastics around the gear lever isn’t great and fit and finish is a notch or two down on the standards set by some of its competitors.
The seven-inch infotainment system on paper at least can hardly be faulted. You get two USB sockets, one HDMI jack, Bluetooth, reverse camera with zoom function, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a sweet sounding eight-speaker audio system. The system also houses aircon controls, which actually you don’t end up using as you also get conventional physical controls that are easier to use. What we weren’t too impressed with was the display quality that isn’t a match for the Hyundai Elantra’s or Skoda Octavia’s units and the even its operation has a bit of lag.
The digital instrument cluster though is one of the highlights of the Civic’s cabin. The sporty fonts and the colours are easy to read and with the help of the steering mounted buttons you can see and control music, Bluetooth telephony, phonebook and trip computer.
Getting in and out of the new Civic isn’t an easy affair as the seats are placed low to the ground and you have to squat quite a bit to get in. Once inside, the driver seat is a comfortable place to be in and thanks to the electric adjust its easy to find the ideal driving position. Lateral support too is good and except for lack of adequate shoulder support there isn’t much to complain. The front passenger though won’t be as happy, as under thigh support is in short supply and you don’t get seat height adjust to eradicate that. Visibility out of the driver seat is good and except for the heavily raked rear windscreen, it is easy to judge the car’s extremities even in heavy traffic.
The rear seat is surprisingly comfortable. There’s adequate knee-room for rear-seat passengers and the rear bench itself is comfortable, with decent thigh support and a comfortable backrest angle. Although the rising shoulder line impedes visibility, you never feel claustrophobic thanks to the slim front seat and the cabin’s light colours. On the downside, the sloping roofline eats into the rear headroom and anyone above 5 foot 10 inch will find headroom to be a bit too compromised. Also the heavily contoured rear seatback isn’t comfortable for the middle passenger and unless a necessity, the new Civic works best as a four-seater. Like most Honda’s, the Civic’s cabin is very practical with loads of bottle and cup holders present for both front and rear seats. Special mention must also go to the large storage bin under the front armrest that is big enough to swallow large items and it also houses two cup holders. The boot, at 430litres is not particularly big and is just about enough for your family’s weekend luggage.
As far as equipment goes the Honda Civic in the top ZX comes loaded with features. You get premium features like electronic parking brake with auto hold, sunroof, auto dimming rear view mirror, electric driver seat adjust, dual zone climate control, keyless go amongst others. Honda hasn’t skimped on safety equipment and you get stuff like six airbags, ESP, ABS, ISOFIX child seat anchor points as standard. Like in the recently launched CRV, you also get Lane-Watch function that activates the left mirror mounted camera to let you know if there are any cars in your blind spot when you are changing lanes or turning at junctions. This feature is activated when you switch the left indicator on.