We finally have some clarity on the Honda Civic’s much awaited return to the Indian market. Following endless rumours and speculations, Honda India has officially reintroduced the Civic in its latest avatar. The popular D-segment offering has been shown alongside the new CR-V at the 2018 Auto Expo.
The Civic has always been popular because of its futuristic design and striking interiors and things are pretty much the same in this new version. Retaining its low-slung, sporty stance, the Civic has been fashioned using Honda’s latest design language which focuses on sharp lines and aerodynamics. Compared to its predecessor, the larger wheels and tyres emphasise its wide stance, while the long wheelbase, short overhangs and sweeping cabin further add to the sporty feel. Going into the details, the top edge of the LED headlights meet the top of the grille at the leading edge of the hood to create a neat, accented strip across the full width of the car for a wide stance. At the back, the sharply sloped roofline and the distinctive C-shaped LED rear lights attract a lot of attention.
The interior design is as striking as the exterior and like the old car, Honda has used a large glass area and that wraparound effect for the dashboard which appears as if it’s seamlessly integrated to the front doors. The top half of the dash is reminiscent of the new City although from there on, everything is new and upmarket. The vertically stacked centre console houses a touchscreen display for the infotainment system and the quality of plastics is a notch higher too, as expected. Compared to its immediate predecessor, the latest-gen Civic is more spacious with a driving position that is 35mm lower for better ergonomics. Front shoulder room has been increased by 10mm, and space between the front seats has increased by 30mm. Rear shoulder room is up by 20mm, while passengers in the back will appreciate the 95mm more legroom, and 45mm more knee room.
In terms of features, the India-spec Civic loses out on advanced driving aids and a few features although it’s still well equipped. The top-spec versions will come with climate control, a touchscreen audio system with navigation, electrically foldable and adjustable mirrors, steering mounted controls, ABS, EBD and multiple airbags. The instrument cluster, too, is fairly advanced, featuring a 7-inch display and a ton of driver-related functions.
Unlike the international spec model with the new turbo VTEC range of motors, Honda will stick to the tried and tested 1.8-litre naturally aspirated petrol motor for the locally made Civic. That said, the car will finally get a diesel heart in the form of the 1.6-litre unit from the brand’s ‘Earth Dreams’ line-up. The latter makes 160hp of power and 350Nm of torque. However, we do not know yet if the Civic will be offered in the same spec of tune.
When launched, the new Civic will go up against the Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia and the Hyundai Elantra in the D-segment. With its sporty look, striking interiors and a diesel engine option, the Civic should be a strong contender. However, it will be interesting to see where and how well Honda India positions the Civic, given the fact that the latest-gen City already costs well upwards of Rs 14 lakhs for select variants.