Last week, Honda launched the 10th generation Civic in India at Rs 17.69 lakhs. There are five variants with prices in the range of Rs 17.69 lakhs to Rs 22.29 lakhs and this return of the Honda’s popular sedan after five years to the Indian car market. Its biggest rival is the Skoda Octavia, another long standing model in the Indian car market and here is how both the cars stack up to each other.
There is no doubt that the Honda Civic with its curvy lines, sharp edges and LED lighting package is a far flashier car than the Skoda Octavia. Of particular notice is the design of the 17-inch alloy wheels found on the top spec ZX petrol and diesel models. The tail lamps are spectacular too and give the car a unique look when viewed from behind.
In that typical European fashion, the looks of the Skoda Octavia are quite subtle. Design highlights for this Czech sedan are the grille, lighting package and the design of the alloy wheels. However, a common thread that runs across both cars is the fact that they sit low to the ground and almost have a four-door coupe-like feel when you view them in profile.
The pricing and position of these cars suggests that they offer a generous kit in the top-of-the-line Civic ZX and Octavia Style variant (highest diesel MT model). This includes multi-zone climate control, touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, leather upholstery, power driver’s seat, auto headlamps and wipers, six airbags, ABS with EBD as well as a stability programme.
Once again like the exteriors, the cabin of the Civic looks far sportier than that of the Octavia. While the former has an all-black cabin, the Octavia has a black and beige setup with subtle hints of chrome all around.
Engine and gearbox
The Honda Civic, for the first time in India, gets a diesel powertrain which, in this case, is the same 1.6-litre unit producing 118bhp/300Nm and is only being offered with a six-speed manual. The petrol, on the other hand, is the legendary 1.8-litre unit producing 140bhp/174Nm and can only be had with a CVT.
In the case of the Octavia, there are two petrol motors and one diesel engine on offer. The petrol unit is a 1.4-litre four cylinder producing 148bhp and 250Nm mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The bigger petrol engine option is a 1.8-litre unit producing 180bhp and 250Nm of torque which is coupled to a seven-speed DSG transmission. Meanwhile, the diesel option is a 2.0-litre oil burner that puts out 143bhp and 320Nm and can be had with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed DSG transmission.
The D-segment sedan has been relatively dormant but now the funky looking Civic things may change for the fortunes of these vehicles. The Civic looks like a solid competition for the Octavia in terms of value for money by offering similar levels of kit for lower prices.
But (and this is a fun one), the Octavia has two aces up its sleeve in the form of the RS sedan as well as the luxurious L&K variants. The Octavia RS is a 2.0-litre turbo petrol hot sedan, while the L & K, despite costing almost Rs 30 lakhs, offers quite a bit of extra stuff for that money.