$20,650 – $29,590
Good: The Civic’s radical exterior design and futuristic dash is like nothing else. Two grades to choose from and an improved 1.8-litre four cylinder i-VTEC engine.
Not so Good: Rearward vision is a little lacking across the range. The interior is starting to age when compared to its competitors.
Design and Engineering
Good : Arriving Down Under in June 2012 featuring a design that hasn’t really changed much since the previous generation. The hidden rear door handles are still present on the 5-door hatch.
The Honda Civic still looks remarkably well considering the designs that are coming out of Hyundai and Kia.
Not so good : Styling might be a tad bold and ‘unusual’ for some and the plunging rear window comes at the has cost of visibility – rearward vision is below par.
Interior and Styling
Good : The dual-level driver’s instrument layout is quite futuristic and works quite well, matching the exterior better than the sedan. The centre console knobs are large and easy to use and there are lots of useful storage compartments.
The driving position is excellent, with a small steering wheel and the gear lever is positioned close by.
Decent levels of rear seat space are available PLUS, ‘Magic’ folding rear seats create extra cargo space when required. Cargo capacity with the rear seats folded down is very generous.
Not so good : Unfortunately the dash plastics are behind its competition, the soft-touch materials found in the Volkswagen Golf are evidence of this.
Good : The Civic Hatch is available in two variants; the VTi-S and the VTi-L. Both are powered by an improved 1.8-litre four cylinder i-VTEC engine producing 104kW of power and 174Nm of torque. Available with a 5-speed manual or 6-speed Sports Automatic.
The 1.8-litre four cylinder i-VTEC engine is a great little unit that offers up smooth power delivery and quick gear changes – the auto isn’t half bad either.
Not so good : Although the 1.8-litre petrol engine feels good it misses out on direct injection or turbocharging technology seen in a number of competitors.
Ride and Handling
Good : The electric steering offers good feedback, turns in very quickly and is happy to receive driver corrections.
Not so good : The inexpensive torsion beam rear suspension creates too much road noise in the cabin.
Buying and Owning
Good : The Honda Civic hatch has received a significant price reduction and as a result are now far more sensibly priced in comparison with competition. The six-stack stereo, dual zone climate control and smart looking 17-inch alloys. A high safety rating and plenty of airbags are fitted across the range of Civic hatches. Standard reverse parking sensors will get lots of use.
Not so good : Lack of diesel power plant might sway buyers into the hands of some of Honda’s competitors.