Honda are people movers. They always have been one of the preferred family vehicles amongst the masses. Together with the other big Japanese manufacturers there is a big competition and Honda does have a big piece of the pie.
The Civic, previously badged Ballade, has been with us since the mid-80s and really has had a big following. How many people do you know currently owns, or has owned, a Honda? In fact, I’ve had 3, my mom has one and my dad had 2. There is just something that says ‘reliability’ and people are attached to that mentioned reliability.
The Civic Elegance features a 1.8l Ivtec engine making 102kw. Strangely though, it does not feel like it is that strong. The power is pretty linear and it seems that the car is tuned for excellent fuel economy rather than power or acceleration. Make no mistake, the Civic is not slow within its class standards, but it just feels mellow.
The cabin is wrapped in light grey leather, which does give you that typical Japanese feeling. It’s a good place to be and you won’t get tired of it after owning the car for a couple of thousand kilometres. The seats are flat, but comfortable and offer good lateral support. The steering wheel offers controls for the on-board computer and the cruise control. You also have the Bluetooth phone controls mounted on the inside of the wheel.
The on-board computer runs mostly everything. The stereo displays all the information as well the trip, odometer and the average fuel consumption. It also has a real-time fuel consumption meter on the gorgeous speedo which is mounted above the rev counter, just visible through the steering wheel. I didn’t like the rev counter as it looked too 1990s compared to the rest of the car, which gives you a 2050 sort of feel with all the lights and colours that sort of mimics something that’s out of a video game.
The Bluetooth phone is pretty easy to setup and easy to operate. You can either run it through the stereo, where you can dial directly from the car, or use the voice recognition or dial directly from the phone. I normally use the cars setup as it’s the easiest to operate. The quality is pretty good and it really makes communicating, while on the move, a breeze.
The Civic rides on a set of 16inch mag wheels wrapped in 205/55/16 tires. The ride is soft and will be comfortable over a long journey. Bumpy country roads are taken with ease and the overall handling is good. The headlights are halogen and are electronically adjustable from the inside. The elegance model is not fitted with spotlights unfortunately, but nonetheless, light quality is good.
We averaged about 7.5l/100kph on our overall cycle and we were not aiming to drive conservatively. Honda claims 6.5l/100km and that will be attainable if you pay attention to your driving style.
The Civic 1.8 Elegance is a great car and priced at R259 900. If you compare it to the likes of the Corolla and the Elantra, it has a big fight to win.
Check out Honda.co.za for more info and to book a test drive at your local dealer.