NEW HONDA CIVIC SEDAN – INTERIOR DESIGN AND SMART TECHNOLOGY







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: January 31, 2012
Categories: Honda, Honda Civic Sedan

Innovative and intuitive

The previous-generation Honda Civic set new trends as far as interior design and innovation are concerned. The 2012 model takes this to new heights.

Central to this interior design theme is the futuristic cockpit, defined by an advanced and innovative instrument layout. The Civic adopts a ‘smart interface’ approach, with the dashboard divided into different areas.

Key instrument displays (such as vehicle speed) are located high up above the steering wheel rim, close to the driver’s line of sight. Secondary information (such as engine rpm) is located in the lower area, visible through the steering wheel.

A third area to the left groups the display and controls that are not essential to driving. This ensures the controls are clear and easy to operate, with a clean and ergonomically efficient layout that is simple and intuitive to use, significantly enhancing driving safety.

Crisp, smart and fresh, the new Civic’s interior is a careful blend of both form and function. All the shapes, textures and colours combine to create a welcoming, contemporary environment that is visually appealing and offers unrivalled tactile class and quality.

All of the vehicle controls are positioned close at hand, without affecting the impression of openness and space, while the use of different materials for the upper and lower areas of the instrument panel create visual zones that add beauty and richness to the cabin.

Two-Tier Instrument Panel

The Civic’s innovative two-tier instrument panel was first introduced on the previous-generation model, but has been extensively updated.

A digital speedometer, fuel gauge and instant fuel consumption read-out are displayed in the upper level, close to the driver’s line of sight, resulting in shorter eye movements between the most commonly referenced gauges while driving.

The lower level of the instrument panel houses more vehicle-related information, including the rev counter, a variety of warning indicators and a gear selection indicator on automatic transmission versions.

ECO Assist

Continuing Honda’s pioneering approach to all aspects of fuel efficiency, all 2012 Civics are equipped with ECO Assist, a feature based on the system employed in the Insight and CR-Z hybrid models.

ECO Assist incorporates a display on either side of the speedometer, and is designed to show how drive energy is being used. This effectively coaches the driver to operate the vehicle more efficiently.

When the ‘coaching bars’ turn blue, it signifies inefficient driving, while green indicates that an efficient driving style is being employed. The colour changes gradually in response to the driving technique, and the system can be deactivated via the multi-information display.

ECON Mode

Adding further impetus to the environmentally responsible approach reflected by the new Civic, it is also equipped with the ECON Mode, as seen on the Insight hybrid.

The ‘ECON’ button to the right of the dashboard engages the system, which results in a number of operating characteristics being modified in the interests of optimal fuel efficiency.

The drive-by-wire (DBW) throttle system is adapted to provide a smoother response, while a different gear shift map is employed on automatic models to provide earlier upshifts. In addition, the operation of the climate control system is adapted to minimise energy consumption.

Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID)

Positioned in the upper left segment of the instrument panel, a new ‘intelligent’ Multi-Information Display (i-MID) uses a bright, full-colour 6,5-inch LCD display to provide a technologically advanced and interactive element to access and view a wide variety of features.

The i-MID, which is unique in this segment, serves as the audio system display and features on-screen icons and prompts. These allow for simple and intuitive navigation through a range of screens for the radio, multimedia (including auxiliary iPod and USB) and connectivity systems (Bluetooth), depending on model.

It also displays fuel economy information (including distance-to-empty), vehicle warnings (such as door open, SRS, parking brake, tyre deflation warning system), and a Maintenance Minder (for current servicing requirements and related information). The display is fully customisable, even incorporating the option of a user-defined wallpaper image.

Multi-Function Steering Wheel

The Civic Elegance and Executive are equipped with a fully-featured multi-function steering wheel that provides straight-forward and intuitive access a wide variety of systems.

The controls are positioned ergonomically for easy access, thus ensuring minimal distraction for the driver. They also offer a pleasing tactile feel that reduces the need for the driver to visually confirm operation.

Audio and i-MID controls are located on the left side of the three-spoke wheel, with four controls arranged on one ring – like the four points on a compass – to simplify the layout and provide effective toggling between functions. Selections are supported by visual cues on the i-MID.

The two top-spec models also include cruise control buttons on the right side of the wheel to set, accelerate, decelerate and cancel operation. Bluetooth HandsFreeLink control buttons are positioned on the lower left side of the wheel for instant access and hassle-free operation.