JIMS 2008: HONDA CIVIC 5-DOOR
Setting the petrol and diesel benchmark
- Most distinctive contender in competitive C-segment
- Choice of advanced petrol and diesel engines
- Exciting dynamics match excitement of contemporary styling
- Frugal consumption reduces running costs
- Full-house interiors luxuriously equipped
The Honda Civic 5-Door has been the most distinctive contender in the highly competitive C-segment since its South African debut in 2006, and is offered with a choice of 1.8 i-VTEC petrol or 2.2 i-CTDi turbodiesel engines.
The Honda Civic has been a worldwide success story. Honda’s UK manufacturing plant in Swindon, where the Civics destined for South Africa are built, last year celebrated the production of its one-millionth Civic, underscoring the nameplate’s global appeal. Unmistakeable in design, the Civic 5-Door is the hatchback sector’s most distinctive player. Simultaneously sharp and sensual, it also recognises the need for space, practicality, comfort and safety.
The front-end treatment, with its faired-in headlights and distinctive brightwork, ensures instant recognition, while establishing a unique personality. The short frontal area and wind-cheating profile aid aerodynamics, with obvious benefits in operating efficiency and performance.
Short overhangs, a wide track front and rear, and a comparatively long wheelbase ensure agile handling and reassuring stability, while also maximising interior space.
The distinctive theme is carried through to the cabin, where the Dual Link dashboard is an immediate, eye-catching highlight. It positions the most important gauges – speedometer, rev counter and eco meter – at the top of the display, where monitoring this key information is at its least distracting.
The lower segment contains a multi-information display that includes the odometer, twin trip meter, outside temperature and drive computer readouts.
Efficient ergonomics ensure high comfort levels, while high-grade materials express the tangible quality Honda is renowned for.
Intelligent interior packaging ensures a pervading sense of space unusual in this sector, while practicality is served by the 485-litre luggage compartment, extendable to a mammoth 1 352 litres with the split rear seats folded flat.
Additional storage is offered by the large glove compartment, centre pocket, console box and in-door storage spaces.
The addition of Honda’s widely regarded 2,2-litre i-CTDi powerplant has extended the hatchback’s appeal, while setting new standards of refinement and sophistication.
The Civic’s lightweight, high-strength i-CTDi engine develops one of the highest maximum torque figures in the sector, while also offering close to maximum output over a broad spread of engine speeds for exceptional flexibility.
Maximum power is 103 kW at 4 000 r/min, while the torque peak of 340 Nm is reached at only 2 000 r/min. The engine has a 16,7:1 compression ratio, and runs on ultra-low sulphur diesel (50 ppm).
Combined with the Honda hatchback’s smooth aerodynamics and favourable power-to-weight ratio, the Civic i-CTDi will also be a pace-setter on the performance front, further underlining the athletic appeal of the car.
The newcomer’s claimed 0-100 km/h acceleration time is 8,6 sec – 0,3 sec quicker than its petrol-powered stablemate – while the two models share the same 205 km/h top speed.
At the same time, the Civic 5-Door i-CTDi is a frugal fuel sipper. Factory figures claim an extra-urban diesel consumption figure of only 4,5 litres/100 km, while the combined cycle claim comes to 5,3 litres/100 km.
Earlier this year, three Honda Civic 5-Door i-CTDi hatchbacks drove from Johannesburg to Beaufort West on a single tank of diesel. One of the three managed to record a distance of more than 1000 km on one tank, posting an average fuel consumption figure of 4,83 litres/100 km in the process.
For petrol fans, the 103 kW 1,8-litre i-VTEC powerplant provides levels of driveability, fuel efficiency, emissions and performance that confirm Honda’s outstanding reputation for advanced engine technology and its position as the world’s largest engine manufacturer.
The engine delivers a torque peak of 174 Nm, and is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h requires only 8,9 sec, while the top speed is 205 km/h. Combined-cycle fuel consumption is an impressive 6,5 litres/100 km, while CO2 emissions are rated at 154 g/km.
The Civic 5-Door’s rigid body, wide track and long wheelbase provide the perfect platform for the independent front, MacPherson strut-based configuration, and the rear torsion beam layout. A quicker EPS (Electric Power Steering) ratio boosts turn-in and steering response.
Steering stability is improved by optimising the damper mountings and compliance bushings, while overall performance is enhanced by the sophisticated damper design.
Excellent rear damping performance is provided by high-response mono-tube dampers, with independent coil springs. The overall suspension geometry was calculated to achieve outstanding high-speed stability.
An all-disc braking system features ABS anti-lock control with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency braking assistance (EBA).
The Civic 5-Door models are comprehensively equipped. Depending on derivative, standard features include a height-adjustable driver’s seat, front and rear armrests, a front-loading single-CD receiver with RDS tuner and MP3 playback, air-conditioning, electric windows, and electrically operated and heated rear-view mirrors.
The standard package also includes cruise control, a multi-function steering wheel and a trip computer, while the array of a safety equipment embraces all-disc ABS brakes with EBD and EBA, vehicle stability assistance (VSA), dual front, side and curtain airbags, and active front head restraints.