It is not common to find an all-rounder which is fun and satisfying at high speeds, as well as relaxing at low speeds, but we believe the tenth generation Honda Civic could be this all-rounded car.

Some cars are great to drive at high speeds, not so much at normal speeds; some are the other way around – comfortable and relaxing at low speeds but not as nice to drive at a fast pace, but the Civic manages to closely straddle the balance.

We were recently brought to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah for a media drive of the all-new Honda Civic, and we have to say it was an incredibly satisfying drive.

Honda Malaysia took us on a route which encompassed highways, trunk roads and winding hilly roads so we can get a complete feel of the car’s handling, and that we did.

LOOK & FEEL

On the outside, the car impressed us at first glance with its aggressive and sporty look, its dynamic silhouette further enhanced by the car’s sleek lines.

When we got in, we were immediately drawn to the comfort of the leather seats as well as the luxurious feel of the steering wheel.

Due to the lower stance of the car as well as its increased width, we felt closer to the ground in the front – although the electronically adjustable seats made it possible to adjust our height on the driver’s side – but the back felt slightly higher.

We enjoyed the spaciousness of the back seats as a passenger, and even in the front seats there was plenty of legroom and headroom as well.

However, in the driver’s and front passenger’s seat we found shoulder room to be slightly lacking due to the design of the seats, but overall it didn’t affect comfort too much.

As with most (if not all) Honda vehicles, there are plenty of storage spaces in the car, both front and rear, and efficient usage of space all around.

FAST AND AGILE

When we heard the Civic uses a CVT gearbox, we were initially doubtful, but throughout our drive we observed that shifting gears was seamless and we could hardly feel it.

Compared to other cars using a CVT gearbox, ninth generation Civic included, we believe the new Civic’s CVT delivers the most seamless shifting, with barely any drag upon changing gears, making it feel firmer than most.

The only problem for us was we felt the steering wheel was too light, so it was a bit harder to feel the wheel feedback, but once we got used to the car and how it handled, we gained confidence and drove comfortably.

Power came in an instant once we stepped on the accelerator, and we overtook other cars effortlessly and safely.

On hilly roads, the handling was excellent and even when going up narrow winding roads, we didn’t lose confidence in the car.

The noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) level was miniscule, just as promised during the launch.

Even when going at high speeds, there was no wind noise and bumps on the small town roads we drove over could barely be felt.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Is it the most perfect or the most enjoyable car around? Perhaps not, but we believe it is an excellent car which really puts the pleasure in driving.

We drove this car in traffic jams, on winding and hilly roads, on long straight highways, and we were truly satisfied throughout.

It was fun to drive at high speeds, relaxing at low speeds, and overtaking was a breeze thanks to the CVT and 1.5L VTEC Turbocharged engine developed under Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology, which Honda rightly said would feel like a 2.4-litre.

Honda Malaysia claims this is the best version of the Civic yet, and we’re inclined to agree.

2016 Honda Civic 1.5 TC-P
Price (RM) RM135,800 OTR with insurance
Engine Type 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC VTEC Turbo
Displacement 1,498cc
Power 170hp @ 5,500rpm
Torque 174Nm @ 1,700-5,500rpm
Gearbox Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)
Kerb Weight 1,316kg
Length 4,630mm
Width 1,799mm
Height 1,416mm
Wheelbase 2,737mm
Tyre Size 215/50 R17



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