Let’s be honest, driving a Civic isn’t something many would desire, or expect much of – but after sampling a couple of models – there’s a simple summary – this is a very polished effort from Honda. They’ve produced a vastly improved version of the long-standing Civic nameplate. A car that never quite managed to generate a level of engagement or sense of flare.
The new model looks sharp, especially on the as tested RS model. It features a slick body kit that integrates well with the new look.
The drive is no longer vanilla and bland. The front end its very sharp, you really can have a bit of fun when the time calls. It has a flat stance and above average body control. The brakes deserve special mention, with great peddle feel that inspires confidence. It’s a fun drive without being an all out tarmac eater.
Don’t expect a rocket. The 1.5-litre turbo charged engine pumps out 127kW at 220Nm. Not spectacular figures and it shows. Combined with a CVT transmission it does a reasonable job of getting along. But don’t expect any wheel slip or blistering off the line sprints. Under heavy acceleration it also produces a less than inspiring engine note. Sure no one expects epic performance from a Civic, but why then throw in the RS tag?
Interior wise it’s a decent affair, with quality plastics and modern look. A fully digital instrument cluster brings the Civic inline with 2016 standards.
On the technology front it’s very well packed. With a raft of driver assists including lane keep assist and automatic cruise control. Apple CarPlay and DAB+ radio always tickle my fancy.
Fuel efficiency is great, I averaged 6.2L / 100km. That rivals my own TOYOTA Camry Hybrid. An Eco mode and constant variable green indicators across the instrument panel serve as a visual guide to help you sip as little fuel as possible.
Priced from $31,790 the Civic RS is a little steep. Things to take into account include the lack of built-in Satellite Navigation, you’ll need to use your own data via Apple CarPlay to enable maps.
But in conclusion the Honda Civic RS is a polished performer. It feels light yet very well-built. It’s precise steering will be appreciated by those who like to drive with a little gusto. Despite the price and lack of entertaining performance I still find it hard to award it with anything less than the EFTM Credit Rubber Stamp of Approval.