Our Cars: Honda Civic 1.8 i-VTEC

17 May 2012: New Honda Civic: Can You Tell The Difference?

The Details

Current mileage 1786
Claimed economy 47.1mpg
Actual economy 40.1mpg

Out with the old and in with the new Civic. Not that you'd notice n first glance, anyway.

What's most notable about this ninth generation Civic is, err,  just how much it looks like the previous one. Honda has stuck to the formula of the previous model and gently evolved the shape, rather than opting for a clean-sheet design.

But there are a number of key differences if you know where to look. It's lower and wider for a start, for a better aerodynamic profile. In turn this should help deliver improved fuel economy. At the back there's a new brake light and indicator cluster design that's arguably the most obvious difference over the old model. Again, this is said to bring aerodynamic improvements. And – for the first time – there's a rear wiper. With the restricted view out of the split rear screen, it needs all the help it can get. This was a real problem with the old Civic and I'm pleased to see that they've now sorted it.

If you're looking for tel-tale signs to tell the difference between the two generations, look at the back of the car. The new one has a significantly re-designed back-end, with the taillights integrated into the spoiler. It's cleaner, less fussy and also looses details like the triangular exhuasts and silver-effect fuel filler lid. It also has more conventional door handles.

160211-a -hon     120911hon _Rear _three -quarter

The 'gently evolved and refined' theme continues inside. It's clear, logical and has a 'no-nonsense' feel to it. The instrumentation is now cowled and more prominent and many of the dials and switches that surrounded them in the old car have now been moved to more conventional positions. The double-decker effect of instruments and LED read-ous remains, but is much more subtle than before.

38507-07-hon    120911hon _Interior _1

Out on the road, it's more refined and controlled than before with new fluid-filled compliance bushings for improved rear suspension damping and an H-Beam trailing arm with higher rigidity than even the old Type R model. The lower and wider shape gives better crosswind stability, too.



« Earlier: Introducing The Honda Civic     Later: Honda Civic Small Details Sorted »

I've decided to so without sat nav on my latest car to see if the TomTom 825 Live is a realistic alternative.
Civic finally gets the 'fold-up' seats that have been so popular in the Jazz for years.
It's the small things that can delight or irritate when you run a car over a longer period. So how does the Civic do?
17 May 2012: New Honda Civic: Can You Tell The Difference?
At first glance, there isn't much difference between old and new Civics, but, under the surface there are some notable changes.
The Civic has set the net alight with chatter - apparently. We're running one for six months t see what all the fuss is about.

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