A really cool Honda Civic

by Sandy Myhre

I picked up two girlfriends in the Honda Civic Sport to go to the movies. They enthused.  “Fabulous colour, love the shape, love the interior, love the dashboard,” in that order so we were off to a good start and so far so excellent.

This is the 11th generation incarnation of the Civic. Honda started manufacturing it in 1972 as a two-door coupe followed by the three-door hatch.  It was categorised as a subcompact car. 

Honda Civic Sport hatch

Since then it’s grown up and out and is categorised as a compact car that sits between the Fit/City and the Accord. Compact is something of a misnomer because it really fits as a mid-range car, it’s grown that much.

It is designated as a hatch and we had the Sport version which has a few extras like 18” wheels, leather and suede seats.

Somewhat surprisingly this latest (2022) Civic is not sold in Japan or Australia, leaving only the Accord to sustain those markets.  But we have it in New Zealand and we can be thankful. 

It has an elongated bonnet which lends an elegance to the swathes along the side and makes the car appear longer than it really is.  The same trick of the eye applies to the interior, it’s so well designed you think you have more room than you really do, but what you have is perfectly adequate anyway.

This is helped by the panoramic windscreen that seems to open out the inside.  Underneath the windscreen is the nine-inch touchscreen complete with Bose infotainment system.

It’s hard to credit that the new Civic has just 1.5 litres beneath the bonnet but it’s a VTEC turbocharged engine with direct injection and four cylinders, that has been updated by Honda engineers to produce more power and torque. 

The transmission is continuously variable, or what Honda called “Earth Dreams”, direct injection with seven speeds and steering wheel mounted paddles. It has three modes, Eco, Normal and Sport.

Moreover, the Sport hatch is classified as “Neutral” because of the low emission petrol engine so it doesn’t attract a clean car tax. And it has stop-start technology.

In the end what this all means is that the Honda Sport hatch travels very well indeed and drives beautifully.

Naturally there’s a suite of safety technologies including driver assist that come as a range of acronyms too numerous to ignore, if not to fathom like HSA. I’ll tell you at the end!

Boot space is really generous. 

Boot space is really generous, you can fit just about anything into it, suitcases for a weekend, pushchair, the week’s groceries, a kid or two and the dog.

Interior space is generous as well and back seat passengers are well catered for or as the girl friend sitting in the back said “it’s hugely comfortable” and she should know, she drives a Land Rover Discovery.

The next step up, Civic-wise, is the hybrid Civic e-HEV.  It’s not available in New Zealand yet, we will have to wait.

HSA – hill start assist

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