Civil and Spice and All Things Nice
Now in its tenth generation, the Civic Sport is the brands sportiest Civic design and looks to cut a new groove for itself in the South African market. The Civic Sport concept car debuted at the 2015 New York International Auto Show and is based on Honda’s compact global platform. For some, Japanese cars might translate into the usual and predictable function over form, but the Civic Sport breaks that stigma.
The Civic Sport’s redesign has given it more driver appeal. From the exterior, we see a striking fastback design; rear air-splitter does seem at odds in relation to the boot lid, but a new feature nonetheless. A longer wheelbase underscores it broad and low sportier stance. The Civic Sport sheds its dowdy looks of that of its predecessor, for a more aggressive scowling front-end, the 215/50/R17 fill-out the protruding wheel-arches – a calculated balance of body-to-wheel proportions.
The Civic Sport is aimed at the iPhone wielding crowd, and not so much those carrying walking sticks. The Civic Sport carries advanced technology, through a neatly styled 7” touchscreen, to access audio/visual functions, vehicle settings, Bluetooth for cell phone connectivity and an excellent HD reverse-camera. However, in the pursuit of excellence, the absence of a Navigation function is sorely felt – and nothing replaces the convenience of a volume dial. Congenial ergonomics that provides easy ingress and egress, comfortable leather chairs, heated front seats are a bonus and ample legroom in the rear. Without the cargo area being the sacrificial offering, provides 430L of boot space and houses a full-sized spare tyre. Aluminum race pedals, paddle shifts and a Sport mode function are as sporty as it gets.
The Civic Sport’s 1.5L, Earth Dream, turbocharged engine produces a healthy 127kw of power, but the 7-speed, automatic CVT gearbox, in perception, hinders the engines performance potential and is temperamental. Select the transmission sport-mode function and you hope for a bit more fireworks, more punch but there is none. Yes, it adequately transverses 220nm of torque to the front wheels, but it is only after 5000rpm that it all starts to make a sense. Steering feels a bit more direct, but that is only after you add speed to the equation. For the average driver, the Civic Sport is perfect, a striking contrast to its nose-heavy understeer predecessors, the Civics’ handling is sufficient for the task. However, Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist with Agile Handling Assist jumps in when body-roll moves to close to the X-axis and modifies the car’s cornering dynamics. Nevertheless, forget about taking on any BMW’s or Subarus through the bends, because the Civic Sport’s highlight is its driving comfort. Landmines would not be able to unsettle this car or its occupants. The Civic Sport has a certain kind of grace, even over the lumpiest of tarmac: a highly capable family car and open road cruiser. True to its nature, the Civic Sport is a nature lover, achieving an impressive 6.5L/100km – 90% of which was in urban and suburban areas.
R430 00: The Civic Sport sits on the fence between the Audi A3 Sedan and the Toyota Corolla – or between a rock and a hard place when you throw in two of its cheaper rivals the Mazda3 Astina Plus and the VW Jetta 1.4TSI Highline. However, as attitudes change, the new Honda Civic Sport is set to become a main contender.