As reported last week on The Car Expert, the 10th generation model will be built at Honda’s UK plant in Swindon, which becomes the global production hub for the model – first exports are destined for America.
According to the new Civic’s creators a design priority of the new model was to produce a more distinctive car, less conservative than its predecessors and an answer to the bold new versions of the car’s rivals that have appeared in recent times.
Therefore the body shell – the largest but lowest in the Civic’s history – includes short overhangs, prominent wheel arches and a bold frontal treatment. Notable styling details include larger and wider wheels and tyres, the Honda ‘family face’ with signature headlamp clusters with either LED or projector halogen bulbs depending on model, a ‘hockey-stick’ strip on the outside of the standard-fit daytime running lights, and C-shaped LED rear lights.
Initially available as a five-door hatch but expected to spawn a Tourer estate version in due course, the new Civic measures up at 130mm longer, 30mm wider and 20mm lower than the outgoing model. It sits on a new platform which thanks to new materials and manufacturing techniques – including cutting the space between spot welds from 40 to 20mm – is 16kg lighter than the previous model but 52 per cent more torsionally stiff.
Honda says the car will be the most agile and dynamically proficient Civic ever, with the increased body rigidity, a 10mm lower centre of gravity and a new suspension design combining a MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear all contributing.
A 30mm longer wheelbase and the longer body contributes to increased interior space, Honda claiming the room available, and the 478-litre bootspace, as class-leading. The driving position is 35mm lower than in the previous Civic while the driver gets a new seven-inch colour digital instrument panel along with a centre console design dubbed a ‘technology centre’, with the brand’s Connect 2 colour touchscreen display at its top.
This system will offer full connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Among options available are Garmin satellite navigation with free map updates for five years.
The Civic will be the first European model to make use of Honda’s new 1-litre three-cylinder 129hp and 1.5-litre four-cylinder 182hp turbo petrol engines, the latter producing more power and torque than the previous 1.8-litre unit. Both will be matched to a redesigned six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic transmission, and while performance and efficiency figures are yet to be released, Honda is promising highly competitive fuel economy and emissions levels.
The safety package includes the Honda ‘Sensing’ suite of technologies. These range across Collision Mitigation Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Assistance and Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control.
UK sales are expected to start in the Spring of 2017 and prices will be announced closer to the car’s launch.