By Otsile Kadiege
This week Honda Motor South Africa launched the eleventh-generation Civic, which has sold more than 26 million units since its debut 50 years ago. The newcomer boasts a sleek new exterior design with a dash of sportiness thanks to the RS styling. Honda also claims that the new Civic RS has a refined and comfy interior, an enhanced powertrain as well as bolstered safety credentials.
Honda’s long-standing nameplate will now be solely available in RS guise. The exterior styling of the new Civic RS features a low beltline, a long and low bonnet, pulled back A-pillars, and large glass areas. Attractive, wide-set LED headlights and taillights are connected by a sharp character line that carries from the front bumper to the rear, where the horizontal orientation of the light cluster lends a sense of stability and solidness. Privacy glass, and a dual tailpipe finisher round off the look.
An RS exterior package accentuates the Civic’s sporty appeal. Apart from 18-inch black matte alloy wheels, this includes gloss black finishes for the side mirrors, shark fin antenna, outer door handles and rear boot spoiler. Body colour options include Platinum White (Pearl), Coffee Cherry Red (Metallic), Meteoroid Grey (Metallic), Lunar Silver (Metallic), and Brilliant Sporty Blue (Metallic).
In terms of exterior dimensions, the new Civic RS is 25mm longer than its predecessor. It is also slightly lower, while the wheelbase has stretched by 35mm. As such it is 4 677mm long, 1 802mm wide, 1 415mm high, and with a wheelbase of 2 735mm.
Interior design and technology
The sporty theme is continued inside the human-centred cabin of the new Civic RS. Sporty touches include a red stitched three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, red stitching on the gear lever, red ambient lighting, black headlining, sport pedals, a metal honeycomb mesh panel that stretches from door to door across the entire dash and leather/suede-combination upholstery for the power adjustable and heated seats.
On the tech front the new Civic RS is equipped with Honda’s 9‑inch Advanced HMI Display Audio with Apple CarPlay (wireless) and Android Auto connectivity. It also features a configurable 10.2-inch all-digital LCD instrument cluster. In a first for Honda, the eleventh-generation Civic RS offers a branded audio system as standard. Featuring Bose CenterPoint 2 and Bose SurroundStage digital signal processing, the new 12-speaker system was custom-engineered for the Civic and is said to deliver a clear and impactful listening experience.
Safety and driver assistance systems
As standard, the new Civic RS offers a full suite of active and passive safety technologies. Active safety features include Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Hill Start Assist (HAS), Brake Hold, a rearview camera and parking sensors. The Civic also offers front, side, and curtain airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors and seatbelt pretensioners for the front seats. In addition to reminders for the headlights, parking brake and key, the All-New Civic boasts two new safety features in the form of rear seatbelt reminders and a driver attention monitor.
The new Civic RS also features enhanced Honda Sensing safety technology, with a range of driver assistance features and driver aids, as standard like the newly developed wider-angle, higher definition front camera, which is able to detect a more comprehensive range of road surfaces and traffic characteristics, including enhanced night-time operation.
Additional Honda Sensing technologies include collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist system, road departure mitigation, auto high beam and lane-watch camera.
The new Civic RS now comes with Honda’s enhanced 1.5L VTEC turbocharged engine, with outputs having been raised to 131kW of power at 6 000 r/min, and peak torque of 240Nm between 1 700 r/min and 4 500 r/min. The engine is paired to the automaker’s an updated continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) which is said to deliver natural responsiveness thanks to Honda’s “Step-Shift” programming, which simulates gear changes when accelerating.
The Civic RS also features three drive modes: ECON, Normal and Sport. It has a fuel tank capacity of 47 litres and Honda claims it has a combined fuel-consumption of 6.2 litres/100km.
Pricing and warranty
The new Civic is only available in the flagship RS derivative with a full house of standard features. The price of R669,000 includes a 5-year/200 000km warranty, and a 5-year/90 000km service plan. Also included is 3-year AA roadside assistance.
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