2019 Honda Civic Launched: Prices & Key Takeaways
Video Editor: Kunal Mehra
The Honda Civic is a car that’s not really new to the Indian market. It had been on sale in India since 2006, but it was discontinued in 2012 due to poor demand. Five years later, the car is back.
V CVT: Rs 17,69,900
VX CVT: Rs 19,19,900
ZX CVT: Rs 20,99,000
VX MT: Rs 20,49,900
ZX MT: Rs 22,29,000
However, the 2019 Honda Civic has been launched starting at Rs 17,69,900 up to Rs 22,29,900 which puts it up against rivals such as the Toyota Corolla Altis, Skoda Octavia and the Hyundai Elantra that have been struggling to get their cars out of the showroom.
The segment is shrinking, with the segment best-seller the Toyota Corolla Altis managing to sell an average of 230 cars a month. This is primarily because of the availability of SUVs in the same price bracket that have caught the fancy of Indian buyers.
What We Like
- Futuristic, sporty design will lure younger buyers
- Convenience features like lane-watch assist add to safety
- Precise steering response adds to driving pleasure
What We Don’t Like
- CVT automatic transmission with 1.8 petrol engine dulls its performance compared to earlier Civic.
- 430-litre boot isn’t very generous in terms of luggage space. The Octavia offers 590 litres.
- No automatic transmission option with the diesel Civic and no manual transmission option with petrol (for performance-oriented enthusiasts).
So should you be considering a Honda Civic? Here are five questions to ask yourself before you buy one. Bookings are open for the Honda Civic and it will be officially launched on 7 March. The Quint was invited by Honda Car India to Bengaluru to preview the Civic ahead of its launch.
Does It Look Better Than The Others?
Looks are a matter of personal opinion. It depends on what you are looking for in the car. The Honda Civic, with its bold chrome nose, LED headlamps and a whole bunch of cuts and curves, looks sporty in a very Japanese way. It’s lower than its rivals, adding to its sportiness, but that has eaten into headroom especially in the rear seat.
The Skoda Octavia, is clearly a good looker if you want that European squared off, classy look. The Toyota Corolla has gone a little futuristic with its pointed styling. Again, typically Japanese if you ask me. And then there’s the Elantra that’s fairly understated and carries forward the Hyundai family look.
The Civic will appeal to buyers looking for a sporty look – or fans of the Fast & Furious movie franchise – who want a pretence of sportiness.
Is the Honda Civic Fun to Drive?
Ah, you see, the thing is Honda didn’t want to mess with what was a proven performer. While the Civic sold abroad comes with 1-litre turbo and 1.5-litre petrol variants, the Indian car gets the good old 1.8-litre engine with slightly more power at 139 bhp and 174 Newton metres of torque. That’s about at a par with its rival the Toyota Corolla Altis petrol.
The petrol Civic comes only with a CVT automatic transmission. Honda claims a fuel efficiency of 16.5 Kmpl for the petrol, but that’s if you drive it soberly. During our drive in Bengaluru we clocked close to 11 Kmpl on this automatic Civic.
This time around, there’s also a diesel variant of the Civic, which has a 1.6-litre diesel engine good for 118 bhp and 300 Nm of torque. It’s the same engine as the Honda CR-V. But it only gets a six-speed manual gearbox. The diesel is for the fuel efficiency hawks, with a claimed mileage of 26.8 Kmpl. Even during our run, the car constantly showed over 16 Kmpl.
The car with the best performance in the segment is the Skoda Octavia. But what the Civic has going for it is its precise handling. The steering is sharp and responsive so much so the car can actually do with a more powerful engine. Honda, we are talking Type R here – the car enthusiasts crave. Any plans for that 316 bhp unit?
Does It Have More Features Than Its Rivals?
Everyone wants bragging rights. On that front Honda has got all the features that are expected of cars in its segment covered. The Civic ZX variant comes with features like a sunroof, push-button ignition, dual-zone climate control and six airbags. It also gets a touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Car Play.
It also has a unique lane-watch feature, where a camera on the left mirror displays what’s beside the car on the infotainment system whenever the left turn signal is switched on or the dedicated button the steering stalk is pressed. This is there in the Honda CR-V too.
However, its rivals have a few aces up their sleeves too. For instance, ventilated seats is something the Hyundai Elantra has. Then there are features that are missing like rear AC vents, charging point at the rear and even audio controls for rear-seat passengers that rivals have.
The Civic, therefore, is at a par if you look at its feature list compared to the others in the segment.
How About Space & Comfort?
The Honda Civic competes in a segment which has many buyers looking primarily at rear-seat comfort. Now that’s a mixed bag. The car has plenty of rear-seat legroom, even if the front seat is pushed all the way back. However, the sloping coupe-like roofline eats into headroom. Any 6-foot person sitting at the back will find his or her head touching the roof.
The seats are set fairly low in the Civic, which adds to the sense of sportiness. However, it makes getting in and out of the rear a bit of a challenge for older folks. That said, ride comfort is good. It also gets added ground clearance now which ensures that with even four on board it doesn’t scrape speed breakers – an issue that the older Civic had.
Rivals also have good rear-seat offerings. The Corolla Altis for instance offers reclining rear seats. The Elantra has ventilated front seats. The Civic, therefore, will cater primarily to younger buyers, as the front seats are quite comfortable.
Should You Buy One?
Well, considering Honda is going to price-position the Honda Civic between the Honda City and Honda CR-V, between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 24 lakh, it’s a car for those who want something fun to drive and can’t stretch their pockets further. I’m talking of only the petrol one here.
The diesel Honda Civic is for those who want the look of a sporty car, but also don’t want to splurge on fuel. Basically, for the average kitna deti hai crowd. Buyers for the new Civic petrol are likely to be those who’ve owned a Civic before, while the buyers for the diesel are likely to be those who are upgrading from a Honda City diesel.
The car will be imported as a CKD (completely knocked down) unit, with local content of only 30 percent. It will go on sale on 7 March, but a lot rides on its pricing.