The launch of the 11th-generation Honda Civic is upon us. We can guess, because going by Honda Malaysia’s recent track record, it usually launches a car no more than a month after the first leg of media preview. Telltale signs would be marketing videos, and we’d wager you’ll see them cropping up in the next few days.
So far, we were only given access to the range-topping RS, which we know will get the revised 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo four-cylinder engine. It’s more powerful than what our Thai neighbours get, with outputs of 182 PS at 6,000 rpm and 240 Nm from 1,700 to 4,500 rpm. An Earth Dreams CVT is standard, sending drive to the front wheels.
As it turns out, this mechanical configuration looks to be identical throughout the Civic FE range, if a leaked document is to be believed. Listed in the memo are three variants – 1.5 E, 1.5 V and 1.5 RS, all of which share the same engine, as well as the full range of Honda Sensing!
This is big news, because for the first time ever, the entire Civic range will ship with the automaker’s advanced driver assist system as standard, as is the case in Thailand. Features include autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane centring assist, lane keeping assist and automatic high beam.
That’s not all. Based on the RS we recently sampled, there’s also Lead Car Departure Notification System (new to the FE), which alerts the driver if the car in front is moving off from a stop. All variants appear to be fitted with six airbags, too, though the 1.5 E seems to be the only model without Honda LaneWatch. Honda Malaysia deserves some applause for always pushing the envelop, don’t you think?
Other standard features include remote engine start, LED lights with LED DRLs, front and rear parking sensors, single-zone climate control with rear air vents, a freestanding touchscreen display (presumably with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), electric parking brake with auto brake hold, and a handy function called Walk Away Auto Lock.
Compared to previous generations of the Civic, the FE range appears to present lesser compromises between the variants, especially with regards to powertrain and safety features. Shoppers who are happy with the base model no longer have to worry about settling for the 1.8 litre NA engine. The most you’ll lose are the sportier cosmetic treatments, some nice-to-have conveniences, and maybe upholstery materials.
Besides that, Honda is also promising improvements such as a stiffer body structure, increased sound insulation and a retuned chassis that delivers better ride and handling balance. There’s also a new Sport mode, which sharpens the throttle and CVT response and adds more weight to the steering.
Seems like the company is starting the New Year on a high. If you’re keen to learn more about the Civic, you may read our initial impressions review, or watch the video version of it, below. So, what do you think? Will the Civic dominate the Malaysian C-segment market once again?
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