It may not be coming here, but the debut of the new Civic sedan gives us more than a few hints at the upgrades coming to the Australia-bound hatchback variant.
Honda has unveiled the 11th generation 2022 Civic sedan in North America that won’t be coming to Australia but a hatchback version is promised for our shores later this year.
The new Civic features a radically different design than the current generation, which has copped significant flack for its extroverted design, replaced with a more conventional but handsome look in our opinion.
It’s all part of a more minimalist design that also continues into the interior with a cleaner look that draws your eyes to the singular air vent that runs all the way across the dash.
While the Australian specification may differ, the North American Civic is available with a choice of four grades that include a more premium grade which adds a Bose sound system to the Civic for the first time.
Honda has beefed up the technology on offer with a seven-inch touchscreen display fitted as standard and a nine-inch touchscreen fitted to the top-spec variant.
Button-lovers will relish Honda’s decision to retain the volume and power knob for the Civic along with physical controls for the aircon below it that offer quick adjustment and tactile feel.
The new software built into the centre display is said to be simpler to use with fewer menus to hunt through and now has integrated wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Directly in front of the driver sits an additional seven-inch screen in the instrument cluster, that sits to one side of the housing showcasing a digital dial – while an analogue dial sits on the other side. The top-spec Civic simply utilizes a single 10.2-inch screen to control all functions.
Honda says it has given the Civic higher quality materials inside and particularly so on the touchpoints that, along with a more supportive seat design, should make it a nicer place to be.
The current Civic Type R is regarded as one of, if not the best, hot hatches on the road thanks to a tight and controllable chassis which Honda claims it has now improved – though we only know the results of the more pedestrian models for now.
Honda says it has increased the torsional rigidity by eight per cent while the bending rigidity has been increased by 13 per cent which has helped them achieve better handling and a more comfortable ride.
Safety has also been stepped up with a new front airbag that is donut-shaped to cradle the head during an angled frontal collision, the idea being to reduce head rotation in an accident and therefore decrease the chance of severe brain trauma.
The addition of this airbag means the small to medium-size sedan packs 10 airbags across the range, which is impressive for a vehicle of its size.
Honda is continuing with its lineup of two four-cylinder petrol engines, with both said to be more fuel efficient, refined and powerful than the previous two engines.
Fitted to the entry-level models is a 2.0L naturally aspirated engine that develops 118kW of power and 187Nm of torque in North American tune, while the turbocharged 1.5L on the more expensive models makes 134kW/240Nm.
Both send their power to a CVT transmission, which has been turned to offer snappier ‘downshifts’ when approaching a corner and is equipped with a sport mode to give the car a bit more attitude.
Honda will release more information on the specification of the hatchback variant coming to Australia closer to the official launch in the second half of this year.
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