It’s back ladies and gents. The 11th-generation Honda Civic has officially been introduced for the US market. The transcendent sedan from Honda now returns with a revamped design, inside and out, improved chassis dynamics, as well as better safety equipment and updated powertrains.
Though for now only in its U.S. market form, which usually differs from the model the European and ASEAN markets receive, let’s check out what's new.
At the front, the 11th-gen Civic sports the latest three-dimensional and wide front grille which is flanked by sleek headlights with an L-shaped DRL light signature. Round the flanks, the car’s glasshouse has been pushed back (at the front) and stretched at the rear (much like the Accord) to give the Civic a low-slung coupe-like silhouette. The characteristic kink in the bodyline just before the C-Pillar is another nod to the Accord’s design cues.
Round the back, Honda has ditched the love it or hate it C-shaped “ketam taillights” for a cleaner, more streamlined rear lights with L-shaped graphics. The rear also features a curved duck-tail boot edge for an extra dose of sporty. The US market also receives contrasting coloured or dual-tone finished wheels depending on variant.
On the inside – the interior has been redesigned for a far more premium outlook. A detailed honeycomb mesh accent now runs the width of the dashboard which neatly integrates the air-conditioning vents. Up top, the touchscreen infotainment system is offered in 7- and 9-inch sizes depending on variant. Down the centre, the centre console features a main cubby space with an integrated Qi-wireless charge port (certain variants), and further back, the gear shifter and usual drivetrain controls are accompanied by two cupholders.
The new Civic also benefits from a new front-seat design. Using Honda’s Body Stabilizing Seat approach, the new-generation seat frame firmly holds the body, enhancing comfort on long drives.
The ‘Touring’ variant of the US market Civic notably gets a 12-speaker Bose sound system, the same variant also receives a Civic-first 10.2-inch full-LCD instrument cluster display.
The US market receives two four-cylinder engine choices: A naturally aspirated (NA) 2.0-litre or a turbocharged 1.5-litre. The 1.5-litre turbo which is more familiar to us has been updated to produce 180 hp at 6,000 rpm and 240Nm of torque between 1,700rpm and 4,500rpm (87 octane fuel) – those figures represent a 6hp and 20Nm gain over the previous model. The 2.0-litre NA engine outputs 158hp and 187Nm of torque.
Both engines are paired with an updated continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) uniquely tuned for each engine. The revised CVT enhances fuel efficiency by using a more robust electric hydraulic pump which reduces the load on the mechanical pump, and a ball-bearing secondary shaft to reduce friction. The transmission has been programmed to provide early downshifts during braking and stepped-gearshifts during hard acceleration to simulate physical gear changes for more driver engagement.
Body and Chassis
The new Civic’s body structure scores an 8 percent improvement in torsional rigidity and 13 percent improvement in bending rigidity versus the previous generation. Building on Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) structure, the body is designed to meet current and future crash standards courtesy of extensive use of lightweight materials, such as aluminum and various grades of high-strength steel, as well as an expanded application of structural adhesives.
The chassis has been tuned to take advantage of the stiffer shell and increased wheelbase for a smoother ride.
The front MacPherson struts feature new low-friction ball joints and front damper mount bearings to improve steering feel and self-centering. The spring and damper alignment has been optimized to produce less friction during operation. The rear also gains a wider track width and gets two rear lower arms that are equipped with a new bushing that reduces vibrations, and enhances stability and turn-in dynamics.
Additionally, the electronic power steering has been re-tuned to provide better feedback and improved straight-line stability.
The Civic features a newly designed three-chamber 'donut-shaped' airbag on both its frontal airbags to reduce the rotation of the occupant’s head in the event of a collision. A total of 10 airbags are offered as standard in the US market Civic.
Elsewhere, the A-pillar structure, side frame and lower firewall structure have been designed to route crash energy around the cabin. Side impact protection also has been improved, with stiffer structures in the roof, side sill and B-pillar, doors, and the rear wheel arch and C-pillar.
The standard-fit Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistance technologies uses a new single-camera system that provides a wider field of view than the previous radar-and-camera based system. Combined with software advances and a new, more powerful processor, the system can more quickly and accurately identify pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles, along with road lines and road sign.
The Honda Sensing ADAS suite features the following features:
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed Follow (LSF)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
- Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS)
- Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Auto High-Beam (AHB)
The system now adds Traffic Jam Assist. The new camera-based system improves existing functionality, such as more natural brake application and quicker reactions when using Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
The US market Civic will be produced at Honda’s Alliston plant in Ontario Canada, while a hatchback model – which will join later on – will be made in Honda’s Greensburg Indiana plant (after closing its Swindon, UK plant). Prices and launch dates will be announced for the US in due time.
What do you think of the Honda Civic, do you agree with its grown-up looks?
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