Honda took a maverick approach to launch their new Honda Civic in early 2017 with just two petrol engines. That’s right no diesel. While a 1.6-litre DTEC diesel is to join the Civic range in Ireland in the spring of 2018, petrol has been the plat du jour in the Civic camp in 2017.
Lucky for Honda that the tide seems to be beginning to turn on diesel and the two engines are good in their own right. While we’ve already reviewed the Honda Civic 1.0-litre VTEC Turbo in detail, the subject of this review is the 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo.
Honda Civic fans seeking more power will find it in the 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo. Power is up from 127hp to 180hp. The 1.5 litre is also a four cylinder unit versus the three cylinder 1.0-litre Honda Civic.
On the road the 1.5-litre feels quick, mature and robust with 0 to 100kmh achieved in 8.2 seconds. The extra cylinder adds refinement and the engine does not need to be revved so much to pick up the pace. The handling is excellent and the steering direct, while the suspension is well damped for Irish roads. Emissions of 133g of CO2 per kilometre place the car in tax band B with motor tax of €280 per year, while this reviewer returned very close to the claimed 49mpg.
On the outside, the Honda Civic is already no shrinking violet with fake vents, spoilers and plenty of aggression in that front grille. The 1.5-litre adds a centrally mounted twin exhaust to the mix, with a black garnish on the front, rear, side sill and around the window frame.
Inside, the Civic’s cabin has matured and gained a more straightforward and sophisticated layout. The quality of the plastics has improved and all but the base model come equipped with a touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. In terms of space, the Honda Civic offers some of the best passenger space in the class and the 478 litre boot is huge too.
In Ireland, the 1.0-litre Civic range starts from €23,750 and is available in three trim levels: Smart, Smart Plus and Premium. The 1.5-litre Civic carries a larger premium starting at €28,550 and is available in three trim levels: S Design, GT Pack and Prestige Pack.
My 1.5-litre S Design came with LED headlights, headlight washers, LED front fog lights, Honda CONNECT with GARMIN navigation, rear parking camera, dual zone climate control, 17″ alloy wheels, privacy glass, driver seat power lumbar adjust, alarm, leather steering wheel, alloy pedals, and rain sensing wipers.
The Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment is also standard across the range including traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking system.
So should you buy it? There’s no question that the new Honda Civic is a fine vehicle, a mixture of great space, equipment and a fun and engaging driving character. The 1.0-litre is already a great option with plenty of power and economy. The 1.5-litre offers a more mature and robust driving experience, but it still could not be deemed much of a hot hatch. For real fireworks behind the wheel, you’ll still be wanting the new Honda Civic Type R!
Model tested: Honda Civic 1.5 VTEC Turbo S Design
Price: €28,550 (Range starts at €23,750)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
0-100km/h: 8.2 seconds
Top speed: 220km/h
CO2 emissions: 133g/km
Motor tax: €280 per year