Searching for a small sedan with a bit more flair? Honda has done the thinking for you by raiding its ‘Modulo’ after-market accessories subsidiary to equip the Civic Sport with a handy array of extra kit to make it stand out from the crowd.
Priced from $31,990, the Sport is competitively priced, comes wrapped in a stylish body and features the excellent Civic interior.
What You Get
A multi award-winner, the Civic stands out from the small sedan crowd even a few years down the track since it first appeared. The Sport model gains a 2.0-litre powerplant and extra sports gear that is more than just a bodykit.
As usual with Honda, technology and safety features abound – including front, side and curtain airbags plus Vehicle Stability Assist. And – again typically Honda – the driving dynamics are slick…the Civic Sport rides and handles with the precision and tautness of a European sports sedan.
Other members of the Civic sedan family are powered by 1.8-litre petrol and 1.3-litre petrol/hybrid engines, but the Sport gains Honda’s excellent 2.0-litre DOHC i-VTEC with 114kW/188Nm, making it the most powerful Civic sedan ever. Our test car drove through a five-speed manual transmission or you can secure a five-speed automatic with steering wheel paddle shifters for manual changes.
It’s a double overhead cam design with 16 valves and a high performance version of Honda’s i-VTEC intelligent variable valve control system which delivers strong high-end power and hefty low to middle range torque. The cylinder head and block are both made from alumimium, the latter with cast-in-iron liners.
The exhaust is a stainless steel, low heat-mass system with the manifold at the rear of the engine – a design that optimizes exhaust gas cleanliness. Fuel consumption is 7.9l/100kms.
Typically Honda, this engine loves to rev and in a sporty way sounds great when working hard. Maximum power is delivered at a hearty 6200rpm.
If you’ve never previously sat in the current Civic lineup, prepare to be impressed – Honda’s stylists have delivered a pearler inside. For starters the large greenhouse and three side windows deliver a very light and ‘airy’ feel for the cabin.
Space is impressive too with the 2700mm wheelbase and 1470mm interior width delivering roominess that some segment rivals can’t match. Civic Sport wraps all that up with nice leather trim.
Honda’s two-tier ‘MultiPlex’ meter system takes advantage of the Civic’s broad dashboard to deliver a different, modern and very handy display with priority gauges like the speedometer, temperature and fuel level on the top tier for easy driver vision. Secondary information like the tachometer, odometer and outside temperature display are on the lower level.
Civic Sport gains a nice, leather-wrapped sports steering wheel with remote controls for audio and cruise control. The wheel is telescopic and reach adjustable, combining with the height-adjustable drivers’ seat to deliver an optimal position for just about anyone.
On the audio front, Civic Sport delivers a six-CD, MP3 compatible system with four speakers. Sport also gets an electric sunroof.
Child and booster seats for the Car Showroom juniors were easily installed in the rear seat which is surprisingly spacious even for adults and split-folds 60/40 for variable load carrying. The cargo area is handily flat.
Exterior & Styling
Styling of the Civic drew significant acclaim when it first appeared and still today it looks sharp. In the modern way, it’s a cab-forward design with nice sculpturing around the front guards and bonnet and a stylish rear end with contemporary large rear lights.
Sport models gain side skirts, a front spoiler and fog lights as well as 17-inch alloy wheels (a new design introduced in the most recent facelift).
On The Road
The Civic runs on Honda’s well-sorted McPherson strut front/ double wishbone rear suspension. The Sport model gains a reduced ride height, firmer springs and electric power steering.
That 2.0-litre engine is a beauty with nice delivery of its 114kw/188Nm at all speeds. Around town the Civic Sport ambles along in the peak-hour crush with commendable ease, but we really enjoyed its responsiveness, precision and tautness over our mountain roads test loop.
The bigger wheels and rubber certainly bring extra stiffness to the ride – its sporty and precise in the European way. Turn-in is sharp and mid-corner grip is extremely impressive.
Like all performance cars with bodykits, you need to be aware of the Civic Sport’s low front spoiler – just make sure you leave some room at the front when parking into car park gutters.
We enjoyed our week in the Civic Sport. It delivers every day convenience as well as driving dynamics enthusiast drivers will enjoy.
Like all Hondas the overall quality inside and out is very impressive.
And we reckon Honda Australia’s product planners have got the specifications spot on – the Civic Sport delivers just the right amount of extra performance equipment buyers in this segment are looking for. Naturally if you want the ultimate ‘Street Racer Civic’, the wild Type R hatchback will tick most of your boxes.
And at $31,990, the Civic Sport is good value.
Well built; superbly styled; handily equipped; nice to drive
Heading towards the end of the current model life