Long-term review of Honda Civic diesel: advantages and disadvantages

NEW DELHI: Honda decided to bring the Civic back, and the universe conspired to make it special. With an extravagant stance, when the tenth generation of the executive sedan hit the market, sales in the Segment D broke the roof, sweeping all the accumulated demand of Civic on a go.

Forte for Honda Civic , however, is situated somewhere else. At a time when carmakers rapidly upshifted to petrol-exclusive units, Honda's act of genius was in sticking to the diesel powertrain. An executive sedan bestseller for years, Civic has turned a style icon. Honda paused the manufacture in 2012, skipping the 9th generation completely and reintroduced the mild facelift earlier this year.

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Driving the Civic (diesel ZX) day in and day out was a pleasure and more importantly, the car added a dash of elegance to my nonchalant behavior. I guess that just comes naturally while stepping off an executive sedan, now more as the Civic has turned wider, longer and lower. Returning to the theme of the discussion, here's what makes the Civic a perfect buy:

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Exotic looks:

Civic was always a heart throbber, and things got better with the 10th generation. Introduced in 1972, Civic has become into a Honda legend, clocking over 25 million units globally. A streamlined body, extensively wide stance and low slung profile make the new Civic stand apart from the crowd. The signature LED DRLs and splash of chrome in the front grill accentuates the sleek and bold look.

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Drive train:

Two options: 1.8-litre petrol mated to a CVT gearbox and 1.6-litre diesel to a 6-speed manual. Highly refined and smooth, the diesel powermill we tested does the duty for CR-V also. At 120PS and 150 Nm, the performance takes a minor hit, evident from 0-100 kmph sprint. With a strong mid range, the Civic takes around 12 seconds. That, however, is not a dampener as the engine is tuned to deliver a staggering mileage.

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Out in the city, at low-speed bumper to bumper traffic, there's much to complain about the Civic . The short gear throws and a relatively heavier clutch is somewhat bothering, yet doesn't blunt out the performance. Importantly, the noise cancellation due to supremely engineered cabin insulation provides a stress-free ride.

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Kitna deti hain! Highway: 26.3 kmpl and city: 25.4 kmpl. The numbers are grand for a car of this stature. Rivals, either don't have diesel variants and even if they do the mileage of Civic stands towering in the segment.

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Driving Quality:

The low-lying and well-proportioned frame keeps the center of gravity right in the middle. Add to that a robust and balanced chassis expertise Civic to take sharp twists at high speed with a grin and with least body roll. The turning radius at 5.85m, though doesn't make the sedan the best handler to pass through cramped confines in the city. However, Civic comes equipped with a left lane camera along with reverse, making the job easier.

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The ride is on the stiffer side. On the speed breakers, however, the car minimally bounces back the jerks to the passengers. Synonymous with comfort, Civic sticks to its priority. High-speed stability is decent and the engine is content to cruise at 120 kmph all day long. The steering could surely have been lighter, but that's just a Honda thing.

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Upmarket! No complaints with the configuration. The sweeping roofline doesn't hinder ingress or egress even if you're above six feet. The plush seats are wrapped with ivory-hued fabric. The cabin is generously large, and obviously, you get a sunroof. What could have been better is the quality of the infotainment system and the placing of USB ports. While Civic is feature-loaded with a lot of space on offer around the driver, everything appears complicated.

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Bumper party prices:

Fixed discount of Rs 2.5 lakh in diesel unit. While the launch price (ex-showroom: Rs 20.55 lakh - Rs 22.35 lakh) was set at a slightly higher note, the festive price cut takes it on par with its rivals Toyota Corolla Altis , Hyundai Elantra and Skoda Octavia.

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Should you buy?

Honda dubs the 10th-gen Civic bold, aggressive and complete head-turner. Yes, it's a sedan that conjures to make sophistication meet comfort. Now with an inviting price cut for existing BS-IV stocks, Honda Civic gains more relevance in the executive sedan segment.