12 July 2012

9th Generation Honda Civic Launched in Malaysia

Honda Malaysia today has revealed the 9th generation Honda Civic to Malaysia market. Comes in 4 variants, the pricing starts at RM115,980 for the 1.8S, rising to RM131,980 for 2.0S and topped by the 2.0 Navi at RM136,980. There's also a Hybrid version selling at RM119,980 for the environmentalist. For the current generation, there are also 3 variants on offer, namely 1.8S, 1.8 S-L and 2.0S after the Hybrid version was discontinued. Contrary to the current Civic, the tax-free Hybrid is no longer the cheapest in the range.
Externally, the 2012 Honda Civic retained the Civic FD sillhouette but with an added surface interplay. The entire front fascia comprises of headlights and grille is similar in concept with the Insight model, while the front bumper fascia is multi-faceted with many main surfacing to impart a more imposing front end. However, the new look has lost the low-slung look of the FD Civic. Finally, the fender size has been shrink as it no longer wrapped the whole headlight top edge like the FD size.
The rear end also gets the multi-faceted look, where the upper part of the rear bumper follow the plane of the rear combi before joining the lower portion that has more horizontal line. These lines seamlessly blend the rear wheelarches which in turns in blended with the rising sills along the lower edge of the door. The glass house too has been revised whereas the rear window ends with a kink, akin to the current Honda City. The 2.0L model is adorned with the 17" alloy wrapped by 215/45 R17 tyres. The entry-level 1.8S model make do with a smaller 16" wheel shod with 205/55 R16 tyres.
It is the interior that sets the previous generation Civic apart from its competitor. The new Civic continues that trend too by retaining the multiplex instrument panel. The design language is similar to the Honda CR-Z, but with the panache removed. Gone (compared to CR-Z) is the glossy black panel, intricate switches arrangement and fancy aircon dials. However, the single-piece control panel concept is still there where it housed the aircond duct on the far right , sweeping inwards with the lower meter screen before being ended with another aircond duct and audio system. It is a plain flat fascia. The fancy climate control are gone too, replaced by a more formal looking climate control panel. Another items that has gone to history is the egg-shaped gear level, circular alloy look gear console and reverse-lower portion hand brake where all of them has been replaced by a more formal looking item. Perhaps Honda is moving away from the sporty look to a more executive look with this generation of Civic, akin to the ES generation from 2001. There was a worry about interior plastic quality, but our press (tested the car in Thailand) and Oz press said this is no a concern at all.
One strong point of the Honda Civic is its spaciousness and this new Civic is no different. The 2.0L model gets an added luxury touch with the inclusion of leather upholstery while the cheaper 1.8S model make do with the fabric. The 2.0L Civic gets a dark cabin while the 1.8L version gets a lighter hue, but no beige this time around.

For the chassis, Honda engineers has decided to combat the trend of scaling up the car with each iteration of generations. So for this generation, they have loped off 30mm from the wheelbase, giving it 2,670mm in total, all without the loss of spaciousness. Overall length is 4,525mm, width 1,755mm and height 1,435mm. Chassis hardware is similar to the outgoing model with McPherson strut up front and multi-link at the back. Braking power is supplied by ventilated disc up front and solid back at the back.

In the powertrain department, it is a mixture of old and new. While the 1.8L lump is carried over, the DOHC 2.0L in previous Civic made way to the R20 from Accord/CR-V model. The 1,798cc lump kicks out 141PS@6,500rpm and 174Nm@4,300rpm of power and torque. The 1,997cc R20 punches 155PS@6,500rpm and 190Nm@4,300rpm. Both engine are mated to the 5 speed automatic transmission where the 2.0L version gets paddle shift control. Both engine are rated at EURO 3 emission performance. Fuel tank is 50L. The Hybrid version is powered by 1.5L gasoline engine paired to an electric motor and the combo produces 110PS@5,500rpm of power and 172Nm of torque between 1,000rpm and 3,500rpm.

In terms of equipment level, there are no major surprises and it mirrors the one in current Civic. The new item is the ECON button to boost your economy and the 2.0 Navi gets the 6.1" touch screen entertaintment system with navigation function.

Similar with the revamped Honda City recently, Honda is offering a 5 years warranty and unlimited mileage with the service interval of 10,000km. Some more photos can be found after the jump.

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