The new Honda Civic was launched earlier this month in Thailand, giving us a good preview of what’s coming. Unlike the previous gen, where our Civic looked significantly different, the new Thai Civic is largely identical to the US-market car. Extra garnish comes in the form of rear reflectors that link the rear lamps to the license plate.

The cabin has been redesigned, although it retains Honda’s two-tier dashboard that was such a revolution when it debut in the FD Civic. The upper tier is now much longer, incorporating a colour screen that displays various menus.

In Thailand, one can specify the Civic with a Navi package, and the 2.0L model comes with push start keyless entry, a new feature for the Civic. There’s also an ECON button on the right of the steering.

Like before, two engines are offered – 1.8L and 2.0L i-VTEC units. The smaller engine puts out 141 PS and 174 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. That’s 1 PS more than our current Civic, made 200 rpm higher, so it’s probably just fine tuning.

The 2.0L is no longer the K-series engine, but a SOHC sibling of the 1.8. Chosen for better fuel economy no doubt, it produces 155 PS and 190 Nm at 4,300 rpm.

Max power is the same, but there’s 2 Nm more torque, made 200 rpm lower. Both engines continue with Honda’s slick five-speed auto, with paddles on the 2.0. The 1.8 can be had with a five-speed manual as well.

The rest of the spec sheet show some differences. For instance, Honda has traded the FD’s double-wishbone rear suspension for a multi-link unit. EPS steering is now standard across the range, turning circle is better (5.42 vs 5.8m) but steering is slower at 3.1 vs 2.65 turns lock-to-lock.

The new Civic has a smaller footprint and shorter wheelbase; the latter is down by 30 mm to make 2,670 mm. The current Civic has superb rear legroom, and we’ll have to see if there’s any real difference in space when the time comes. We’re sure that Honda would have done some repackaging magic, something it’s very good at. The Civic’s flat floor remains.

In Thailand, the Civic range starts from 773,000 baht for the 1.8 S Manual, topping out at 1.124 million baht for the 2.0 EL with Navi, the only trim for the bigger engine.