Civic lead 1

One of the most anticipated car launches in recent times happened this morning with the official unveiling of the 2016 Honda Civic in Malaysia. The tenth-generation FC Civic is available in three CKD locally-assembled variants – the 1.8L, 1.5L Turbo and 1.5L Turbo Premium with all the bells and whistles. The on-the-road excluding insurance prices are RM110,426.51, RM124,076.29 and RM131,883.37, respectively.

The new Civic’s fastback shape looks like nothing else in the market now, never mind the C-segment. The “Best Civic Ever” also looks like none before it. The design is certainly bold, and will be the FC’s main selling point. Like or loathe?

The sculptured FC is rather imposing in the metal for a C-segment sedan, and the dimensions correspond. At 4,630 mm long and 1,799 mm wide, the new Civic is a full 105 mm longer and 44 mm wider than the ninth-gen FB it replaces. The larger footprint is coupled with a 19 mm reduction in height (1,416 mm) for a sleek appearance. Check out our New vs Old gallery of the FC head-to-head with the FB.

Civic side

The wheelbase – cut by 30 mm from eighth-gen FD to FB – is back to where the revolutionary FD was, at 2,700 mm. Boot volume is 519 litres. Honda claims more interior space for both front and rear passengers. No more full flat floor for the rear quarters, though.

Malaysian buyers get to choose from two engines – a 1.8 litre i-VTEC naturally-aspirated engine and the new 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo engine. Both are paired to G-design shift CVT transmissions (different units in 1.8 and 1.5 Turbo), which replace the five-speed conventional torque converter automatic employed in the previous two generations.

The R-series SOHC NA engine is a carryover with improvements. It makes 141 PS at 6,500 rpm and 174 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. Retuned to match the more efficient CVT (over the 5AT), fuel consumption and emissions have been improved over the previous Civic 1.8. Honda claims combined FC of 6.3 litres per 100 km (15.9 km/l). 0-100 km/h is done in 10.4 seconds.

Civic rear 1

The L15B7 direct-injection downsized turbo unit makes 173 PS at 5,500 rpm and 220 Nm of torque from 1,700 to 5,500 rpm. It effectively replaces the 155 PS/190 Nm 2.0 litre NA engine in the local line-up. There’s no other automatic gearbox for the turbo engine other than this CVT, even in the US, although China gets a 6MT option.

The move from NA to turbo for the local range topper is more for efficiency than anything (2.4L power without the associated fuel costs, Honda says), just like what the Europeans have been doing for some time now. Everything is improved over the old 2.0 NA – power, torque, fuel economy and emissions – but the Civic Turbo is not a full-on sports sedan, despite the evocative “VTEC Turbo” badging. Claimed combined FC is 5.8 litres per 100 km (17.2 km/l) and 0-100 km/h is done in 8.2 seconds.

Osamu Takezawa, the Civic’s assistant large project leader (deputy chief engineer), explained that Honda’s choice of a CVT gearbox for the turbo engine, besides helping fuel economy, mitigates turbo lag. Also, the turbo model has an engine oil change warning light.

The new Civic’s body may be 22 kg lighter than before, but torsional stiffness is up by 25%. It sits on front MacPherson struts and rear multi-link suspension. The dual-pinion variable ratio EPS steering (claimed to provide better response and linearity) turns 17-inch five-spoke wheels on the Turbo (215/50 tyres) and 16-inch rims on the 1.8 NA (215/55). Honda claims greatly improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels, and “class-leading quietness”.

We move on to the equipment, which is pretty long. Standard across the board are six airbags (dual front, side, curtain), VSA, electronic parking brake with auto brake hold, cruise control, eight-way powered driver’s seat, LED daytime running lights and a seven-inch touchscreen factory head unit, with multi-angle reverse camera. Also standard is the cool full-colour LCD digital meter panel.

Also standard are keyless entry and push start, remote engine start (key fob starts engine and air con, works from 10 metres) and walk away auto door lock (auto locks the doors once you’re two metres away from the car, or 30 seconds after you’ve left it), features that will impress showroom goers.

Civic interior 2

Interestingly, all Malaysian Civics will come with rear air con vents, which were not present in the top Thai-spec RS Turbo we tested last month. A welcome addition. Our CKD cars will also get a damped action for the glovebox lid, which falls shockingly hard in the Thai Civic. Unlike the base Thai car, our Civic 1.8 gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and we get black-themed cabins across the board.

Honda Malaysia says that it customises features and equipment levels to suit our market, which has high expectations, instead of just taking what Thailand has wholesale.

Opt for the 1.5 Turbo and one will get to enjoy leather seats, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, 17-inch wheels, steering paddle shifters and brushed aluminium trim. The range-topping 1.5 Turbo Premium further adds on LED headlamps, LED foglamps, navigation and dual-zone auto air con (single-zone auto for the rest). Unique headlamps aside (halogen projectors for the rest) the 1.5 Turbo Premium is distinguishable by its chrome door handles.

Five colours are available, and they are Crystal Black Pearl, Dark Ruby Red Pearl (as per the City and more recently, HR-V), Modern Steel Metallic, White Orchid Pearl and Lunar Silver Metallic. The latter two are new colours; add RM300 for pearl white. As usual, a full range of Modulo accessories are optional (five-piece bodykit for RM4,650), along with window tint.

Once again, the new Honda Civic is priced at RM110,726, for the 1.8L, RM124,376 for the 1.5L Turbo and RM132,155 for the 1.5L Turbo Premium, OTR excluding insurance. The car has Malaysia’s Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) status and Honda expects a five-star ASEAN NCAP crash test rating.

The standard Honda Malaysia five-year unlimited mileage warranty applies, and the service interval is 10,000 km, with five times alternate free labour when servicing. Read our full review of the 2016 Honda Civic.

You can check out and compare detailed specifications of the Honda Civic 1.8S, 1.5TC and 1.5TC Premium models on Interested to buy the new Civic? Click here to contact any of our Verified Sales Advisors on

GALLERY: Honda Civic 1.5L Turbo Premium