June 03, 2015 @ 02:26 PM

Review: Honda Civic 1.8S

Jerrica Leong tested out the “smaller” engine Honda Civic and discovers that she rather liked it.

Jerrica Leong tested out the “smaller” engine Honda Civic and discovers that she rather liked it.

After a number of hatchbacks making a short stay in my driveway since the Elantra it is refreshing to have a sedan for the weekend. The Civic that you see here is the base spec complete with the smaller 1.8-litre engine. If you remember, I was not very forgiving about the lack of tech in another base spec sedan so how will I rate the smallest and cheapest Civic of the range?

Exterior (Score: 3/5)

It’s a stylish looking car, from the side that is. While I’m certain there must be a reason why Honda has gifted the latest generation’s Civic with a long (and sharp) front bumper I cannot seem to bring myself to favour the design. I love the shoulder lines that lead all the way to the stylish rear end that draws the attention of other road users. It strikes a stylish and expensive presence from the side, too bad for that long front bumper.

Interior (Score: 4/5)

There really is nothing that I can complain about in the interior. The 1.8S might have fabric seats rather than the leather in the 2.0S and Navi versions, but I suspect the fabric has an extremely narrow thread count that it felt as if I was sitting on leather seats instead!

The seats made the entire interior feel premium. That was the word that came to mind whenever I sat inside the Civic. It’s all very driver focused as well, for example, the centre dashboard that houses the radio controls and the air-cond buttons are tilted slightly towards the driver. The steering is leather wrapped and unlike a certain hatchback I’ve tested recently, the steering did not block the meter cluster in front of me.

If I have to complain about something, it’s the noise that sips into the cabin. Strangely nothing from the engine could be heard inside, not even when you ask for more power, but sounds from wind to tyre roar is louder than it should be.

Power and handling (Score: 5/5)

Those sixteen inch wheels on the 1.8S are given more speed than expected. The Civic is extremely spritely whenever you feather the throttle. Even at speeds the car remains in the lower range of the rev meter which makes a driver forget what speed they are going at. 

Handling is as expected on a Honda, not too light and not too heavy. It makes the Civic suit well in every situation it is in, be it stuck in a traffic jam in the city or travelling cross country. I would even go so far to say that the Civic feels more agile than the hatchback Honda Jazz!

Tech and Safety (Score: 4/5)

Might I remind everyone that this is the base spec Civic with the smaller engine? So don’t expect the most modern technologies in the car, but for this face-lifted version, the 1.8S comes with keyless entry, keyless push-start button and auto headlamps. The steering wheel comes complete with switches for audio and i-Mid Control and Switch Cruise Control. Oh yes, the i-Mid in the 1.8S also allows you to set your own wallpaper.

Surprisingly, there isn’t much difference in safety features between the 1.8S and the higher variants. The only features that the 1.8S is missing out on are side airbags and side curtain airbags. Which means, there is no auto-lock feature in the car, but honestly though, everybody should practice locking their cars the moment they enter the car. 


This face-lift has done the Civic 1.8S good, there is now barely any difference between the 1.8S and the 2.0S and Navi. The car seem to dislike reminding you that it is the base spec so nothing at all from the interior to the spritely engine would make you wish you had a higher spec Civic. So here is the question: if the Honda Civic 1.8S rates this well, what are the reasons to upgrade to the 2.0S? There must be some very strong features and we’re itching to find out!

Overall Score: 16/20

RM109,852.17 OTR without insurance
1798cc, Water-cooled 4 Stroke SOHC i-VTEC, 140bhp @ 6500, 174Nm @ 4300
5 speed Automatic, Torque Converter, Front wheel drive
Length/ width/ height/ wheelbase (mm)
4525/ 1755/ 1435/ 2670mm

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