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New Honda Civic RS review: A smooth operator with awesome styling

Last year Honda introduced its new Civic to the local market, which added to the list of new cars the manufacturer launched in South Africa in 2022. The Civic has over the years built a strong fanbase with young South African car enthusiasts, and to me, it looks like Honda will be continuing to strengthen this connection with a new sporty-looking sedan. I was lucky enough to be able to test drive this new Civic over a period of seven days. I made sure to drive it in various areas and in various modes to get a feel of the car and what it offers.
New Honda Civic RS review: A smooth operator with awesome styling
New Honda Civic RS review: A smooth operator with awesome styling

So, what is there to know about the new Civic?

The new Civic is the 11th-generation model and is Honda’s longest-running nameplate. This Civic comes in the RS trim only and is the first one to wear the badge in South Africa.

It comes with Honda’s new 1.5l Vtec turbocharged engine and is mated to a CVT transmission. Honda says the engine output has been raised from the previous model to 131kW of power at 6,000r/m, and peak torque of 240Nm between 1,700r/min and 4,500r/min.

When it comes to the exterior, the Civic RS is equipped with 18-inch matte black alloy wheels, and black finishes for its side mirrors, shark fin antenna, outer door handles, and rear boot spoiler. There’s also a dual-pipe set-up at the back that adds to its sporty look. It is 25mm longer than the outgoing model and is slightly lower, while the wheelbase has extended by 35mm.

New Honda Civic RS review: A smooth operator with awesome styling

In total, it is 4,677mm long, 1802mm wide, and 1,415mm high. As expected, there are LED headlights and taillights. It also has privacy glass, which accentuates its two-tone look. Honda offers the Civic RS in the following colours: Platinum White (pearl), Coffee Cherry Red (metallic), Meteoroid Grey (metallic), Lunar Silver (metallic), and Brilliant Sporty Blue (metallic).

On the inside, there are leather/suede seats all around which are power-adjustable and heated, ambient lighting, and a long metal honeycomb mesh panel. There are also of course electric windows front and rear, auto windscreen wipers, and cruise control. There’s also Honda’s 9-inch Advanced HMI Display Audio with Apple CarPlay (wireless) and Android Auto Connectivity.

New Honda Civic RS review: A smooth operator with awesome styling
New Honda Civic RS review: A smooth operator with awesome styling

It has three drive modes: Econ, Normal and Sport.

It features a Bose CenterPoint 2 and Bose SurroundStage digital 12-speaker system, which was custom-engineered for the Civic.

Safety features include vehicle stability assist, ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, hill start assist, brake hold, a rearview camera and parking sensors. The Civic also offers front, side, and curtain airbags, Isofix child seat anchors

What was it like driving the Honda Civic RS?

Driving the new Honda Civic RS was a smooth experience. Its low-centre of gravity and its suspension made driving in the suburbs a joy. The cabin was quiet and there is not much road noise from the tyres. I did, however, notice that wind noise was present when I drove at faster speeds (120km/h). It was so smooth that at times I felt was driving a premium luxury sedan, which is impressive. The steering was fairly light and accurate.

One might get the impression that the Civic RS is sporty from its design, but it’s not, it’s actually smooth and comfortable to drive. Yes, there is a Sport mode available but it’s far from being really fast. There is enough power to get around though if need be, in all modes. I barely drove in Sport mode as it felt a lot more comfortable to keep it in Eco mode, and because it consumed less fuel.

In conclusion, what do I think about the new Civic?

The new Civic RS is beautifully designed in my opinion, I really like its sporty aggressive look on the front. The test car that I had was in Coffee Cherry Red, which I think looked great. I remember many heads turning as I drove, and I also got quite a few compliments from strangers, which indicates that the Civic RS is a good-looking car.

The inside was impressive and I’m in awe of the quality of the sound system, I think it's A1. I also liked the honeycomb panel design and the fact that Honda chose to use a knob for its volume adjustment. The infotainment system is in an ideal place where I never had to take my eyes completely off the road to look at it. I always felt comfortable during my seven days with it but I must admit that someone taller than 1.8m might not have much headroom in the driver’s seat.

What I didn’t like was the fuel consumption. Honda claims a figure of 6.2l/100km, but I experienced 9.2/100km over a 583km trip. For the majority of the time, I kept it in Eco mode and drove economically.

New Honda Civic RS review: A smooth operator with awesome styling

The price of the Civic RS is R669,000, which includes a five-year/200,000km warranty, and a five-year/90,000km service plan. Also included is three-year AA roadside assistance.

About Imran Salie

Bizcommnity Editor: IT, Automotive, Entrepreneurship. Imran loves all things technical and has a passion for the world of motoring. He keeps a close eye on the tech industry and has recently become infatuated with the entrepreneurship space in South Africa.

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