First Drive: Honda Civic with Honda SENSING

By thoriq, 10 September 2019

So, what’s new?
On the surface, there really isn’t much to deduce apart from the light exterior refreshments. If you already liked how the tenth generation Civic looked before, you won’t be disappointed with this mid-life refresher’s subtle changes.

According to Honda Malaysia, things wouldn’t look too different from the Thailand-spec cars (pictured) that we tested recently. Highlights include new full-LED headlights and front foglamps, a new front bumper design, new rear bumper garnish, tailgate spoiler, black-finished grille plus a set of 18-inch alloys.

Subtle aesthetic redesign aside, the biggest change comes from within as Honda have brimmed the Civic with its full swing of Honda SENSING features. In short, the Civic gets an injection of intelligence to enhance both drivability and safety.

Honda Civic with Honda SENSING
Honda Civic with Honda SENSING
Honda Civic with Honda SENSING

Does this mean this Civic can drive itself?
Almost. Like what we’ve seen in both the CR-V and Accord, the Civic now get a swing of autonomous driving features starting with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF).

It works just as how it does in the premium CR-V variant, even employing the same sort of radar- and optical-based sensors mounted just behind the rear-view mirror, thus the Civic a lot easier to go on mile-munching long distance drives with.

Of course, that’s not all. Having the full swing of Honda SENSING features also sees the inclusion of Lane-Keep Assist System (LKAS), which is accompanied by lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) features too.

With all these combined, tackling a two-hour drive from Prachinburi – where Honda’s Thailand-based manufacturing facility is situated – to the heart of Bangkok city proved effortless, and that’s despite the latter’s notorious rush hour traffic too.

Apart from this, the ride and handling hasn’t changed altogether, but this isn’t bad news entirely. Again, if you liked how the current tenth generation Civic looked and acted, this refreshed and up-specced version will take things up a notch.

Honda Civic with Honda SENSING
Honda Civic with Honda SENSING
Honda Civic with Honda SENSING

What else is new?
Besides what we’ve just highlighted in the last para, you ought to know that the Honda SENSING suite also includes Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) features.

In the mix too is the Honda LaneWatch Camera – a feature previously unavailable in the Civic. Already present in the flagship CR-V and Accord, this useful feature has finally made its way down into this sedan now, thus enhancing safety even further.

By the way, all these newly added active driver aids and safety features comes on top of what was already brimmed on board before such as six-airbags, ABD with EBD and BA, as well as Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA).

Alright, it’s smarter now… Is it faster too?
Sadly, no. Mechanically, this upgraded-with-Honda-SENSING Civic sees no changes from before.

In the case of the Thailand-spec car we drove, it still harnesses the same 1.5-litre turbocharged VTEC Turbo petrol four-banger that we’re all familiar with.

Unchanged too is the mill’s 172bhp and 220Nm outputs, as is the CVT automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive setup it is paired with. In the existing car, 0-100kph took 8.2 seconds, and we reckon this figure sees no changes either.

We also reckon the claimed fuel economy rating of 17.2km/litre (5.8 litres/100km) wouldn’t change either, but don’t quote us on this just yet. We’ll have to wait for the official launch and announcement…

When can I buy one?
According to Honda Malaysia, the smarter SENSING-equipped Civic is now open for bookings through all dealerships nationwide. The firm says it plans to officially launch this upgraded Civic line up sometime in the final quarter of this year.

As for price, Honda Malaysia hasn’t confirmed anything just yet. However, if the SENSING-equipped Accord’s launch is anything to go by, we can expect a slight bump in price for having all the newly added features present.


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