This is my final look at the highly commended Honda Civic range and I’ve saved the best till last.
We cast our eyes over the top of the range Honda Civic VTi-LX which retails from $33,590 and comes with a load more goodies.
Packed with extra safety tech, this Civic comes fitted with lane departure warning and lane keep assist LKAS, adaptive cruise control (with low speed follow), forward collision warning and collision mitigation.
The LKAS can steer the car if it can see the lane markings, the cruise control will keep you driving at your chosen speed at a desired distance from the lead vehicle and collision warning will alert you to a closing vehicle ahead and also apply emergency braking.
Combined together the car is practically autonomous although the technology isn’t perfect and you will still need to keep an eye on it.
Similar to the models that share the same drivetrain, the VTi-LX possesses auto headlights and wipers, fog lights, front and rear sensors, dual-zone climate control, push button start, keyless entry, paddle shifters, DAB+ and 17” alloy wheels.
And just like the Civic RS, it has the luxury of a sunroof, leather appointed seats, steering wheel and gear knob and powered and heated seats.
The Civic VTi-L also comes installed with auto dimming rear view mirror and a built-in sat nav and turn-by-turn navigation, unlike models in the rest of the range which have to be content with maps via a hook up with your smartphone.
Not a bad bunch of kit huh?
All of this in conjunction with an updated design and interior in the Civic has brought Honda back from the dead and back to being on par with its competitors.
The exterior has a new look with sharp, aggressive angles and a longer, sedan only, profile.
Despite its tapering rear, the boot is still both wide and deep.
Space on the inside also belies its size, with a spacious cabin with plenty of headroom and legroom much like a mid-sized car.
Storage-wise there is always somewhere to put your cup down. Bottle holders on the doors and cup holders in the centre of the raised floor console which also houses a retractable arm rest.
The console connects with the centre dash which has a cavity below it, underneath the touch screen and A/C controls, hiding the auxiliary ports. This makes them hard to access but does keep cords and devices out of the way and out of sight.
A couple of neat features are the left-side lane watch camera that comes on when signalling, displaying a view down the vehicle on the centre display, and the steering wheel volume control that lets the driver slide their thumb on the corrugated pad to quickly change the volume.
Out on the asphalt the Civic handles dynamic manoeuvring well and has just enough pep from the turbo engine.
You can’t expect a very responsive transmission out of the CVT but it is satisfactory for the purposes and doesn’t provide too much lag.
However, this equates to economic fuel use at 8L/100km of consumption.
An electric park brake keeps the console less cluttered and also has auto hold and auto release for those amongst us who are lazy (*raises hand).
Whether it’s the entry level Civic VTi or right up to the Civic VTi-LX you can be guaranteed a much improved model that drives easily, looks good and has generous sprinkling of features, proving the Honda Civic has earned its nomination for Car of the Year.
NUTS and BOLTS 2016 Honda Civic VTi-LX
Engine: 1.5L turbo petrol producing 127kW and 220Nm
Transmission: Constantly Variable Transmission
Warranty: 3 Year/100,000km
Safety: Not yet tested
Price: From $33,590