2012 Honda Civic VTi-L Review

2012 Honda Civic Review

2012 Honda Civic VTi-L Road Test and Review…

Last week I had a drive of the brand new Honda Civic in the Sport configuration, you can check out that review here.

This week I’ve had the more conservative VTi-L version.

What’s the difference?

A few things, first of all the VTi-L is powered by a 1.8 litre four cylinder petrol engine rather than the 2.0 litre petrol in the Sport.

The smaller engine produces 104kW and 174Nm and uses a combined 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres (the bigger engine gives you 114kW and 190Nm and uses a combined 7.5 litres per 100).

Other major differences in the VTi-L include fabric seats instead of leather and no sunroof (neither features are available even as an option in the VTi-L).

The price difference however is nearly $4000 for the auto and $7000 if you go for the manual version of the VTi-L.

That’s $4000 that I wouldn’t be handing over because I actually preferred the VTi-L.

Sure you get a little more power in the Sport but that comes at the expense of fuel economy, in some ways I actually felt that the 1.8 was a little spritelier and if there is any difference in the real world between the two engines its negligible.

Interestingly I averaged 8.7 litres in the city driving mostly in Eco mode, that’s pretty much spot on with the claimed urban consumption of 9.1 litres per 100 (one of the rare occasions a test car has used less fuel than expected).

Away from the engine the five speed auto impressed again and as you would expect from Honda the steering, suspension and brakes are all well and truly up to the job.

Just back to the interior for a moment, I really liked the fabric seats and found them more comfortable than the leather seats in the Sport, once again however I thought the seat base was a touch on the short side meaning there isn’t a lot of knee support for taller drivers and front seat passengers.

Another thing I noticed in the Civic is that with deep foot wells, and a relatively low roofline it can be a slightly difficult vehicle to get in and out of especially if you are a larger sized adult.

If you checked out the Civic Sport review you would have read my observations on the display screen which kind of left me wanting more, I have now established that the screen is more in tune with the hybrid version where you get additional info on the hybrid system (a review of the hybrid will come next week).

Never the less the VTi-L did offer a slightly different array of information, the first page offered northing more than an ad for the vehicle with the text – “All New Civic, Symphony in motion”, page two displays the stereo settings, page three gives you fuel consumption, travel time and outside temperature readings, the fourth page is blank.

A reminder that sat-nav and a rear reversing camera are not yet available in the Civic.

Overall however the 2012 Civic delivers a nice mix of both conservative and modern inside and again in the VTi-L the vast majority of the cabin has a quality feel about it.

On the outside once again I’m a huge fan of the overall styling of the new Civic especially when in the impressive Dyno Blue colour which my test car was painted.

The VTi-L also comes standard with attractive 16” alloys.

Starting at $23,290 the Civic VTi-L offers an easy to drive, good looking, well-built vehicle which uses a very reasonable amount of fuel.

I preferred it to the Sport but I’m looking forward to seeing what the hybrid version serves up and I’ll have that revue up later in the week.


Engine: 1.8 litre petrol producing 104kW and 174Nm

Transmission: 5 speed auto

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000kms

Origin: Thailand

Price: From $20,990

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