Simon Lai road tests and reviews the 2015 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-L.
The Honda Civic has been a staple for the Japanese manufacturer and you could say it’s a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But in 2015, the civic struggles to maintain the standard and isn’t keeping up with the rest of the pack.
This is my second week in a Civic hatch; this time the 2015 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-L. The VTi-L is the mid-spec choice in the hatch lineup and isn’t too far removed from the base model.
In addition to the standard features in the VTi-S, it has all the usual tech upgrades like smart key and push button start, retractable mirrors, dual climate control, rain sensing wipers, auto lights and fog lights.
Sadly there’s no powered seats but there is electric lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat.
Front and rear parking sensors now come standard in the model to accompany the reversing camera. Rear sensors are optional in the VTi-S.
It’s not so much that the Civic VTi-L doesn’t have the standard features (as mentioned) or is unattractive (it had an exterior revamp this year). Rather, it’s the passé interior styling and fixtures.
The soft materials boost an otherwise unexciting cabin with the standard Honda steering wheel and controls, basic gauges, small and uninteresting a/c buttons and the also standard touchscreen.
There is an interesting cup holder divider in the centre console storage well. See the video below.
The new fabric seats are well-shaped and comfortable but could do with more under-leg support. Legroom front and back is average at best.
Some extra minor features worth mentioning are the larger 17” alloy wheels, alloy sports pedals, passenger armrest with cup holder and the 12V cargo port in the boot.
Pricing for the VTi-S begins at $24,450 and also comes in a manual transmission costing $22,150. The VTi-L meanwhile, enters the frame at $26,990 and the top of the range VTi-LN caps off the list at $31,090.
They all posses a 1.8 litre petrol engine and sports automatic transmission. Acceleration is sluggish in ‘econ’ mode and only satisfactory in normal. Braking, like the base model, has much to be desired though the smooth steering and handling are the standout.
After some everyday suburban driving and highway time, average fuel consumption came out at 7.5L/100km.
One thing that caught me out unexpectedly was driver visibility especially at night. As in the VTi-S, there is privacy glass on the rear passenger windows and the top rear windscreen. The glass on the tailgate is split in two, separated by a thick bar.
These factors combined with the auto dimming mirror, blocks and cuts out a lot light from cars behind me. I couldn’t see their headlights at all if they were positioned in just the right spot. And if I tried to check the blind spot, there’s that large C-pillar to contend with! Big safety issue.
To sum up, the 2015 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-L is not the most impressive offering nor the most up-to-date. Having said that, it gets the job done with moderate comfort and performance.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-L
Engine: 1.8 litre petrol producing 104kW and 174Nm
Transmission: Sports Automatic
Warranty: 3 year/100,000km
Safety: Five Stars
Origin: United Kingdom
Price: From $26,990