2016 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S Review

2016 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S Review

Garry Fabian road tests and reviews the 2016 Honda Civic Hatch.

2016 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S Review
2016 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S Review.

The Honda Civic has been around for many years and has evolved through several model generations.

While there has been steady progress, some models did not quite evolve quite as seamlessly as expected. However, the new 2016 model has once again provided a good example of Honda engineering.

Enter the ninth-generation Honda Civic hatch. It looks rather like its predecessor – with a few tweaks to the body shell. It’s also well-equipped and built to conform to Honda’s quality standards.

A lot of work has gone into interior ambience, to considerable effect, it’s roomy and practical.

The new Civic Hatch offers three variants VTi-S, VTi-L and VTi-LN.  The VTi-S offers a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, while the other two options only come with a five-speed auto transmission.

The 2016 Honda Civic takes the Eco Assist ‘driver coaching’ system from its hybrid stable mates. It uses changing ambient and warning light colours in the instrument pod to advise drivers of how economically they’re working the machine.

While the Econ mode is kind to the environment, it’s too lethargic to be of use in commuting around city traffic. The only way it’s really usable is with cruise control, on long level stretches like freeways.

2016 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S Review
2016 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S Review.

The suspension is well balanced, offering both passenger comfort and good handling for the driver and feels, quite responsive and linear – a worthy contender in the market segment it competes.

The chassis work has paid handsome dividends in the cabin, with remarkably little road noise for a car of its size and class, even on coarse surfaces.

The standard equipment list is up to expectations in this market segment, plus a little extra: 16” alloy wheels, tilt-telescopic steering, six air-bags, climate control and USB/AUX/iPod audio inputs.

Extra niceties include keyless remote entry, heated wing mirrors, hill start assist and intelligent multi-information display, reverse camera and proximity sensors.

As it is, the 2016 Honda Civic has several unique selling points bound to find appeal among buyers.

Space has long been strength in smaller Hondas. The Jazz is surprisingly nice to grown-ups front and back, the City has a boot fit for a larger family car. This Civic upholds the reputation. Up front, there plenty of space for almost all sizes.

It inherits the clever ‘magic’ seats already known to Jazz owners. The split-fold rear seat cushions fold up to sit vertical against the backrests.

The rear seats set a new benchmark for the class for legroom and practicality. Some rear passengers might find headroom a little tight above the doors though, but that is a feature on most hatches.

Storage is decent, with a roomy glove box, reasonably deep centre box and door pockets with room for a 600ml bottle front and rear.

The Civic sits comfortably among its better competitors on safety with a five-star ANCAP crash rating. Metallic/pearl paint, basically anything but white, will cost you an additional $575

Summing it up; the 2016 Honda Civic VTi-S overall is a terrific car with an engine that disappoints a little. This isn’t a complaint that it’s not fast enough. It doesn’t have to be. The problem here is that this engine feels out of phase with the car’s expressed priorities.

That small negative is the pity because, save for a couple of other gaps, this Civic is a very well-rounded package.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S

Engine: 1.8 litre petrol producing 104kW and 174Nm

Transmission: Six-speed manual or five-speed automatic

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000km

Origin: United Kingdom

Price: From $22,150




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