Simon Lai road tests and reviews the 2015 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S.
Honda gave their new Civic range an overhaul earlier in the year and now I’ve had a test drive of the 2015 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S.
New inclusions consist of their standard touchscreen, new seat fabric, and minor highlights along the dash and doors.
The exterior boasts daytime running lights, a new style front grille and rear bumper plus side skirting.
The Civic range starts at $22,150 for the manual version but the automatic VTi-S is priced from $24,450 and all come with a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
They’re also fitted with a 1.8 litre petrol engine under the hood that delivers 104kW and 174Nm which isn’t a whole heap of power that really shows from a standing start.
It can be slow to accelerate but once at cruising speed it’s an easy drive. Though the engine struggles at times and the five-speed sports auto transmission often has to down select on steep hills.
Braking is also spongy and not the most responsive especially with a load.
However, the best part of the Civic hatchback is probably the steering and handling.
Steering is very smooth – one of the best I’ve experienced in fact for this level – the wheel is a breeze to turn which is made all the more comfortable with the thick, leather covering.
This improvement is also attributed to the Agile Handling Assist System that is also a new feature in the updated model.
A full tank of fuel didn’t go as far I had expected in a week which included suburban and highway driving averaging around 7L/100km but was still acceptable.
The black Interior has nice soft materials and fabric seats but like the Honda CR-V I had prior, is dated in its styling and features average at best.
Also found in the CR-V is the 7” touchscreen with its small buttons on the right hand side. A/C controls are also small and simple but functional.
Always a highlight in Honda’s are their unique rear seat folding systems; the Civic hatch possessing magic seats that fold flat. When disengaged, the seat base moves forward to allow more room for the seat back to fold down flat for easy storage.
Exterior-wise has the civic shape we’ve grown accustomed to in recent times with large taillights, though this aggressive look doesn’t really match the performance as stated before.
Staying at the back end, we’ll see some of the less desirable aspects.
Driver visibility was an issue especially in the rear. Due to design of the tailgate, the rear windscreen is split into two glass panels which allows you to see more vertically but also obstructs the view in the middle.
When you look off the side your blind spot is completely blocked by an incredibly wide C-pillar making backing up very difficult.
And finally the driver side door has window controls that sit on the panel so it continues the sweeping line of the interior dash design. But this creates a sharp corner that protrudes when you open the door taking away from the aesthetics.
Overall, the 2015 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S is somewhat behind the pack in its interior design and features but does have impressive steering despite an otherwise dull driving experience.
Next time we take a glance at the Civic Hatch VTi-L.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Honda Civic Hatch VTi-S
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 $24,450