If you were a C-Segment sedan launched in the last five years or so, life is going to be pretty tough for you. The Honda Civic is as C-Segment as it gets, and this tenth generation model was first launched at a time when crossovers and compact SUVs were slowly starting to pick up pace. 2021 saw the introduction of its mid-life facelift – bringing with it some changes in styling and improvements to equipment levels.
With every passing year, there are more and more competitors to the Civic – and we’re not talking about rivals within its segment, but rivals at its price point or lower. Consumers are shifting towards crossovers and SUVs for perceived space and practicality reasons, and yet the Civic marches solidly onwards with a substantial base of owners and fans.
To say that the tenth generation Civic redefined the segment may be a bit of an overstatement, but it did represent a much larger leap forward than its predecessor did. Sales of the Civic have been nothing short of impressive, with many opting for the turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol powertrain option that has slowly made its way into many other Honda models in the range.
Honda Civic 2021 Specifications
It’s hard to talk about the Honda Civic without talking about the powertrains it has on offer – more specifically, the turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine that replaced the outgoing naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine found in its predecessor. This is the engine that really helped to make downsized, turbocharged petrol engines acceptable to the broader public – more so than a specific German brand.
Outputs stand at 173 PS and 220 Nm of torque, sent to the front wheels through a CVT-type automatic transmission. There are paddle shifters to override the traditional CVT elasticity and give you some semblance of gear control, though even without it the Civic is astonishingly quick in a straight line. This same engine is also used in the Honda CR-V and Honda Accord, albeit with different power outputs.
The entry level Civic variant gets the 1.8-litre petrol engine, pushing a more normal 141 PS and 174 Nm of torque. Again, this is paired with a CVT-type automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels alone. All variants of the Civic are locally-assembled.
Compared to the model it replaced, the tenth generation Civic has a wheelbase sitting proud at 2,700 mm, with an overall length of 4,630 mm and width of 1,799 mm – significantly larger in every dimension except height, which shrinks by 19 mm. It is certainly a more imposing vehicle to see on the road, especially when right alongside more commonplace local hatchback offerings.
Honda Civic 2021 Exterior
It’s hard to believe that the Honda Civic needed a facelift at all, because the design that was first made familiar to Malaysians back in 2016 still feels as fresh as ever. Despite this, Honda still had to update the Civic to keep in line with the rest of their model range – and the more aggressive front end certainly highlights this.
There’s definitely more usage of black trim and accents, with the entire front grille being blacked out and replacing the ample chrome of before. The lower half of the front bumper is also a singular black element now, in contrast to the rear bumper garnish which is contrast coloured with the black. New 18-inch alloy wheels for the top-spec 1.5 TC-P are provided, while the mid-range 1.5 TC gets 17-inch alloys, and the 1.8 S entry level model gets 16-inch alloys.
While the tail lights aren’t radically different from the pre-facelift model, the headlights get a minor aesthetic change – making the Honda Civic easily recognizable from a distance, whether you’re viewing it head on, or coming up on it from behind.
Honda Civic 2021 Interior
The driver’s seat is the place you want to be when you’re in a Honda Civic – especially with sublime performance and handling - but that’s not to say that any of the other spots in the car are going to leave you feeling miserable. As a rear passenger you have plenty of legroom, and as a front passenger you get access to the numerous storage spaces and control of the entertainment system.
While black interiors may be coming to a stylistic end, the Civic still proves that they work perfectly well for this segment and are a good blend of functional and luxury. The instrument cluster may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but it more than serves its purpose – being largely a screen and capable of displaying as much information as a driver would reasonably choose to see.
Honda Civic 2021 Safety Features
With the facelifted Honda Civic comes the most current variant of Honda Sensing, which means you get items like Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation – and most of all, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow. This is on top of the must-have items like Vehicle Stability Assist and Hill Start Assist.
The crux of this is like most models on the market, these items are only available on the top-spec 1.5 TC-P. The rest have the usual items such as ISO FIX, six airbags, and a multi-angle rear view camera – but if you really want peak safety you’ll have to shell out for the most expensive Civic. Chances are, however, you won’t be disappointed.
Honda Civic 2021 Strengths and Weaknesses
A Honda, is a Honda, is a Honda. Just like any of their models, the Honda Civic is an excellent example of how to plan and utilize interior space well. There is no missing the number of storage spaces and cubby holes, hideaways and holes for you to tuck your personal items into and place both your mobile phones and beverage of choice without compromise.
The performance is also a strong talking point, with many owners making a name for themselves both on the road and the track. The powertrain is extremely robust, delivering power and torque as and when you need it and building speed smoothly. Both ride and handling are up to scratch in this area too, allowing a driver to fully utilize the performance of the Civic.
If there was a downside to be listed, it would be the entertainment head unit. While it is a pretty piece that is seamlessly integrated into the dashboard, it falls a little short of the free-floating design in other vehicles – and on top of this, it doesn’t play as well with smartphones as other head units sourced from third party equipment manufacturers.
Honda Civic 2021 Price
Over the tenure of the tenth generation Honda Civic in Malaysia, the price hasn’t seen any radical changes. The current prices stand at RM 113,600 for the entry level 1.8 S model, RM 129,600 for the mid-range 1.5 TC, and RM 139,600 for the top-of-the-range 1.5 TC-P. In contrast, the Civic was priced at RM 110,426.51, RM 124,076.29, and RM 131.883.37 respectively for each of the variants when they were launched back in 2016.
Honda Civic 2021 Features
With the facelifted Honda Civic, the level of equipment is fairly flat across the range. For example, all models get the 7-inch Advanced Display Audio head unit, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as a HDMI port, 2 USB ports, and an 8-speaker sound system setup. There are also items such as Remote Engine Start, keyless entry and start, the full-colour LCD instrument cluster, and an 8-way power assisted driver’s seat.
The differences lie in things like single or dual zone air conditioning, fabric or leather upholstery, halogen or LED headlights and fog lights, as well as paddle shifters coming with the 1.5 TC and 1.5 TC-P models. For the most part, the 1.8 S is a pretty solid value for money proposition if you’re not looking for the performance of a turbocharged engine.
Honda Civic 2021 Fuel Consumption
As outputs and overall metrics haven’t changed wildly from the pre-facelift model, the Honda Civic is likely to have the same fuel consumption as well. That means that the manufacturer quoted consumption of 15.8 kilometres per litre for the 1.8 S, and 17.2 kilometres per litre for the 1.5 TC and 1.5 TC-P. As always, turbocharged small displacement engines can drink fuel if you push them – so your mileage may most definitely vary.
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- Body Type: Sedan
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1499 cc - 1799 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 5
- Price: RM 109,327 - RM 134,661
11 May 2021
REVIEW: 2021 Honda Civic 1.5 TC-P - Where Do We Go From Here?
Honda is clearly confident in this engine, too, and are doubling down on its widespread use with it featuring it in the CR-V and Accord, albeit tuned to 193PS and 201PS respectively. It will also be powering the majority of 11th-gen Civics moving forward in most markets, Malaysia included. On those fronts, the Civic has made some concessions to deliver a sexier roofline. As a result, the rear seats have a lower than expected H-point to maximise headroom and the 60:40 bench folds to reveal an oddly narrow boot passage, but knee room is plentiful and the seat cushions themselves are plush and supportive. Rear air conditioning vents are equipped, so there’s every reason to easily settle in for a long journey. When you’ve got all your items hidden away in the huge centre cubby space, your music playing via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and the engine faintly humming away as you sip fuel at highway speeds, it's easy to realise that the person driving that BMW 318i probably isn’t having a markedly better experience, yet paid much more. In any review, this is probably the least interesting topic to cover, but Honda’s inclusion of a comprehensive active safety suite, at this price point, is perhaps the main reason why those now-culled C-segment rivals could struggle should they attempt a comeback. The Civic 1.5 TC-P isn’t just equipped with a trimmed feature list of Honda Sensing, but the full package as also found on the top-spec CR-V, Accord, and City RS. Naturally, we also have the standard 6 airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, parking sensors, reversing camera, and ISOFIX mounts. This is a car to suit nearly every need. It’s spacious, handsome, comfortable, easy to drive, quick in everyday situations, easy on fuel, and packed to the gills with safety and convenience tech. It isn’t the class leader in every discipline, but like the City, clearly wins on averages. C-segment crown well-deserved.View full review
17 Sep 2020
Review: New Honda Civic With Honda Sensing Tested In Thailand
On the exterior, the range-topping variant will come with new 18-inch wheels as opposed the current 17-inch rims. Besides that, there is the new front bumper design that also features a new fog lamp surround. The finishing on the plastic panel is now smooth, as opposed to the old design which had honeycomb inserts.View full review
01 Mar 2018
Honda Civic (FC) 1.5 VTEC Turbo – Progress Has A New Face
Driving on poorly maintained roads, the ones peppered by residual cement leaked from mixer trucks, broken strips of tarmac, uneven surfaces around manhole covers, the Civic soaks them up so well that we thought were in an Audi A3 – which Ito-san revealed that was one of the models the Civic was benchmarked against for ride and handling.View full review
User Review of Honda Civic
A good car to drive
looks of the car
Safety play’s important role.
Beautiful in interior & exterior
Awesome and futuristic Honda Civic 2020