Civic Series II VTi LN: Blink Twice, Series II is Nice

Honda CR-Z luxury dash and seatsHonda Civic Series II dash Nav

LEFT CRZ dash. RIGHT: Civic Sport dash showing Satnav now fully built in

 

Note:- indash Satnav unit now looks fully built in

 

Did you see our review of the new Civic sedan? The series I was so short-lived if you blinked twice you missed it. We were quite excited about the new Civic. It was a good drive, well made and very comfy and all for a decent price. Why was the Series I so short-lived? It’s quite simple, the twin disasters which hit Honda created headaches for the blokes in charge. The tsunami knocked out the Japanese production then just as that came back online, the Thai floods knocked out the production again because their other big plant is in Thailand. It was an incredibly bad run of luck. The significance for Australia is that our Civics are produced Thailand so for a short while the Civics coming to us came from the factory in Japan, and the Japanese spec Civics are different for some strange reason.

. You’ll no doubt recall my comment about Civic not having Satnav as an option. Satnav was only to be available on the Thai models and there was no Thai production at the time of the Australian debut. The Thai factory then re-opened and the Civics in Australia once again flowed from there. This meant that only a short while after the introduction of the new civic sedan range, production switched from Japan to Thailand. A new (VTiLN) model has been added to the range which includes the new infotainment system. Honda decided to call the new Thai models “Series II”. It’s a clever idea as it suggests an improvement and the Satnav is a huge improvement. We tested the VTi LN but the leather-clad interior of the top model, the sport, also has the Satnav included. The claims that Honda had started to fall behind with their gadgets is being dealt with in Honda’s usual businesslike way.

The differences were mainly in the additions of the brilliant infotainment system. It appears to be the same as in the CRZ and Odyssey but the unit now looks fully built in. The previous offering was obviously a unit dropped into a hole in the dash. A new dash panel now overlays the front of the infotainment unit so the buttons match the rest of the dash but the function and position remains the same. Anyone jumping in to a Series II Civic will feel right at home if they have previously driven a CRZ Luxury or Odyssey.

The ride is superb. The suspension soaks up the bumps with the subtlety of a much bigger car but corners with the confidence of a sportier model. Honda is very proud of the work they have put into the new Civic. In fact they claim “exceptional ride and handling” and it’s one I’d happily agree with.

The VTiLN sits below the Sport and doesn’t come with leather. The marketing department has also decided the only the bottom model gets the option of a 5 speed manual. Stats show the vast majority of cars sold in Australia are automatics and this is no doubt why the rest of the range comes with 5 speed auto only (CVT in the IMA hybrid). What’s refreshing to see is all Civic sedans use 91 RON petrol. This is the cheapest petrol and the one all petrol engines should run on. We pay quite enough at the pump without the ridiculous additives making the price even higher. No Civic uses more than 7.4L/100k combined. The Sport uses the most fuel around town at 10.9L/100k, so the 57 L tank (50 L for Hybrid) will get you over 600k of combined driving, more just on the highway.

The keyless entry/start/stop system continues on the series II.

We will eagerly await a drive of the Sport N.

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