I wonder why some of the Japanese engineers seem a little slower to introduce diesel engines into their modern fleet of vehicles? There are exceptions; but Honda has taken quite some time to make a diesel engine a reality in any of their global sedan and hatchback models. So, it’s with excitement that I get to review a modern-day first in motoring reviewing. Honda now supplies us with a clever new Civic Hatch that is powered by their brand new turbo-diesel engine, and I just know that it’s going to be good!
Energetic, aerodynamic styling shows its hand when you combine great fresh, smooth styling with a phenomenally accomplished modern-day fuel efficient diesel engine. It takes very little time to realise how smoothly the new Honda DTi-S Hatch cuts its way through the airstream. A quiet, well insulated cabin keeps its occupants free from wind noise, while road noise is kept much lower than the roar emitted from some other economy cars.
I like the styling; Honda has created a distinctive look that complements the car’s aerodynamic lines. Sometimes to get the best drag co-efficient figures, car manufacturers have stuck with some hideous, dull design. Honda’s new DTi-S Civic Hatch draws attention with its sleek headlight design, a triangulated central grille that separates the bumper lines and drops to meet the low air dam, and a nice looking shark-fin antenna to keep the flowing theme going.
You really can’t fault the Honda DTi-S Civic Hatch on the road. The small hatch feels very stable, even in strong cross winds – which you do get travelling on coastal roads around Australia. Find a twisty bit of road, and the new Civic Hatch delivers super handling characteristics for a FWD commuter. But, as you would expect, the Civic DTi-S has been tweaked to cater for a comfortable ride, so the taut and responsive handling is a very pleasant surprise.
What excites most reviewers about the new Honda Civic Hatch range is the all-new 1.6-litre i-DTEC turbo diesel power plant. It is, after all, the heart of the new Honda Civic Hatch experience. Petrol power is available for those who prefer the thought of running their new Honda hatchback on unleaded but, for now, the i-DTEC diesel engine can enjoy its time in the limelight. Quiet turbo-enhanced performance is matched by a combined fuel economy figure of around the 4.0 litres/100 km. Now this efficiency sets it up as one of the most fuel efficient small diesel cars on the market. Honda’s addition of Eco Assist technology helps you to drive as economically as you can. When you brake or accelerate abruptly, the Eco Assist feature glows in blue. As you drive more smoothly, the display glows green. Not only does this help keep the running costs low; it looks really cool and will impress your friends.
The Honda Civic DTi-S Hatch boasts Auto-Stop technology. This system automatically switches the engine off when you’re stopped in traffic. When it’s time to move on, Auto-Stop fires up the engine instantly. There is an ECON button on the dashboard which, when running in this mode, the DTi-S Civic Hatch performs smoothly, ironing out abrupt acceleration. ECON also works to adjust the air-conditioning system for better fuel economy. Power is on demand in ECON mode if you really do need to snot away from the lights or pull out and pass a slow moving vehicle.
Satisfaction behind the wheel of the new Honda Civic DTi-S is enhanced with the engine’s high levels of torque available from 2000 rpm. Honda promises that from 2000 rpm, the DTi-S Hatch throws out an impressive 300 Nm of torque. The Civic DTi-S level of torque is very similar to the bigger 2.0-litre diesel engine that is underneath the bonnet of the Mini Cooper SD, and being combined with a sweet six-speed manual, the Civic Hatch DTi-S performs very well – as all Hondas should.
Some of the other interesting bits of technology I found used by Honda engineers in the Civic Hatch DTi-S model was the smooth Drive-by-Wire throttle. The Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering felt very accurate, and there is even cruise control – a feature that I have come to really enjoy in my drives.
Honda’s new Civic Hatch DTi-S is loaded with a comprehensive safety list, so-much-so that the Powers That Be at ANCAP crash testing have awarded the little car with the full five-star ANCAP safety rating. For a small economy car, there are plenty of safety features inside the DTi-S Civic Hatch. Vehicle Stability Assist, Traction Control, Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, a tyre deflation warning system, heated side mirrors, a reversing camera, snazzy looking daytime running lights, whiplash mitigating head rests and a full quota of six airbags.
Long trips are a comfortable experience in the roomy Civic Hatch. Honda has used plenty of soft-touch materials to add to the DTi-S comfort appeal. One gets very used to the level of luxury on-board, and things like ambient blue lighting, an i-MID Intelligent Multi-Information Display, the grunty six-speaker audio system, USB connectivity, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth communications with audio streaming, and electric windows make for a great way to make long journeys all that much more enjoyable.
For your next small hatch, the new Honda Civic Hatch DTi-S has to be checked out. I’m impressed with the small car performance, and the car looks great with its halogen headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels. Opt for the Honda Warranty Plus, and you’ll be covered with a five years or 140,000 km vehicle warranty. One of the years great buys!
The current Honda Civic Hatch DTi-S models include the:
For any more information on the new Honda Civic Hatch DTi-S or, for that matter, any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Honda dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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