Is the new Honda Civic the best price performance car? 2023 e:HEV Hybrid driving REVIEW

This is the new Honda Civic. Is it maybe the best price-performance sedan or fastback out there? Let’s find out together with Thomas on Autogefühl for you in 4K, full screen, and full length. Let’s go! In the front, you can see I would say, rather an evolutionary design for the new Civic. I found very beautiful how the front grille here leads over to the headlamps. Rather consistent and clean design here in the front and already quite sporty, I think. This car here is called Crystal Re… Not ‘Crystal Meth’. Crystal Red! And where can you see that

we have the hybrid drivetrain today? Yes, the blue ring around the Honda logo. The length’s at 4.55 meters or 179 inches. It gets really interesting because this is so-called ‘hatchback’, or I will also maybe say ‘fastback’ or ‘liftback’. The thing is that this hatch then in the back, it really opens very wide. At 12 centimeters or 5 inches longer, there’s also the true sedan available then with a longer rear area, longer trunk. But then with a separate trunk. Yes, longer, different in the looks a little bit, but then again, harder to load things in and

out. Soon more about that. Today, wheels here in 80 inch in black in a sporty styling. So also a nice contrast. But you can

also, for example, go for brighter wheels. Very basic versions, for example, would start with 16 inch. Depending on your market, 17 inch is available. And the Type R will then get 19 inch exclusively. It’s very interesting because this vehicle here has always been for the past generations, it is on a compact platform. At the same time, it’s almost like mid-size sedan style. So this is also where this price-performance thing begins. It

is at the price point in comparison to other normal compact hatches, but it already is way longer. You get more of a vehicle. In this new generation, a little bit longer. A little bit longer wheelbase, wider track. everything comes for more stance on the road. Nice new light signatures here for the rear. And this hatchback or fastback style is definitely unique. Some love it, some don’t. Me personally, I think the sedan looks better. But when we open the trunk, the advantage here gets obvious. By the way, they use multilink rear suspension here so that’s also

very good for this segment. It’s not shared by all of its competitors or maybe they’re dependent on the drivetrain and so on. Here, always the case then. That’s actually very good. And also in this new generation, they stiffened up the chassis. Let’s see later on if that has an effect on driving. Car key. Very simple. Does the job. There’s also keyless entry available here. You put your hand on top there. It’s like with BMW approximately. And hand on the inside then to open it. Really nice. Then the door closing sound… Very… wait a minute. That

sounds awesome… That’s… Wow, cool! And what they also have done, usually with Hondas, there’s as a big problem that when you would snatch the door handle by mistake or something, it sounds super weird. But here, they have improved that sound. It doesn’t sound, you know, like this echo-ish anymore. So yeah, very well done. Then inside of the doors, here on the top part is already soft touch with a structure and even softer then here for your elbows. I mean, it’s not a super high-class premium vehicle but they have definitely improved and improved and improved. New

steering wheel with a very modern design. And what I found cool, here, the buttons. Left for the volume, for example. Right for the cruise control and also for the digital instruments. Still real knobs. No #capacitiveBS Easy controls also for the steering wheel heating if you have that option. So this is kinda #capacitiveBS free. And do you hear that? Nice clicking sounds at the buttons here at the steering wheels especially at these switches that you can pull… up and down. Wow, that’s awesome. So where’s the distance now to premium vehicles? This has diminished now more and

more. Super interesting. 1.89 meters or 6’2, and that leaves still some headroom here. Although this is the one with the panoramic roof so you can, of course, also get one without. This does have shade. So the shade right here, you can close it. You can also fully open it. And this is also a panoramic roof you can actually really open and it’s really nice. Then also steering wheel position here, up and down and it also goes really low. I like it. I like to put the steering wheel kinda low. It gives me this very sporty

and in-control position. And the seating comfort is also very decent. Seating surface is on this test vehicle here in animal skin. But you get in base versions, also fabric seats and they’re more breathable and also more animal friendly. As for the interior layout, you would start seven inch on left with some analog instruments mixed and seven inch on the right. This here, optional full digital 10.2 inch digital instruments on the left. Right side, nine-inch infotainment screen. What I love best about this interior is look at that here, this mesh structure. Great sporty design feature. And

here, also clicking sounds for the vent control. And such a relief! Manual climate knobs here and for the vent strength. So simple, straightforward. And also once again, with nice clicking sounds. Yeah, this is more Audi-esque than Audi is right now. The infotainment system is pretty simple and straightforward. Not much more I would actually need. The car’s internal GPS is yeah, maybe better to use than before but also not that ideal. Most of time, I would rely on the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Wired or wireless connection available. Cool is that we always have this Home

hotkey and this Back button, and also a manual volume knob here. That’s cool. Apple CarPlay integration looks then like this. Does the job as well. And we also have here, the Bose sound system. Let’s listen to that. Oh, pretty nice surround sound indeed. It’s cool. In these digital instruments here, right side – speed. Left side, you see the power output. And you can control something here, like you know, consumption, visualization of the drivetrains and so on. Not too adjustable but does the job and it looks quite clear and clean. In this lower middle console, two

USB-A chargers here. One to connect, one charging only. There’s an inductive charging pad underneath. You can also turn it off. I find it quite good. I rather rely on a cable connection actually. Then here, this gear selector is interesting. This is Reverse, Parking, Neutral, and D for Drive. It’s a different solution but why not? So it’s actually simple and straightforward. And then here’s a drive selector here. We’ll also test the Sport mode while driving, for example. The cup holders here are really large. Rather for large bottles or cups but they’re also somewhat adaptive. Then this

armrest here, soft touch on top. Could be a little bit better attached. Then this small area on top and you can lift it out and have more space underneath. Rear seating area, nothing special, nothing fancy. Substantial middle tunnel and two USB chargers, USB-A. Inside of the door here in the rear is hard pack. But again, look at the price. Legroom is not that much when I’m driving as a tall driver. So I do hit my legs right here. And the headroom is also limited due to the design. It raises a little bit to the rear

here so it works kinda for a tall adult. Also when I stretch my legs a little bit to the outside… Yeah. It’s okay, you know? So comfort is okay, but I would have expected a little bit more legroom. But it seems that Honda paid more attention to the length of the trunk then here in this case. In the middle part, it’s not too stiff to sit on. But then again, yeah, gets more cramped with the headroom so definitely not ideal. So rather four tall adults. But then again, yeah, limited legroom. You have to know that.

In the middle part, you can fold down this one here. This is not adaptive fo the cupholders. Yeah, quality-wise, this is okay, I would say. Nothing too fancy as I said here. Now looking at the trunk, this is really interesting. About 400 liters or just under 25 cubic feet. And this cover here might seem weird at first, but then it’s not too un-clever. You can very well handle that one. And then you have here, like a free way to fold the seats directly. So this is again, not a bad solution at all. You can see

here, that cabin trolley also fits in a vertical way. In a very easy way actually. Underneath, there’s not much more space. Just a little bit. I wonder if there are also versions with replacement tires. Then the width here is a meter or 40 inches right here. Just a little bit more in the front, but that’s okay. And the length here is about 90 centimeters or 35 inches then here for the fastback version. The height, and this of course… You can either use it here as a small step, but then here, you know, where the maximum

area is, this is then 75 centimeters or almost 30 inches. That’s very, very good. And look at that here, when I fold the whole thing, there we go. So very, very well usable. And the total length in here, 1.65 meters or 65 inches. As for engines, it’s kind of split between US and European market. Always front-wheel drive. But then US market, 1.5L turbo. 180 or 200 horsepower in the SI, or a naturally aspirated 2L engine with 160 horsepower. This one is also the 2L engine, naturally aspirated. But then, 180 horsepower. And the hybrid drivetrain here,

predominantly for the European market, works in a very interesting way. Acceleration figure, less than eight seconds. It’s actually quite decent. And then, you have kind of like this triple mechanism. Either directly powering the front wheels when you drive motorway. Or then when you have a pure electric driving, enough battery left, directly powering the front wheels. Or the combustion engine serves as a generator then for the battery, and then once again for the electric motor. And which drive mode this car is on, it’s automatically picked. And how does it exactly work and how does the transfer

and driving feel? Let’s find out in the driving part. This is Thomas’s Driving Lounge with the new Honda Civic. Today, we’re also testing the 2.0L hybrid drivetrain. This review will be, of course, not only about the hybrid drivetrain but also generally speaking about driving a new Civic even if it would be with another engine. You can pick here, Sport Mode, Normal Mode, ECO mode. Here for the German Autobahn, our motorway, we’ll pick the Sports Mode. Let’s see about the acceleration. Rolling one from 40 km/h. Let’s go! 120 150 It’s not too bad actually. 170 now.

Let’s see now the high speed. Wind noise’s picking up right now. That’s actually quite loud in here. Wasn’t too bad earlier. Let’s see if we can reach top speed. It’s struggling. 183 Nothing much more coming. 184 Doesn’t feel like I reached top speed yet but… 185 Now it feels like we’re… 186 Still going! It’s not too bad from driving characteristics. 188 Ludicrous speed! Yeah, it totally feels like it’s Spaceballs now. Now I have to reduce the speed again. Yeah, and here at normal highway speeds like 130 km/h, or like 100 kmph/ 60 mph, that feels

good as for the wind insulation. So just at really, really high speeds, maybe not laid out for high speed autobahn driving in Germany, but it’s also not supposed to do that. So… yeah, it didn’t feel like I was like unsafe or… The chassis and so on feels really stable. You remember, I told you in the exterior part, little bit longer but also a little bit increased wheelbase. This helps with stability on the road. This is one of the things I really love about this vehicle. Having this compact platform, but it already feels like a midsize

sedan or a midsize fastback. It just feels larger than the competitors which are at the same price. And it is actually larger, and that gives so much calmness and stability on the road. I love that. So although it might not be the most premium luxury sedan on the market, this is here at also an affordable price. It already gives you a great sense of sophistication and that’s really what I really appreciate about the Civic. And this feeling has been even enhanced here in this new generation. And that is… yeah. That is really something very, very

special. I really love that. By the way, I was kind of surprised. It was a very decent sound there when I was accelerating. Don’t you think so? I was expecting like, ah, you know, we have this hybrid drivetrain. On paper like, under eight seconds in the acceleration figure, that’s fine. But I didn’t expect it that the sound from the engine is actually quite nice. Front-wheel drive only here, of course, in the Honda Civic Platform. It has been the same ever since. And about this hybrid drivetrain, well, I was using of course, both powers at the

same time. Then here now, getting off the motorway. On the brakes. The engine is shutting off. We also have this visualization gauge here if you want to take a look at that. And now, power is being gained back. Wheels to the battery without the combustion engine running. And it is a very, very interesting drivetrain. So indeed on the motorway, using, first of all, both drivetrains… So first of all, in the acceleration, petrol and battery at the same time, or petrol and the electric drive, and then when I was just cruising basically, just the combustion engine

was running and maybe I was gaining back energy in the battery. So when you are driving motorway at constant speed, then the combustion engine is running at an optimum level. In the city, for example, I need some more acceleration. The combustion engine can serve as a generator for the electric drivetrain. So it’s also running at low RPM, but giving energy to the battery, and then the battery powers the wheels. This is a more efficient thing actually. And when you need even more acceleration or maybe going downhill or something, then just… Now for example, now I’m

gaining battery. Now when I go on the throttle a little bit, then the battery, or the electric motor, is sending power to the wheels. And it’s constantly changing, you know, from this pure electric driving, hybrid driving, pure combustion driving, recuperation again, back and forth. And so these, let’s say, three basic modes are being adapted to what is efficient at this very moment. And I can tell you from my test experience so far, this hybrid drivetrain is extremely efficient indeed. When you drive motorway/highway only, then it’s more like 6 liters on 100 kilometers or a little

bit worse. Soon, also giving you the mpg figures for US and UK. And as a good average, you can count with like 5 liters on 100 kilometers for example. But if you predominantly use it in the city, it gets ridiculously efficient. More like 4 or even lower liters on 100 kilometers. And now translating that into US mpg figures, in driving motorway only and more of the combustion engine is just using, 40 mpg. And a good average’s like 50 mpg. And city-only using all of these hybrid drivetrain advantages, some 60 mpg is possible. Then the UK

mpg figures are always a little bit different, and this is more like than 50/60 as average or then 70 possible as best result. And overall, I mean, these are great results indeed. So especially if it’s not only motorway use but you have a mixed use, you can really make sense out of this hybrid drivetrain. This is working very, very well, this whole system. And we’ve seen the acceleration was not too bad. Funny thing is always that since you have this electric boost, when you have moments like, ” Oh, maybe I want to start a sudden

acceleration.” Then the first press on the throttle is kinda spontaneous because it comes out of the battery, you know, from an electric motor. And this is saving fuel because the combustion engine can run at lower RPM. But at the same time, it’s also, in a way, sporty and fun. Of course, hybrid powertrains never deliver you a natural sense of driving fun. They just don’t do that. Because when you mix the systems, it’s never to work out well in that way. So from a driving experience funwise, I would always go either pure petrol or pure electric.

However when you cannot recharge frequently, depending on where you live, for example, at the same time, you want something more efficient, then the hybrid can make sense. One more acceleration when we’re already at speed from 80 km/h, let’s go. Whoa, wow! I really feel how the electric drive is powering it. 150 km/h now, and they’re both working together. That’s really nice. So it is more fun and nicer than expected. once again, not that natural in feeling but also they’re more natural than I would expect. So for a hybrid, it is decent in acceleration, decent in

sound, and also decent as for the fun experience. So I’m very positively surprised about that. Here now at higher speeds, once again, I’m also positively surprised of how stable the car remains and how good it is to control and to steer. The steering is excellent. It gives me very good control of the vehicle. Also small commands are being transported on the road. Also for example here, lane change now. Suspension is also not too stiff and also not shaking up. You feel it is not an adaptive suspension so there are some competitors might do better in

the segment. At the same time, then also the price goes higher and this suspension is not bad at all. It’s not the best in segment but it’s not the worst by far either. So I think they found a good nice solution here. And once again, you have to bear in mind at this length, and what this car is delivering, it is the or maybe the, and surely one of the best price-performance offerings for this kind of vehicle size. And the comfort you also get is also very nice. Even more so if you stick to the

base fabric seats. So markets also have this fabric leatherette mix available. The animal skin, I mean, it’s a mix of animal skin and leatherette in this case. But it’s always the slicker service. Yes, some… when you might want to clean it, it’s easier wiping it. But the fabric surface will always be softer and adapt more to the body. So I would also for comfort reasons prefer that actually. In front-wheel drive, of course, when you accelerate out of a corner, you don’t have like this feeling of you’re getting pushed out of the corner or something, you

know? Although we have the electric power here, I don’t feel much understeering. That might be a thing then rather have the Civic Type R, which we can present to you at a later stage when you have even more power then just by these front wheels. But here, I think a very balanced setup. Maybe you realize on the motorway, the blind spot monitors in the side mirrors, that they are working very well. And you also have the cruise control here at the steering wheel and you can activate and deactivate it. Ah, nice clinking sound also at

the steering wheel. So the Honda interiors we’ve seen at the LA Motor Show recently where I presented you the whole new Honda range. This one here, of course, , the Civic then, the new one. Then the new Honda Accord, the CRV, the Pilot, the HR-V, which is then been sold as ZR-V in Europe. And all of these interiors have been upgraded. And for example, you know, I mean, years ago, who would have thought that I found delight at the clicking sound of the cruise control in a Honda vehicle. No one would have expected to expect

that but here it’s actually true. Then you can actually activate or deactivate the active lane keeping. Let’s see here, how active is it or how annoying maybe or not annoying is it. And so far, kind of smooth. Keeping me in the lane. Nicely done. Of course, it’s predominantly used then for the motorway. But this is also one thing with the new generation, they have upgraded the whole assistance systems range. And all the assistance systems, they seem pretty sophisticated. So… I mean in the previous generations, you rather always had the impression yes, it’s a great deal,

price-performance and so on, drives well. It’s fun. The steering is also sporty and natural. But then you always had a feeling of okay, there’s a compromise because it doesn’t feel so premium on the interior and there might be competitors that feel more premium. But we need to say here now, also with the climate dials and so on that have clicking sound, and this is a straight user interface, one click to activate the steering wheel heating, just one turn to make it warmer or colder, one click to… it’s a little bit hidden behind the steering wheel

but when you know where this button is, you can also press it blindfolded… So one click here. Yeah, in this case, no. Sorry about that! I’ll try it. There we go. Here. There you have it. But you really can’t really see like which level it is on. You have to feel it. So that’s maybe the only button that is placed behind the visible area. But it’s a very straightforward user interface and you do not have to learn this vehicle. And I mean, imagine me as a car reviewer, having driven something between 1000-2000 cars in my

life so far. And sometimes when I get in new vehicles, and it gets like, Whoa, how I’m supposed to deal with this? And what is this? And what is that doing? And I might need to take like two hours to learn this vehicle now. And is that really making sense? And I think no because a great user interface, a great design has some nice features and maybe also some features that might be surprising or something. But at the same time, a great design, great interface, should also be easy to learn and straightforward and everything should

become obvious how to use something. And that is the case here also while driving. So it’s a relief for me to finally drive a car again which is so easy to control while driving! And you don’t have to think about, wait a minute, when I want to increase the vent strength, what do I have to do now? This is totally obvious. So, really enjoying how simple this layout is in this car, and that doesn’t mean bad at all. It means good in this case. And I had just have to stress again, the driving feeling is

really exceptionally good. So, this vehicle delivers a driving feel which you most often only get in premium midsize sedans, you know? So they, of course, have better suspension technology at that price. And adaptive suspension, you can order. Or for some, you can even order air suspension or something. But that’s totally not in the price league. And when you then think about that, cars that equally deliver some kind of same experience, at the price tag which might be double the price tag of this one… Wow, this is hardly justified. This is more then about branding indeed.

So to me, driving the new generation Civic here is really about do you want more space than you have in the compact segment? At the same time, you don’t want to drive the largest sedan. You want a sporty driving feel, precise steering, you want comfort while driving, you want an easy and simple straightforward user interface. Yeah, there’s hardly anything against that at the moment. Of course, Honda internally, the Honda Accord when you want to go even larger there. But the Civic is the better price-performance definitely. And especially here as the liftback as a liftback/fastback/hatchback, however

you want to call it, this is the better concept. The sedan, yes, is longer. It has a longer trunk but the separate trunk is always harder to load. Here, you can even, when you fold the seats, put the bicycle in. You can easily load in and out. In some markets where there’s a lot of issues with burglary, people tend to prefer the closed trunk because, you know… Is it the case, actually? Is it the case that stuff is safer then? Well, in a way because you can’t get to the things by just breaking glass, you

know? Although this safety glass is kind of hard nowadays. But then you have to break into the trunk separately. So that is maybe one reason then to go for a real sedan. And of course, the real sedan, does it look better? What do you think? I’m not sure. Maybe because it’s a little bit longer from the proportion or something? Yeah, but the hatchback here is definitely more practical car. Here now by the way, once again about this hybrid drivetrain running downhill, just getting back energy and the battery’s full already. So the battery is not large.

It’s more like this buffer battery. But that ensures that when…. That might take… That’s closed. Yeah, this is this road here is kind of annoying because it’s just too narrow. For some roads, they were built at a time when cars were just smaller. And then cars have become bigger and bigger and bigger, but roads and parking garages and so on have not. And this is of course creating problems nowadays. Just think about the first-generation 911 You could almost park first-generation 911 in the current generation 911. Very interesting, definitely. Sometimes when a lot of electric consumers

are running, the engine might hop on. But most of the time, you know, in this case, gaining back energy. Or when I’m sliding on the throttle, then for example, once again, just the electric drive active, then it can happen for a second again that the combustion engine is on. You might criticize that… Wait a minute, isn’t the combustion engine going on and off all the time? Then is that really good for an engine? That has been problem with a lot of hybrids. I’ve talked to this issue with many manufacturers and they are always telling me

so when they are building inbuilt hybrid plug-in hybrid drivetrains, in these areas where there would be you know, higher stress on the engine, they’re using stronger materials that are more durable than it would be for the normal version of the drivetrain. And at least they say that their figures show that their hybrid or plug-in hybrid drivetrains do not more often have reliability issues than the other ones. Yeah, that’s what they say. It’s really hard to prove that with an external other source or something. The only thing we can do is look at reliability figures in

general for Toyota and Lexus especially, and they always score very, very high. And usually people are also satisfied with the other Japanese brands, Honda and Mazda as well. Of course, depending on the car. You might remember Honda with one engine generation also in the CRV have these oil dilution issues. Hope they’re fixed meanwhile. But here has so far, this drivetrain didn’t hear so much negetives. If you did, then please join us in the comments and tell us more about that. But I really have to think I was expecting good efficiency. It has been awesome efficiency.

Really more than expected. Or, less fuel than expected. But I was expecting less driving fun definitely. And that hybrid drivetrain would kind of feel more weird but they’ve really worked on the hybrid drivetrain here in this situation. And it was a couple of years ago when I drove it in the previous generation CR-V for the first time and it kind of felt a little bit off. Wasn’t bad, but it felt a little bit off fun-wise. And here now you feel the integration of that hybrid drivetrain has been enhanced. It is just better than before. And

yeah, overall, I once again have to say at this price point here, this is fantastic really. And we want to top it even more. Let’s see about what when I’m really… Oh, there’s a Polestar 2. Obviously great, you know, rear lighting. It looks awesome, right? Doesn’t it? We also have a Polestar review on our channel, of course. So now I want to, you know, I want to do a full circle really, really sporty, up the hill, also with really bad roads. Let’s put it to the real test. Here we go. And due to this low

seating position, which is not uncomfortable at all but at the same time, really, I would say ‘sporty’ comfortable. I think like, “Hey, I’m exactly right here as well.” You know, although this is not like Type R or something. Look at that. Steering movement’s really smooth, very precise. I don’t have to correct anything. The ground here is really rough. Suspension’s doing a good job. Once again, it’s not the best suspension ever but it’s a good suspension definitely. Steering could be a little bit more progressive. Then I don’t have to steer that much, but it’s actually totally

fine. Now here electric drivetrain plus combustion engine at the same time, and it’s smooth. Wow, I’m astonished how little understeer there is actually from that vehicle. And it’s really a lot of fun. So yeah, of course, when I would have like a a 3L V6 pure petrol engine, yeah, of course it would be cooler from the engine. That would be a better sound. But considering once again, we want to keep the fuel economy good and we want to keep payment at the fuel station low, and this is very well delivering then for that case. What

about these horses there? They’re waiting. I’ll just drive very slowly so we don’t annoy them. And this is also a good thing. Now we’re driving pure electric. The horses can remain calm, the riders will stay and settled. They won’t fly off. Unlike I would have maybe passed them with a Lambo or something. Still driving electric, still driving electric. Slightly increasing speed… Now combustion engine. You also hear it. Yeah, that was also a good use case of how you can make use of this hybrid drivetrain. Yeah, wow! I’m really surprised of how well this car did

in each segments. Definitely a step forward if you compare it to the previous generation. And as I said, yes, you will not get the most natural fun driving experience with the hybrid drivetrain. But for a hybrid drivetrain, this was really excellent in the fuel economy can score in topography changes. You’re going downhill, you’re getting more energy back to the battery again. Even if you’re sometimes just standing still, then there’s power being generated to the battery you can later on use it again. Yeah, I think it’s a great idea especially in these times where fuel prices

have gone nuts. So this is a very, very welcome addition then. And of course, this car will also be fine without the hybrid drivetrain. So most, like 90% of the review will also count then for all the other drivetrains then, especially for our viewers in the US with the 1.5L Turbo or with the 2.0L naturally aspirated engine. So you can also apply all the different driving features then to these engines. And now, want to go a little bit bigger to the Honda Accord, the new one? Or a direct competitor here would also be the Toyota


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