Honda fine-tunes a winning formula

Dynamic Honda Civic range receives a midlife refresher and facelift for 2019

24 June 2019 - 10:23
At the rear, new chrome detailing is designed to highlight the wide, low stance of the Honda Civic.
At the rear, new chrome detailing is designed to highlight the wide, low stance of the Honda Civic.
Image: Supplied/Honda

Honda Motor Southern Africa has announced a series of improvements and upgrades to its advanced and dynamic Honda Civic range.

The midlife update builds on the successful formula that has underpinned the Civic’s aspirational status by introducing a series of subtle enhancements to the exterior and interior of all four models in the line-up.

The choice of drivetrains remains unchanged, with a choice between two proven four-cylinder engines: a refined, normally aspirated 1.8l unit and a sporty 1.5l turbo petrol version.

The Civic line-up also continues to encompass four models: the 1.8 Comfort and 1.8 Elegance, and the 1.5T Sport and 1.5T Executive. A smooth and efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard across the range.

“This update emphasises Honda’s commitment to ongoing product improvement and enhanced customer satisfaction,” said Hiroyuki Tazawa, newly appointed president of Honda Motor Southern Africa.

“The 10th-generation Honda Civic set high standards in terms of dynamic appeal, interior packaging, advanced technology and driver engagement when it was introduced here in 2016.”


The updated Honda Civic retains its striking styling, reflecting a silhouette that’s revolutionary for a four-door sedan and creates the overall impression of a sleek sports coupé.

The cleanly sculpted shape emphasises the Civic’s athletic character, with a low, wide stance, an extended bonnet and a short front overhang.

For 2019, the front end receives a redesigned front grille, a bolder, three-dimensional bumper and new styling details, all designed to further emphasise the Civic’s unique fusion of sportiness and refinement.

At the rear, new chrome detailing is designed to highlight the wide, low stance, while chrome garnish has been added to the front of the 1.8 Comfort, as well as around the fog lamps of the 1.8 Elegance and 1.5T Executive models.

In profile, the wind-cheating shape is enhanced by new model-specific wheel designs. The Civic 1.8 Comfort features double-spoke 16-inch alloys in shark grey, while the 1.8 Elegance and 1.5T Executive are fitted with 17-inch wheels featuring scythe-shaped spokes in dark grey.

In line with its more dynamic character, the 1.5T Sport gains 17-inch alloys finished in berlina black, augmented by a dark coating.


The Civic’s interior combines high-quality materials with an ergonomically intuitive centre console and a sporty yet comfortable driving position.

As before, the uncluttered interior design features extensive use of attractive soft-touch and accent materials that heighten the sense of premium quality.

On an ergonomic level, it offers refined, user-friendly access to the various controls. This includes the striking high-deck centre console encompassing key features such as the electric parking brake and brake hold function.

Low cabin noise and refined ride quality were hallmarks of the 10th-generation Civic from the outset, thanks to comprehensive sound proofing. The updated Civic takes these elements to new heights with further improvements to the noise insulation package.

At the same time, the cabin finishes have been refined to reflect a contemporary, textured look that varies according to model.

The high specification levels of the four Civic models have been carried over to the updated range, offering owners an extensive array of comfort, convenience and safety features.

Comfortable, high-tech interior undergoes further refinement and noise insulation.
Comfortable, high-tech interior undergoes further refinement and noise insulation.
Image: Supplied/Honda


Advanced technologies remain an integral part of the latest Civic in order to make driving safe and convenient, while also benefiting driver and passenger comfort.

One of the most popular features is the high-resolution, seven-inch LCD display that forms the centrepiece of the digital audio system.

The innovative system enables connection with numerous smartphone functions, including maps for ease of navigation operation. It’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on Elegance, Sport and Executive models, making this the most convenient and connected Civic ever.

The system is also compatible with various media formats and can be operated by controls conveniently located on the multifunction steering wheel.

The touchscreen buttons have been replaced by hard buttons for improved ease of use, while a convenient volume control knob has also been incorporated.

Several other Civic firsts have also been carried over, including the Walk Away Auto Lock feature operated by the smart-key system, which is standard on the Sport and Executive models.

The range-topping Civic Executive derivative continues to reinforce its premium status with a raft of additional safety features, including adaptive cruise control with low-speed following, collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, and lane watch with blindspot camera.

Drivetrains and performance

The 2019 Honda Civic is offered, as before, with a choice of two engines: a normally aspirated 1.8l unit and an exciting 1.5l turbo petrol engine.

The 1.5l VTEC Turbo features Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology and produces 127kW of maximum power at 5,500r/min, along with 220Nm of maximum torque – the latter available in a broad range between 1,700 and 5,500r/min to enhance all-round drivability.

As before, the Civic is also available with a refined, naturally aspirated 1.8l SOHC i-VTEC engine. It produces 104kW at 6,500r/min, allied to a torque peak of 174Nm at 4,300r/min.

In line with Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology, both engines are paired with latest generation CVT gearboxes. This ensures smooth performance with the added benefit of maximum efficiency.

Both engines feature Honda’s Econ mode, which optimises the engine and transmission for maximum fuel economy. Additionally, Eco Assist helps the driver achieve the most efficient driving style by means of a changing colour indication on the instrument cluster.

Athletic, low-slung design gains a redesigned front grille and bolder, three-dimensional bumper.
Athletic, low-slung design gains a redesigned front grille and bolder, three-dimensional bumper.
Image: Supplied/Honda

Chassis and safety

Safety is enhanced by means of the vehicle stability control, which is standard on all models, incorporating hill-start assist, along with ABS anti-lock brakes and electronic brake force distribution.

All models are equipped with dual front, side and curtain airbags, complemented with a reverse camera and rear parking sensors on all but the base model.

Colour line-up

The array of colours on offer for the updated Honda Civic remains largely unchanged: rallye red, brilliant sporty blue metallic, modern steel metallic and lunar silver metallic, while orchid white pearl has been replaced by an all-new platinum white pearl.

Model range and pricing

  • 1.8 Comfort CVT: R364,500
  • 1.8 Elegance CVT: R408,500
  • 1.5T Sport CVT: R474,700
  • 1.5T Executive CVT: R507,600

Prices include a five-year/200,000km warranty, a five-year/90,000km service plan, as well as three years of AA Roadside Assistance. Services are at 15,000km intervals for the 1.8 models and 10,000km for the 1.5T variants.

This article was paid for by Honda.