All you need to know: New 11th-gen Honda Civic
America's most popular sedan returns to more traditional looks with the all-new 11th-generation Honda Civic. Despite the polarising, Manga-inspired styling of the 10th-gen car, it managed to overtake the Toyota Camry as the highest selling sedan in the US in 2020, and the more mature styling of the new Civic should help further its lead. There's an increased focus on minimalism inside too, with a new dashboard design that's designed to be fingerprint resistant, new physical climate controls, larger 9-inch infotainment, 10.2-inch digital driver's display, wireless charging, new seats and, most impressively, AC vents hidden behind the mesh insert that runs across the dash. Chassis improvements aside, the new Civic will continue with the option of a 2.0-litre NA petrol with 158PS, and a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol with 180PS. Hotter Civic Si and Civic Type R variants are planned, but Honda says it'll likely be the last Civic Type-R it makes.
The production version of the new Civic stays faithful to the prototype shown last year, and the lean, low, long proportions are kept intact, with a 33mm increase in overall length, and a 35mm stretch in wheelbase over the outgoing Civic, with width and height remaining the same. It's allowed Honda to pull back the A-pillar 50mm, elongating the already low-set hood that leads into a low belt line, itself 25mm lower than the current-gen car's. Wheel track width is 12.7mm wider at the rear, for increased stability and a more squat appearance, helped by the strong rear haunches.
Honda even says the 11th-gen Civic is the most rigid they've ever built despite the stretch in wheelbase, with an eight per cent increase in torsional rigidity, and 13 per cent increase in bending rigidity towards better ride, handling and NVH. The Civic continues with its McPherson/multi-link front/rear suspension setup, with improvements all around, such as a lighter aluminium front sub-frame, low-friction ball joints on the front struts, addition of bushings between key suspension components, revised suspension damping, and retuned steering, improving aspects such as ride comfort, straight line stability, turn-in, steering feel, and NVH. The 10th-gen Civic, on sale in India before it was pulled in December 2020, displayed an adept blend of ride and handling, but felt expectedly soft under particularly enthusiastic driving, while the suspension could get noisy over bad roads, so these improvements should go a long way towards fixing those complaints.
With the 2.0-litre NA and 1.5-litre turbo-petrol options, Honda will only offer a CVT automatic for the moment but expect things to change when hotter Civic variants are announced. Expect the 11th-gen Civic Type-R to carry over the 2.0-litre turbocharged motor from the current Type-R, with power possibly bumped up from 306PS. Though, some reports do point to the new Type-R gaining an all-wheel drive hybrid powertrain, as unlikely as that seems at the moment.
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