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Honda's new hatch more civil

2011-09-13 08:33

CIVIC CHOICE: Looks good. Visibility much improved too. Image gallery

Honda’s revealed its new Civic five-door hatchback at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show.

The Japanese company’s new Civic is an evolution of the radical eight-generation generation car, which has been on sale since late 2006.

STILL RADICAL, BUT A TOUCH MORE REFINED...

Loyal Honda customers will note that the new Civic carries over a few styling elements from last-generation car, including a split-glass surface rear hatch area and rear door handles hidden in the C-pillar.

Designers have added new surface details (such as neatly flared fenders, especially around the rear wheelarches), more angular headlamp clusters and a less wedge-shaped grille/front-bumper combination.

One of the crucial design directives for the new Civic was been to improve all-round visibility, an area of weakness on the eight-generation car; especially the rather obtrusive A-pillars.

Inside, the radical split-deck instrumentation arrangement is retained, with a new steering wheel, featuring improved satellite control ergonomics, the other notable cabin design upgrade.

Dimensionally the new Civic is 35mm more substantial bumper-to-bumper, 10mm wider and features a roofline 20mm lower. The axle spacing has grown by 30mm, yielding better interior space and a class-leading (claims Honda) luggage capacity of 470-litres.

Technically, the new Civic will be powered by improved versions of Honda’s trusted 1.4- and 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, whilst current Accord’s 2.2-litre 110kW turbodiesel rounds-off the range. All engine feature stop/start fuel saving technology.

One of the fundamental engineering issues affecting the Civic, its rather utilitarian torsion beam rear suspension (and the harsh low-speed ride characteristics because of it), has ostensibly been cured by the integration of new fluid-filled bushing – which manages to improve stability and ride quality all in one go.

The latest from the Frankfurt show.

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