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Honda Civic DTi-S 2013 review: long term 1

EXPERT RATING
7

Finally some evidence Honda is not sitting on its technological hands with the appearance of a new turbo-diesel Civic. It's from Honda’s “Earth Dreams” program much like Mazda's SkyActiv and numerous other ‘green’ technology programs used increasingly by just about every manufacturer.

They've had diesel Civics in the UK (where it's made) and Europe for yonks but the local Honda arm didn't think it would sell here. We'll see.

Price and equipment

At $26,990, it's a better proposition than many of the European diesels and every bit as good as the Koreans though with a six-speed manual only, broader appeal might elude it.

They've fitted plenty of kit too with dual zone climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio, multiple info display, reverse camera, auto wipers and headlights and a noise cancelling system inside to reduce engine and road noise (works a treat).

Engine

The Honda kicks out impressive power and torque for a 1.6-litre turbodiesel achieving 88kW/300Nm with fuel economy on the combined cycle rated at 4.0-litres/100km. It's a new all-alloy engine employing a new generation Garret turbo with variable nozzle control pressurising incoming air at 1.5bar.

That partly explains why the Civic DTi-S has so much get-go. Once underway, acceleration is not a problem though it’s a little tardy off the mark. The six-speed manual is sweet enough but not in the same league as the Honda CR-Z we just had.

Technology

The Civic DTi-S has plenty of systems to optimise performance and fuel economy while minimising emissions. The six-speed manual transmission is purpose-built for efficiency under the Earth Dreams program. Civic DTi-S has auto stop/start, fuel economy driver ‘coaching’ systems and economy calibrations for the engine and other mechanical functions on the car.

Driving

We will have this car for three months and drive it about 6000km so the; assist driver coaching system will be an interesting experience. We are already engaged with the car's astonishing fuel economy and continually try to better it having already seen 4.0 easily. Why you'd buy the Civic Hybrid is beyond us.

We like the looks outside (secret rear door handles and all) as well as inside which seems a cut above other Civics though similar in design. It's a practical thing too with Honda's clever ‘Magic Seat’ system in the back offering one touch access to numerous seat layouts.

It seems this car will sip ridiculously small amounts of fuel and goes really well while having the capacity for five adults in its five door hatchback body. Perhaps we should challenge ourselves and see how much fuel we don't put in this car...

Verdict

Once the word gets out about the car's economy, performance and price we predict it will do well.

Pricing guides

$13,884
Based on 125 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,800
Highest Price
$16,995

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
DTi-S 1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $8,800 – 13,200 2013 Honda Civic 2013 DTi-S Pricing and Specs
VTi-L 1.8L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $7,900 – 12,210 2013 Honda Civic 2013 VTi-L Pricing and Specs
VTi-LN 1.8L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $9,000 – 13,530 2013 Honda Civic 2013 VTi-LN Pricing and Specs
VTi-S 1.8L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $7,300 – 11,330 2013 Honda Civic 2013 VTi-S Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7