Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?
Okay, so you’re looking at a sedan, so there’s a good likelihood you’re looking for a value offering. Because, if you were following the current impulse buying trends you'd be researching an SUV and, if you really cared about practicality, you'd be after a wagon.
Well, there’s no Civic wagon, but our VTi-LX sedan here is the top-spec car. Coming in at a before-on-road cost of $33,590 it competes with other small sedan flagships, the Mazda 3 SP25 Astina ($33,490), Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo ($31,290), Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S ($33,250) and the new Kia Cerato Sport+ ($28,290).
Accounting for most value factors, the VTi-LX stands up reasonably well. Featured is a full array of LED lighting (DRL, headlights and foglights), sunroof, dimming rear mirror (nice addition), leather appointed interior trim with heated seats and six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, 452-watt audio system with DAB+ and, built-in sat nav.
There’s also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available through the 7.0-inch touchscreen, and unlike competitors, the odd addition of an HDMI port (you can hook everything from laptops to gaming consoles up to the main screen).
The native user experience on the touchscreen is far from best in the segment, however. It’s clunky and slow, and I had trouble finding some of the features. The implementation of Apple CarPlay was even kind of dodgy at times, with it crashing out occasionally.
I’ve never had trouble with competitor systems in Hyundai and Kia products and, while you’ll do without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in the Mazda3, it’s still a much slicker system than the one in the VTi-LX.
One major value factor to consider is the ‘HondaSensing’ safety suite which makes the VTi-LX the only Civic to include all the key active safety items. This is a major value consideration, so keep an eye out for more details in the Safety section of this review.
From the VTi-L up you also get the convenience of push-button start and keyless entry.
Sitting just below our VTi-LX is the RS spec level which I recently tested in hatch form. In sedan guise the RS costs $1800 less and is almost identically equipped apart from the safety suite which is worth every penny. Unless the relatively understated look of the LX is a deal breaker, my advice is to spend the extra cash.