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Honda Civic VTi-S hatch – some much to like but some obvious exclusions

In 1973 a small Japanese hatchback arrived in Australia, the Honda Civic a compact lightweight two-door sedan or three-door hatch that would be quickly embraced in this market – its arrival coincided with the 1973 oil crisis and the front-wheel-drive Civic spearheaded the move towards smaller more fuel-efficient cars. Today, it remains one of the longest continuous vehicle nameplates in the automotive world. Of course, it’s grown in size, selling here in a highly competitive small car market with over 20 players where it is the 6th best-seller. I’ve just driven the latest 1.8-litre naturally aspirated VTi-S auto hatch at $24,490 – From where I sat the Civic VTi-S offered a very comfortable driving position however from the front seat passenger position there is no seat height adjustment – my wife complaining she felt like she was sitting on the floor.

This is a common problem on many small cars today where such items as seat height adjustment on the front passenger seat is deleted in the name of a lower entry price. And frankly it’s a big turnoff- and it’s even an omission even on the highest spec Civic VTi-LX. On the plus side the other comfort inclusions, fit and finish and paint quality on the Civic are first class although from a safety standpoint only the top-spec VTi-LX gets the Honda Sensing Package with autonomous emergency braking which many other small cars now include as standard. More next segment.

I’m David Berthon

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