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Honda Civic is finally here
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July 08, 2006

All right, ladies and gentlemen, the most awaited car of the year is here. Honda has just taken the wraps off one of its global best-sellers - the Civic - and as of now, you can walk into a Honda dealership, complete the formalities and drive out in the eighth-generation Civic.

What's even better is that the only choice you would be allowed to make is the exterior colour and the choice of transmission. Everything else on the car is standard. The list is long, so let's start with the engine first.

Honda has given the Civic an 1800cc engine that makes 130 bhp at a rather high 6300 rpm, while torque is at 17.9 kgm at 4300 rpm. Incidentally, both these figures are higher than the current mid-size king, the Toyota Corolla.

This powerplant per se is rather high-tech. The block is aluminium while the sleeves are treated with molybdenum disulphide. What is it? Well, we aren't really sure, but anything that's treated with molybdenum should generally be good, right? Then it's got Honda's customary VTEC technology, coupled with a variable intake manifold.

As mentioned earlier, you can choose between a five-speed manual and a five speed automatic that comes with... wait for it... paddle shifts! So now you don't just have to watch Jenson Button going around in circles on the telly, you can go out and actually imitate him. For the trivia-oriented, this is an India first. In terms of suspension, the Civic gets McPherson struts for the front and a double wishbone setup at the rear.

Also, if you thought the exteriors are rather neat, wait till you open the door. Now, we've heard of manufacturers calling their ten-year old designs as "new-age" but in the Civic's case, when Honda means "new-age", it really is true. This Japanese mid-sizer comes with something known as a multiplex meter.

Essentially, the Civic now has two independent displays for the speedometer and the tachometer that are well placed and super easy to read. Audio equipment comes in the form of an in-dash 6-CD changer that can play MP3s and WMAs.

And talking of the audio system, the Indian Civic gets audio controls in the rear-seat armrest - something that isn't a feature even on cars that cost twice as much.

The packaging too is rather brilliant - there is ample room on the inside and it even boasts of a flat rear floor. Unlike the City, Honda hasn't skimmed on the safety bits for the Civic. There is ABS, EBD, Brake Assist and dual airbags.

Now, we haven't driven the car yet, but Honda says that the Civic's fuel consumption is just a couple of units more than the City's. While we'll have to verify that claim, one thing is for certain - outstanding refinement. Honda however haven't revealed any performance figures yet.

So how much is it? Well, if you live in Delhi and opt for the manual version, the Civic will cost you Rs 10.75 lakh (ex-showroom) while the automatic will set you back by Rs 11.45 lakh.

At this price it's not exactly a steal, but what Honda have here is the absolute latest in terms of, well, everything. Besides, let's not forget that this is a Honda.

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