New Civic provides a showcase for Honda spirit

December 16, 2005|by KEN CHESTER, JR./Motor News Media Corp.

As the cornerstone of Honda's automotive heritage, the Civic represents the first high-volume production automobile that showcased Honda's spirit of innovation to a North American audience ready for something new. The all-new eighth-generation Civic amplifies its defining character with a long list of Honda technology and engineering innovations, resulting in a vehicle that is pure Honda, exclusively Civic and outside the boundaries of traditional small-car thinking.

The exterior of the new Honda Civic follows a futuristic and high-tech "Advanced Personal Compact" design that incorporates a sweeping roofline and ultra-sleek windshield angle to highlight the vehicle's one-motion profile, low and wide stance, and exceptionally aerodynamic shape. Available in DX, LX, EX and Hybrid models, the new Civic sedan exhibits 100 percent unique exterior sheet metal and unique proportions such as wheelbase, overall length and height as opposed to the coupe models. The sedan becomes more sophisticated and upscale as the coupe becomes sportier.


The front-drive Civic is available with the following two engines: an innovative 1.8-liter i-VTEC and an ultra-efficient 1.3-liter i-VTEC with Integrated Motor Assist in the Civic Hybrid. Torque is communicated to the street through a five-speed manual gearbox in the regular Civic and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic in the Civic Hybrid. A five-speed automatic transmission is an available option for the regular sedan.

On the road, the Civic is impressively responsive at speed - corners flat with hardly any body roll - and handles excellently. Tight, solid, complete and balanced, this Civic is by far the best-handling generation Honda has ever created.

The foundation for the 2006 Civic is a new version of Honda's Global Compact Platform. The solid unit body of the Civic was designed from the outset to define a new standard for torsional and bending rigidity in the compact segment. Employing advanced body construction technologies for enhanced safety, improved rigidity, ride comfort and a quieter cabin, the new platform boasts a 36 percent improvement in torsional rigidity.

The Civic's control hardware is a four-wheel independent system, completely redesigned for 2006. Reengineered to provide agile handling and refined ride comfort, Civic employs a compact Control-Link McPherson Strut suspension up front, while a double-wishbone multi-link suspension at the rear helps provide a smooth ride, excellent handling and large cargo space.

Inside the cabin, Honda stylists and engineers prioritized sophistication to create a high-quality, advanced and sporty interior with the latest technology, expanded storage and ground-breaking ergonomics. A two-tier instrument panel positions priority gauges like the speedometer up high in the driver's field of vision. The increased body width allows the seats to be wider and more supportive, and a spacious multi-functional center console accommodates up to 25 compact discs and performs armrest duties for both front occupants.


Wheelbase: 106.3; overall length: 176.7; width: 69; height: 56.5 - measurements in inches.

Engines: 1.8-liter - 140 hp at 6,300 rpm and 128 lbs-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm; 1.3-liter - 110 hp at 6,000 rpm and 123 lbs-ft of torque at 1,000-2,500 rpm (Hybrid).

Transmissions: Five-speed manual, five-speed automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT).

EPA fuel economy: 30 city/38 hwy., (manual); 30 city/40 hwy., (automatic); 49 city/51 hwy. (CVT) Hybrid.

Cargo capacity: 10.4 cubic feet, (Hybrid); 12 cubic feet, (sedan).


Dual front air bags, front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, side curtain air bags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, daytime running lights and side-impact door beams. LX adds security system, remote keyless entry and power door locks with auto-lock feature. Hybrid adds brake assist.


Basic: 3-year/36,000 mile.

Powertrain: 5-year/60,000 mile.

Corrosion: 5-year/unlimited.


The base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2006 Honda Civic sedan starts from $14,560 for DX, $16,510 for LX, $18,260 for EX and $21,850 for the Hybrid. Destination charges add $550.

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