Civic was initially launched as a sub-compact sedan back in 1972 which has now grown up to be a compact sedan since Honda City (aka Honda Fit Aria) took place of sub-compact sedan.
In Pakistan Honda started assembly of civic in 1994 with its fifth generation and unlike Toyota since the launch has never skipped a generation of Civic in Pakistani market. The car we reviewed was seventh generation Honda Civic which was offered in Pakistani market from 2001 to 2006. This car received two facelifts in its time, first was in 2003 and second was in 2004. The car we reviewed was the first face that was initially launched in 2001
The car we reviewed was 1.6 VTi which is powered by Honda’s 4 cylinders vtec D16W9 engine producing 132 hp with 158 Nm of torque. There was also a lower variant available with 1.5 liter 4 cylinders D15Y3 engine producing 120 hp with 150 Nm torque. Coming back to 1.6 liter variant that we reviewed; This car was first Pakistan assembled car to be offered with ABS brakes. 4 wheel disc brakes were continued from 6th generation to this one.
This was the first Civic which was offered with a Prosmatec (Progressive Shift Management Technology) transmission instead of Automatic transmission; in Pakistan automatic transmission was first time offered in civic in 1996 with their 6th generation Honda Civic and the issue was with each gear shift there used to be a very unpleasant jerk which was felt by passengers; that was eliminated with the introduction of Prosmatec transmission when this car was launched.
This car was offered in 3 major variants which are as follows:
EXi – This was the basic variant with 1.5 liter D15Y13 engine. The car came with standard wheel covers & a lowered grade music system compared to the higher variant. After the facelift this car also received the standard beige interior with rear independent headrests. This car lacked retractable door mirrors as well but apart from that power steering, central locking, power windows etc were all standard in this variant. You could choose between Automatic (Prosmatec) or Manual transmission.
VTi – This was the higher spec variant powered by 1.6 liter D16W19 engine. This is the variant that we reviewed; This one was offered with retractable door mirrors, a better music system with 10 disc CD changer & 15” alloy rims. You could choose between Automatic (Prosmatec) or Manual transmission & also you had an option of upgrading your interior to leather seats. Before facelift the leather offered was in black color and after facelift the leather interior was also changed to brown.
VTi Oriel – this was top of the line variant powered by same 1.6 liter D16W19 engine. Apart from everything offered in lower variants this also came with height adjustment for driver’s seat and Sunroof. You could choose between Automatic (Prosmatec) or Manual transmission & also you had an option of upgrading your interior to leather seats. Before facelift the leather offered was in black color and after facelift the leather interior was also changed to brown.
This Civic was last of the old school Honda Civic with the hint of new tech features added. This was the last civic with conventional instrument cluster; when this car received a facelift in 2003 the instrument cluster was replaced with optitron meter, this was the last civic to be offered with grey interior in Pakistan and after the facelift in 2003 beige interior was made standard across all variants of Civic. This was also the last civic which didn’t have rear independent headrests as a standard option but were only offered in the leather seats variant.
With that being said this was also the first civic to receive the rear flat floor, rear windshield embedded radio camera, retractable mirrors (for VTi variant only); Honda’s air-condition with 7 speed fan was also offered in this Civic for the first time. So this is the civic of transition phase.
This car offers good spaces in passenger cabin, thanks to the rear flat floor the person sitting in rear center also gets to have similar legroom as the ones sitting on either rear side. The only disadvantage is that there isn’t a lot of legroom for the passengers sitting in the back, apart from that this car comes with a big trunk and enough cabin space for 5 passengers.
I personally like this generation of Civic and feel this is one of the best ones made since they started assembling this car locally so I would be a biased person to say this car has almost no turn offs but it does have a turn off i.e. when you’re driving behind the car you can see the rear suspension very visibility which is kind of like an eye sore. Also there was one issue with the rear taillights of this car; it wasn’t sealed properly resulting in almost all the cars I’ve seen have flies caught inside the rear taillights of pre-facelift variant.
If being driven with a light foot this car (1.6 liter) can give fuel average of 9-10 km / liter.
The car offers very comfortable driving posture for the driver with its bucket like seats shape and the arm rest attached to driver’s seat. I’ve owned this car at one point and always found it to be extremely comfortable. The air-condition is also extremely good. This car is from the era before things got too complicated which is why you get excellent visibility; the hydraulic power steering does feel a little heavy now that we all are used to, to having electronic power steering but the car feels in control.
The prefacelift model starts somewhere around Rs.650,000/- and goes upto 1 million for a post facelift model.
This car was ahead of its time for when it was launched as it offered many debuting options in Pakistan however now after 17 years this car does feel a little dated and old. The technology used is also mostly outdated now by the standards of 2018 however this car would always remain one of my personal favorites.
Looks & styling – 5/10
The looks of this car are not that great; the facelift of 2004 did offer this car somewhat newer looks and that one does look better but this pre facelift 2001-2003 model doesn’t get more than 5 in the department of looks & styling.
Features – 5/10
The car was ahead of its time when it was launched but now after 17 years there are many new features that are being offered in cars even if you look in similar price range you can get a Japanese car with more features.
Practicality – 6/10
Practicality is a strong suit in this car since this is a local assembled sedan that is practical to use anywhere in the country, Civic has a softer suspension compared to Corolla thus the suspension may get damaged before a corolla if used on rugged terrain.
Value for money – 8/10
In my opinion this is a lot of car overall for the money you spend for one.
Easy to maintain – 6/10
It’s a local product and parts are easily available anywhere and they aren’t expensive either so maintaining one of these is fairly easy.
Resale – 7/10
Civic does enjoy good resale for certain time but this car is on the verge of becoming “too old” for a civic so the resale will decline with time and considering this is a manual Honda this car won’t get a preferred resale by a daily user. Yes the ricers would love to own one of these since it has maximum potential of modifying but an average person would prefer a Corolla if going for manual transmission and automatic in Civic. That’s how our country works.
Fun to drive – 8/10
The 1.6 liter engine with the body and manual transmission makes this car a pocket rocket which is a lot of fun to drive.
Comfort – 8/10
This car is among the most comfortable cars of its age & price range.
Quality – 8/10
The car came with excellent quality materials specially in the interior, the car we reviewed was over 100,000 kms used and yet everything was still in its original shape except for the steering wheel which has seen some wear n tear.
Total - 61/90
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