Tuesday, May 3, 2016

First Drive: 2016 Honda Civic RS Turbo


It’s fair to say that the Civic made Honda. Since the nameplate’s introduction in 1972, it has become renowned the world over for its class-leading dynamics and fuel efficiency. In the decades that followed, it revolutionized “the car for all people” and has thus embodied Honda’s challenging spirit. The 2000s though have been largely unfavorable to the Civic with duds such as the 2000-2005 ES (7th generation) and the 2011-2016 FB (9th generation). Though people still bought them, it raised Honda’s vulnerability in the compact car segment. Today, there’s this: the all-new, tenth-generation Honda Civic. Is this, finally, the Civic re-born?

Arriving by flatbed carrier, the security guards had their gazes permanently fixed on the car, shrouded in mystery by the reflective covers. The sloping fastback roofline didn’t look like any car they’ve seen before. Is this a sports car? Is this a muscle car? As the covers came off, it sat there in all its Cosmic Blue Metallic glory: the all-new RS Turbo. And even before the car was completely unloaded, the guards were busy snapping photos away on their mobile phones. It’s for their Facebook, they said. Throughout the morning, the story’s the same: full of interruptions from bikers, joggers, Honda owners, and curious by-standers armed with mobile phone cameras and curious questions. If this is the power of the Civic’s new design, then Honda’s done something right.



Normally, photographers would swear against working on any car with a dark hue. This time though, the bluish-black paint accentuated the sleek, swept-back bodylines. It has sportier proportions which make the body lower, longer, wider, and with less overhang than before. The gloss black solid wing grille is actually pushed out and angled downward creating a meaner, more aggressive stance. Either side, it’s sandwiched by the complex headlight cluster with full LED lighting. The side is less fussy, relying instead on the long wheelbase to create a taut and tidy appearance. Meanwhile, the backend serves as the perfect exclamation point with its distinctive C-shaped “light-pipe” LED tail lights and angularly shaped trunk. Interestingly, the Civic is one of the few cars that look better with the standard rear spoiler, though 18-inch alloy wheels (as opposed to the standard 17’s) could have made a welcome addition.

Inside, the Civic presents a modern and sophisticated looking interior. The dash itself is simple, laid out in a horizontal manner and together with the sweeping ends, creates a feeling of space unmatched by any other compact car. Sitting in for the first time, the abundance of space is noticeable. It’s easy to sit with the legs spread out and still not hit anything. Plus, there’s so much cubby holes from the usable center bin (that can swallow an Apple iPhone 6S or Samsung Galaxy S7), the bin behind the high deck center console (that’s where the USB inputs are) to the uncharacteristically deep arm rest console which can swallow one-liter bottles whole. Interestingly, the rear seats now fold in a 60/40 split, supplementing the already cavernous trunk. Unfortunately, it can’t be accessed from the seat itself; a lever must be pulled in the back. Quality-wise, all the touch points have been upgraded with soft touch plastics, brushed aluminum accents, piano black trims, and leather (with carbon fiber-like detailing on the seats).




Getting comfortable in the Civic is quite easy with the 6-way power adjustable driver’s seat. There’s no adjustment for lumbar support, but there’s little need for that. The seats feature excellent bolstering and support. The steering wheel also offers tilt/telescopic adjustment and because it’s angled more vertically, offers a sportier driving position. With the key fob in the pocket, starting the engine requires just a push of a button. The full-color TFT instrument cluster comes to life with breathtaking animation before settling down for business. Apart from showing the usual vehicle information—speed, engine revs, and so forth—it’s also configurable to display entertainment functions, turn-by-turn navigation, fuel mileage information, and even a turbo gauge. You can even shut everything off (including the tachometer) and just drive using the speedometer alone. The purely graphical interface and the touch-sensitive steering wheel controls need some getting used to, and after this half day drive, is still confusing. The 7-inch Advanced Display Audio, a common feature in new Hondas, is finally updated with sharper graphics and animation. It looks and operates much snappier, but the wealth of new functions requires a quick read of the manual to understand.

Much more straightforward is the way the 2016 Civic operates. Aiming to set the bar in the compact sedan category once more, Honda has worked on areas such as steering feel, handling precision, ride quality, and NVH. In other words, responding to all the failings of the previous generation model.




The powertrain alone is enough to give it a leg up with its brand-new Earth Dreams 1.5-liter DOHC VTEC engine featuring both direct injection and a mono scroll turbo. The maximum output of 173 horsepower and 216 Nm of torque makes one dream of a Civic SiR successor; and on paper it is, with a 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds and 14.9 seconds to the quarter mile. In reality though, it feels more of a smooth operator. It has less of a “turbo feel” compared to other force-induction motors as there’s minimal lag. Power delivery is extremely linear, providing tractable performance even from idle. The engine note is also satisfying with the right amount of growl. The CVT isn’t the first choice of enthusiasts to pair with the engine, but it’s a good match this time. It’s only under the most enthusiastic driving that the gearbox feels like it is neutering the performance somewhat. Still, there’s no denying its contribution to fuel economy: 10.9 km/L after around 50 kilometers of driving.

Riding on an all-new platform, the Civic has reduced its bulk by around 30 kilograms but has upped its torsional rigidity by 26 percent. And connected to this is a suspension system that enhances ride and reduces vibrations. With the exception of the audible tire noise (at speeds above 60 km/h), it’s much more composed in riding road imperfections. Going full speed through cobblestones isn’t enough to unsettle it. There’s still a bit of roll to the suspension, but the character is still fun and tossable. Coupled with this is new dual pinion electric power steering rack with a quick 2.2 turns lock-to-lock. It’s a big step compared to previous models in the way it turns and makes the entire car rotate briskly. The steering is light, but linear. The excellent sight lines also make it easy to position through corners. Overall, it feels less tiring to drive than another compact car with a sporty bent.



The all-new Civic is one of the most competitive vehicles to wear the Honda badge in a long time. With criticisms that the previous-generation model simply stayed the course rather than blazed a trail, Honda has finally come back to form with the tenth-generation Civic (FC). Whether or not it’ll be as sought after as the 1990s EK series remains to be seen, but judging from casual observers from the shoot and personal seat of the pants experience, the signs of greatness are there. This marks the return of the Civic and its rivals have every reason to be afraid.


102 comments:

  1. I guess this is the compact I need to have...

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  2. Waiting for the comment of the mazda fanboy who's hating this car.

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  3. Replies
    1. P 1,398,000 for the RS Turbo.

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    2. It's too expensive for a Japanese compact sedan. It should be priced at the 1.2m-1.3m range only. The price is a deal breaker..

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    3. same feeling here...pricey!

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    4. in the clutch are, what is the S stands for?

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  4. What's to hate about this car? It is light, decent interior size, fastback appearance, plus a potent small turbo engine. The local pricing though is something that might be a bane for prospect buyers.

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    1. Ask the nitpicking mazda hater. He always finds something to hate about hondas. His argument is that the mazda is more fun to drive and is better looking. Well I'd say he better shove his argument up his butt.

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    2. The only thing I hate about the new Civic is the CVT. All reviewers still said that nothing can beat the Mazda 3 in the fun to drive segment, but if Honda equipped the new Civic with a conventional 6 speed automatic, it may be at par with the Mazda 3 in terms of driving dynamics.

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    3. Why the hate for CVTs? Subaru is wrong then to use CVT on their turbo-powered cars. The Forester XT, Levorg, and WRX all use CVT trannies and it is not a major letdown for their performance.

      A DCT will be better if aiming for performance as it is common knowledge that Audi, BMW, Merc, and Porsche cars are quicker with the DCT/DSG/PDK trannies compared to its MT versions. However, DCT is not as fuel efficient compared to CVT. There are performance cars now sporting 8-speed automatics though and it might prove to be a good balance in performance and efficiency.

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  5. ^Hi Uly, did you wear a mask while driving? You wouldn't want people to see you while driving an ugly car do you?

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    1. The new Civic looks nice IMHO. And besides, I'm confident to rock any car 😎

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    2. I'm not sure why anyone would think that this car is ugly. It's aesthetically pleasing. What are they comparing it to anyway? A Ferrari?

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    3. ^Yeah its pleasing to the eye if you haven't seen its competitors...

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    4. Competitors? Like what? Isisingit mo na naman ang mazda 3 sa usapan?

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    5. Right now, only the Focus 1.5L Ecoboost and Golf 1.4L Turbo are the primary competitors of the Civic 1.5L Turbo. The Elantra 1.6L turbo might be coming over locally later this year. All the other top of the libe compacts have 2.0L NA engines while those above use small displacement potent turbo engines. The Golf 1.4T is priced higher at 1.5M+ while the Focus 1.5L Ecoboost is cheaper by 120k than the Civic turbo. The Civic Turbo is the quickest among the three and offers the biggest interior space.

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    6. As far as the looks and compact car category are concerned, I think the Honda Civic is going up against Corolla Lancer Kizashi Elantra 3 Focus Forte Golf/Jetta. Which one looks good is up to the beholder.

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    7. The Sylphy is the best looking. You guys are tasteless.

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    8. The Mazda 3 Speed is currently the best looking compact sedan/hatchback in the segment, end of discussion. It also holds numerous international awards and it is MADE IN JAPAN, unlike other competitors sourced from Thailand.

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    9. At last! Lumabas na rin tong si mazda fanboy! Hoy kupal! Awards lang yan, besides kung nauna lang ang civic sa release baka wala ng awards yang pinakamamahal mong mazda.

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    10. I understand why some people would find the exterior of the new Civic as different. But perhaps it's not fair to call it as ugly. It may not be sleek like other cars but maybe the design would eventually grow on you. In the end, it's your money your spending, buy the car that you think is best and stop justifying that you bought the "best" car. As long as it makes you happy when you drive it, then that is all that matters.

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    11. ^In PH compact sedans doesn't sell much any more unlike in the 80s-90s. The "in" thing now are Crossovers, SUVs and Pick-ups. So the design of this Honda Civic, like the two previous Civic models before it, wont grow on anyone.
      And not all Honda Civic haters are Mazda lovers... we just want to challenge Honda to come up with better design for their cars.

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    12. Those are highly coveted awards, and it wouldn't be awarded those awards if it wasn't an awesome car, though I now admit that the new Civic is also a nice car, but it took 2 years for Honda to come out with the new Civic anyway. If The previous Civic won those awards instead of the Mazda 3, then you would be shoving those awards that the Civic got in my face, but the Mazda got it, not the Civic. If Honda just equipped the new Civic with a conventional 6 speed automatic or a manual transmission, but alas, it did not.

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    13. Your Mazda, any Mazda including the RX8 against my CVT WRX. Anytime, any place.I'll teach you the meaning of "fun" in driving.

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    14. Why would you compare a P1.8M car to a P1.2M car?

      FUN (noun \ˈfən\) the feeling of being amused or entertained

      There you go. That's the meaning of fun.

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    15. Sabi ko nga Any Mazda. How much do you think a grey market RX8. Read first idiot!

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    16. You're the idiot. The previous posts before your arrogant post was comparing the Civic with the Mazda3. It is only but proper to assume that you were referring to the Mazda3 when you started your post with "Your Mazda".

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    17. Dude don't assume whats not written in his own post. He clearly stated "any Mazda" no specification aside from RX8 and WRX. please don't argue, that's just wrong men.
      HAHAHA CHICO yata laman ng ulo mo eh

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    18. Bobo yung Chico. Di marunong magbasa.

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    19. He said any Mazda right? Is the Mazda 3 a Mazda? I believe so. So why am I wrong to ask why he would compare a Mazda 3 to a WRX? Please don't teach me about comprehension when you don't even know how to properly use singular/plural nouns. It's man not men.

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  6. Yes sir how about the 1.8 E im not familiar with this engine.ty

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    1. The engine is the same one used on the current Civic.

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  8. Uly, how would you compare the new civic to the mazda 3 handling, drivability and cornering wise? Thanks

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  9. the RS turbo is overkill for EDSA driving if you spend most of your time in city driving stuck for hours in traffic. The RS turbo is also not that thrilling if you use it on track days because of the CVT. So what's the use of the RS turbo at all?... slap all the RS features (sans the turbo)on the 1.8 base model and it's the best value for the buck.

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  10. Could you do a review with the 1.8 E? That variant would be the one which will be bought by most buyers anyway.

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  11. For this price I will rather buy a ford ranger. And I will a sure you it will beat this ranger the civic in the race. hahaha race going up in the mountain... hahaha

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    1. Stupid. Different cars for different purpose. Useless comparison.

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    2. I'm not stupid bro. I'm just practical. In fact I'm comparing the price, because the price is the same as the middle trim of the ranger. Did you get my point? If not go back to school... hahaha

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    3. Actually unless you're hauling or towing stuff, pickups have the worst practicality out there. Such a huge footprint and not much interior room.

      Go for an SUV or crossover or sedan instead. Unless, again, you tow or haul.

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    4. ^Agree pick ups are bulky and difficult to park in malls or churches... its not a family car, but in PH they are an all around car to some families... truck-based SUVs are bulky too but they are more comfortable than pick ups.

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    5. I abhor pick ups. They are meant to be used in farms. In long drives, the suspension will kill you. The ride rattles your teeth and shakes your vertebraes. Nothing beats a sedan for daily use (and some abuse) in my opinion.

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    6. It's hard to park if your are not a good driver boy.. hahaha

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    7. ^ its not so much as the ability to park but the space for when you want to exit your car. Minsan masikip at minsan hindi ka na makakapili kung saan ka paparada. Hindi talaga praktikal for most of us. Madalas porma lang kaya nag pickup.

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  13. this is a good compact car. a bit expensive though. Im a bit disappointed coz im expecting a US version features, like sunroof, side mirror cam, carplay/googleplay compatibility etc. but im still looking for this one.

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    1. Actually, this RS variant comes with Car Play and Android compatibility, as far as I know.

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    2. I also hoped we would get the sunroof, but I guess that would've jacked up the price quite a bit.

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    3. I've been wondering about Android Auto for some time and there is no mention of it (like the US Civic version). I'm pretty sure AA is NOT included in the Philippines version.

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    4. According to the Android Auto website, the Philippines is not a supported country yet. Scroll to the bottom to see the list of countries:

      https://www.android.com/auto/

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    5. aanhin mo ang sunroof?

      ako nga meron pero naka takip dahil sa sobrang init ng araw.. palitan mo ng term, mas ok.. gawin nating moonroof.. para sa gabi mo lang buksan...


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  14. it's funny the RS has an ECO button hehe.. Turbos and fuel economy dont mix, really. Why put a turbo and drive like a granny?...But the car is great over all. The dashboard is dynamite! The LEDs are to die for. I think this car is a keeper. Not good on daily traffic. Not that rsciting on tracks, but will put a big smile on your face on provincial road trips - Slex, nlex, tplex etc.

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    1. Why put a turbo and drive like a granny? Turbos are for driving fast, is that what you're saying? Are you stupid or are you stuck in that dumb fast and furious era?

      Turbos today are made to be fuel efficient rather than performance. Performance boosts are merely incidental but the primary purpose of the companies is to be more fuel efficient.

      We're talking about a family sedan here, not a WRX.

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    2. Hey mr.dumbass. read my comments carefully first on how I balanced things thru, before you post a comment with your small brain. Do your homework. turbos are not meant to be economical specially in petrol engines. Even the 1.0 ecoboost guzzles fuel. the science is simple - more air, more fuel used. Your comment is off by a mile, dude. You want efficiency? - a mirage is fuel efficient. I own a fiesta ecoboost and a G4 mirage and the fuel economy difference is night and day.

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    3. The 10km/L attained in this review shows otherwise. Try harder mr fast & furious douche.

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    4. Turbos are not meant to be fuel efficient. Its a marketing gimmick. a 1.5li turbo engine has the same output as a 2.2li engine and technically both will have the same fuel consumption. If the RS turbo is meant to be fuel efficient - why did honda put an ECO button there?.. it sort of defeats the purpose. Its a marketing ploy to attract buyers that you can have performance with efficiency in one piece. Car manufactures use turbos in small engines to cut cost on building bigger engines. It minimizes complexities and re- toolings on their end.

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    5. the 10km/li consumption is not real world. It's a controlled journalist review done in a controlled environment.. try driving it real time in EDSA and you will be awaken to your senses. And by the way, Im not a fan of Paul walker, mind you. And dont judge people you hardly know. I presume you are still in diapers when Im into cars already. watch your language.

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    6. Really? Well the way you're acting suggests that you are still in diapers. You're too naive. Get that old school idea out of your head. Modern turbos are made to be fuel efficient. Don't be too naive paul walker wannabe.

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    7. Mazda refrains from using turbos in their gasoline engines, and they are known for making cars that are very fun to drive and fuel efficient at the same time. But they use twin turbos in their diesel engines due to diesels being slow at acceleration, but diesel efficiency balances that concern.

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    8. Mazda already has a SkyActiv turbo gas engine and it will initially be launched on the upcoming CX9. It might eventually be used in the Mazda6 and Mazda3 in the case that Mazda launches a "Speed" version of these two cars.

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    9. i would agree on the guy saying that turbo in not for fuel efficiency since this is gasoline engine. Have you noticed that the engine displacement become smaller and there is no manual tranny? The key here is the CVT tranny that made the car fuel efficient even though it is turbo equipped. Now for diesel engine, the case is different. Putting turbo in diesel engine does not affect fuel efficiency since the fuel to air ratio in combustion is different in gasoline engine.

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    10. The turbo is not spooling 100% to provide power all of the time. Because you can put in a lower displacement engine (1.5 vs 2.0L) you are getting the benefits of eco driving if you do not spool the turbo. Once you hit a certain rev range when you try to overtake, the turbo spools up and gives additional power. By putting turbos and lowering displacement, you are allowing people to have good efficiency when they drive carefully and power when they need it.

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  15. Yan na naman. Luma na yang fun to drive argument mo. If you can create a car that can do 0-100km/h in 6.5s and have decent fuel economy, then you're doing something right. The civic does just that.

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    1. Amen to that. Even with the CVT tranny, the Civic turbo is more than 2 seconds faster to 100kmh than most top of the line NA compacts. Only the Focus Ecoboost and Golf 1.4T comes close being a second or so slower. These cars are already within midsize car performance territory when most 2.0L NA compacts can barely do 9 seconds. The Civic Turbo already won car of the year award in North America.

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    2. Agree. CVT tranny has better acceleration than a manual or conventional automatics if mated to the same turbo engine because it does not have off boost shifts that dampens the engine performance.

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    3. i own an old mitsu cvt, 13-yearold, 4G18 1.6L engine, car. i feel the cvt lag (revs up but with a delay-feel on tranny), but it catches up when everyone else in 3rd gear; it is not quick, but fast topping 145kph on "6th" (i know its electronic) at 3500rpm. fuel economy 8-10km/l city dr. it is very smooth like riding the wind despite the age. but this car here +13 years of tech, 10km/L? and 1.5m++PhP? if only time machines are true.

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  16. When do you think model units will arrive here in Cebu?

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  17. The new 10th-generation Civic is made in?

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  18. Hi Uly, any feedback on the ground clearance of the new Civic? Thanks

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    1. I'm also concerned about this. Don't get me wrong, I love the look of it being low to the ground but will the 125mm (5in) cause problems? Especially how bad our roads are.

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  19. I'm just wondering what car are you referring to for this comment "Overall, it feels less tiring to drive than another compact car with a sporty bent."

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    1. It's either the ford focus or mazda 3.

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    2. The Ford Focus and the Mazda 3 are the more sportier cars in the segment. The Civic is more on the comfort side, like the Nissan Sylphy.

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  20. For that price? hell just add some juice and better buy a more able and sporty car (hynudai genesis coupe or subaru wrx sti or ford mustang)

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  21. looks great but i find the dark blue a weird mix with the black grille.. could be better with a body color or maybe a silver car with a black grille? i reckon that the dark blue body would be better with a chrome grille like the none-rs though

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    1. hey guys any reviews about lancer gta 2.0

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  22. Does the head unit support android auto?

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    1. No android auto, no apple audio, as far as ive heard no gps, no side mirror cam. this is overpriced

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  23. I would appreciate a manual transmission to go with the 1.5 liter turbo please. Price is quite a bit too much, so at least give me my choice of transmission.

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  24. Who needs a car like this to be driven in this hellish traffic anyway? There are speed limits and the MMDA enforcers will issue you a no-contact citation. Not even on Sundays.

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    1. Who? Uhhh anyone not from the metro perhaps? Maybe from Visayas or Mindanao? Think first before typing. Genius.

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  25. Actually looks great this car
    But many features without lunched here in ph...
    Sunroof,lane watch,Adaptive Cruise Control,Lane Keeping Assist System,450W premium speakers...etc
    So this price is Expensive

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    1. no android auto, no apple audio, no side mirror cam, and as ive heard no GPS

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  26. Looks great...but pricey...but still love the design. would have been nicer though if they stuck with the conventional handbrake instead of the electric handbrake switch. with it's price though...i agree with some of the others who commented to just get an SUV. But then again, if you have the spare cash...this would be a great addition to your collection. :)

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    1. Again, that's stupid logic. The WRX is a good car, actually one of the most praised cars. But the WRX is priced at 1.8M. You can also buy SUVs at that price too. Does that mean that the WRX is worse than an SUV at that price? Well it depends. The answer should be based on what you need/want. Saying the SUV is better at this price is just plain dumb.

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    2. I agree with some of the others who commented to just get an SUV or get http://www.carguide.ph/2016/05/first-drive-2016-honda-civic-rs-turbo.html

      No need to call other people with names.

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  27. Is the CVT on this the same Chain-type found in Subarus or a belt type?

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  28. does the civic here come with the blind spot camera just like in the US civic?

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  29. hi.

    compare lng any suggestion anu mas maganda review altis 2016 or civic RS?

    thanks

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  30. ano po main differences ng RS Turbo dun sa 1.8?:), walang spec sheet comparison sa website nila eh blank yung part ng RS Turbo or does that mean engine lang talaga pinagkaiba?:)

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  33. Love this car.. drivin one and i am one hell of a satisfied driver

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  34. Our version of Civic RS doesn't have Honda Sensing or Apple Carplay? If sensing is included, then the premium is more worth it...

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  35. Can I ask if my manual transmission na model ito? Thanks for the answer

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  36. Can I ask if my manual transmission na model ito? Thanks for the answer

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  37. Hey guys any reviews with the new Hyundai Tucson, I think this is more fun to drive. :) Peace guys

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  38. Someone here is again provoking somebody else. Just respect his views. Peace on earth.

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