The reason they did this is that Honda Civic hatchbacks have always sold well here. And it's easy to see why. Civics look like they belong on a race track and in a supermarket car park. It’s an affordable, stylish, and sporty car and has been for many years now.
The new Honda Civic has a split grille at the front, similar to previous models. What’s new is that the grille now has a gloss metal finish, instead of the chromium finish that was on the previous models.
From some angles, the base model looks more aggressive than the previous-generation Civic Type R - a high-performance version of the Civic.
You get 16-inch alloy wheels on the standard Civic, but you can choose up to 18-inch wheels on the other models. There are 6 colour options to choose from. In our opinion, the ‘Ignite Red’ and the ‘Brilliant Sporty Blue’ colour are the obvious choices if you want a vibrant exterior.
Inspired by the aesthetics of the Type R, the 2021 Civic has front bumpers that flare out. There are two spoilers on the back of the new Civic.
A small one at the top of the boot window and a larger spoiler around the taillights. The larger spoiler is designed to look like coming out of taillights, which is a nice effect, and there’s a light right in the middle of the spoiler too to help you get groceries out the boot.
Practical and modern, that’s the first impression you get from the new Civic’s interior. It’s very spacious for a hatchback, and they’ve done some interesting things with the layout of the interior that has made it quite different to previous Civic models.
There’s a split armrest that’s shared by the driver and passenger seats. If you slide the armrest back, it reveals additional storage space. Also, the new Civic introduces a two-tiered storage area below the central console. That’s where all the USB ports are located as well, so you can actually charge your smartphone while keeping the cables hidden.
The 7-inch touchscreen is placed right down the centre, below the air vents. It’s easily reachable, whether you’re the driver or the front seat passenger, you don’t have to stretch to access and operate the display.
With the standard model, you get cloth upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The touchpoints aren’t noticeably soft, but they don’t feel uncomfortable either. You also get the heated seat feature, which is great for a car on this budget.
The Civic’s rear seats feel more spacious than sitting in the back of comparable cars and other shorter hatchbacks. Even a large adult will feel comfortable on a long journey and have enough legroom.
It’s still a small car, so it’s nothing amazing, but Honda has done well to build a spacious 5-seater, to build a comfortable cabin, which is even better than some of the high-end pushing 50-60k. There’s sufficient headroom, even if you’re above 6 feet you won’t need to crouch over when sitting in the back.
Lastly, the boot of the 2021 Civic has 478 litres of storage space, which is massive. You can easily fit your luggage in there. There’s also additional space underneath the floor of the boot. You’ll notice that there’s no parcel shelf in the new Civic, as is common in other hatchbacks. Honda has replaced this with a retractable load cover that you can just pull out and it becomes your parcel shift.
Overall, The 2021 Civic has a compact yet spacious interior that’s very practical.
There are 3 variants of the 2021 Honda Civic sold in Australia. You’ve got the standard VTi-S, which is the entry model. Then you have the more powerful VTi-L and the RS model.
All variants are front-wheel-drive. The standard VTi-S model comes with a 1.8L four-cylinder engine. It’s a pretty powerful engine with 140HP and fuel consumption of 6.4L/ 100KM. This is a good fuel economy because most hatchback engines around this price range usually take more than 6.5L/ 100 KM.
You can get a more powerful and fuel-efficient engine in the Civic by spending a little more. Both the VTi-L and the RS come with a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Turbocharged engines are known for giving you extra power without doubling down on your fuel consumption. You get 170HP power with the VTi-L and RS engine and a fuel economy of 6.1/100Km. The standard VTi-S can go from 0-60 within 10.7 seconds, while the VTi-L and RS can do it in 8.5 seconds.
On the road, it’s not the fastest car, but it’s not trying to be. The Civic excels in other ways. It’s a smooth and very very quiet driving experience. Four-cylinder engines are generally quiet in most cars, but the 2021 Civic is dead silent inside the cabin. There are no wobbly or jittery sounds from the gearbox.
The 2021 Honda Civic comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It’s also very button-heavy, which is surprising. You get a lot of buttons and three knobs under the screen for faster control and accessibility. The display isn’t a major upgrade from the previous models.
It’s also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. One of the best features of the new Civic is that it supports wireless charging. A feature we wouldn’t expect to see outside of a high-end car.
The 2021 Honda Civic continues to push Honda’s vision of moving towards a keyless ecosystem for vehicles. All variants of the Civic have a push-button start, which is pretty standard. However, it also has a smart keyless entry system.
So, as long as the key is in your possession, the Civic will sense your approach and unlock the doors as soon as you touch the front handles or boot release. You also get a coloured LCD for the driver’s interface in front of the steering wheel.
There’s a multi-angle reversing camera in the back. You can choose between three viewing angles on your 7-inch display for a more comfortable and safe parking experience.
The 2021 Honda Civic has a 5-star ANCAP safety testing. It has a lane watch system, where the car uses a small camera in the passenger’s side mirror to display live video on the 7-inch display. This helps the driver to avoid those blind spots.
The Civic also has 6 airbags, which uses the clever I-SRS airbag system that inflates the airbags at different rates depending on the crash severity and seat belt usage.
There’s also vehicle stability assist, tyre deflation warning system, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and collision mitigation braking system. So, there’s no shortage of advanced safety features in the 2021 Honda Civic.
The standard Honda Civic VTi-S starts at $31000 AUD, while the VTi-L costs around $35000, and the RS around $39,500 AUD.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Very spacious and a lot of storage space.
- Great on-road driving experience.
- Loaded with safety features.
- The infotainment system feels outdated.
- The interior looks average.
The 2021 Honda Civic doesn’t have the best infotainment system, but it certainly offers one of the best driving experiences for a hatchback. The sporty and attractive exterior of the new Civic, along with its absolutely loaded safety features make it a standout option if you’re into the market for a hatchback within this price range.
It’s also one of the most spacious 5-seater hatchbacks you’ll find within this budget.
If you’re not too phased about the slightly outdated infotainment system and the average looks of the interior, then the 2021 Honda Civic is an amazing option to consider.
Other Options to Consider
If you’re looking for a more fuel-efficient option, then you can go for the 2021 Mazda 3. The standard Mazda 3 gives you a fuel economy of 6L/100KM. You can also choose between a hybrid, 2L, and 2.5L engine. It’s also very spacious as the Honda Civic, and around the same storage space.
If you prefer power over fuel economy, then the new KIA Cerato is the beast that you’re looking for. The standard version alone gives you a 150HP 2.0L engine, and the GT version gives you a powerful 1.6L 200HP turbo engine, with 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. In the world of affordable hatchbacks, the 2021 KIA Cerato is an absolute beast.
Another fuel-efficient alternative you can consider is the 2021 Toyota Corolla. It gives you an option between a 2L petrol engine and a 1.8L hybrid engine. With the hybrid, you can go as low as 3.5L/100KM, which takes fuel efficiency to the next level. It’s also loaded with advanced safety features like the Honda Civic.