Honda Civic 2.0l: Modulo-ed for distinctive finesse and practicality

 Honda Civic 2.0l zips past The Civic 2.0-liter with Modulo is one of our test cars over the past month, courtesy of Honda Malaysia. The Honda Civic 9th-generation made its debut in the country some time ago in July last year. And though many have considered the previous generation Civic to be more impressionable, we felt that the latest 9th generation Civic bears its own articulate intricacies.

When comparing the Civic Hybrid and its petrol equivalent, our associate writer opined that the Hybrid version has a slight advantage over the Civic petrol line-up, 1.8 and 2.0l. Domestically, Honda Malaysia has made available four versions of the Civic; the Civic 1.8l, 2.0l, 2.0l Navi and the Hybrid.

For approximately 40 years, the Civic has been one of the most desired mid-size sedan globally. In the U.S.A. alone, more than 160,000 units of the 9th-generation Honda Civic were delivered in the first half of 2012. The Civic, across the generations, has accumulated almost 20 million units round the world. Domestically, 60,000 Civics and counting, from the 7th-generation to 9th-generation, have already been delivered by Honda Malaysia. The popular 8th-generation Civic took up the bulk of the pie with 49,000 units delivered, since it debut in 2006.’s tester did an in-depth look at the Civic through its strides in terms of economies of scale, speed, handling, safety, comfort, reliability, and the whole nine yards.

Honda Civic 2.0l

Impression-wise, the Modulo-laden Civic gave a staunch exterior true to its Racing DNA days. Though many still favors the 8th-generation Civic as a better option, with or without the Modulo kit. The attached front, side and rear skirtings immediately give onlookers an impressions of a lowered car with a longer wheelbase. More impressive exterior motifs are the single piece black-polished front grille with the designated large Honda emblem and the extended rear spoiler. On a general scale, ‘Modulo’ beautification kits for the Civic included front, side and rear skirtings, an extended rear spoiler, illuminated side steps and door visors.

Honda Civic 2.0l_4

Honda Civic 2.0l engine bayHonda Civic 2.0l interior dashboard overview

Let’s get into the Civic’s test specifics, beginning with the performance aspect. The writer found out that the 152hp SOHC 2.0l i-VTEC did not live up to its performance expectations. He reckoned the car just trotted along at a relaxed pace even when the accelerator had been floored rather hard. On highways, the 1,300kg Civic was able to hit 200km/h, though it took a little while to get there.

The writer felt that the previously tested Civic Hybrid had proved to be a little more fun and kept honest to the fuel efficiency factor. Then again, the 5-speed gearbox didn’t compensate much for the Civic 2.0l’s general acceleration and much needed need-for-speed. According to the writer, European car manufacturers are heading down the smaller capacity turbocharged engine while Japanese makers are going with the hybrids. Perhaps if Honda introduce a turbocharged version (with smaller capacity engine) or a diesel variety, then we would have a more delightful powerplant. But as it is, this current generation Honda Civic is non-inspiring.

On the handling aspect, the writer testified the Civic provided a positive steering feedback and the car felt planted, thanks to the standard front MacPherson struts and the rear’s multi-link. The sturdy suspension setup enabled the driver to get a little more aggressive when it came to tackling corners with due precision and some acuteness. The 215/45 R17 ensured that there was minimal tyre roll, which allowed the Civic to take corners a little bit harder, unfortunately the engine just couldn’t deliver sufficient power to get the car to fun-to-drive speeds. And, just like the previously tested hybrid Civic, the petrol version was also prone to scrapping its undercarriage when going over humps at higher speeds.

Honda Civic 2.0l looking in Honda Civic 2.0l driver seat and illuminated door sill Honda Civic 2.0l Audio unit

When it came to interior intricacies and comfort levels, the writer insisted that the Civic Hybrid had better built quality than the petrol version. The 9th-generation Civic’s interior specifics include: a customary 6-speaker audio headunit compatible with WMA+MP3/IPod/USB, minus the touch screen and Bluetooth connectivity. The Civic 2.0l Navi model has all the missing bits, of course. Steering wheel is height and tilt adjustable and the driver’s seat is power driven. The Civic 2.0 also comes with auto cruise function, retractable side mirrors and auto climate control air-conditioning.

During the drives, the Civic gave prevalent road noise due to several factors. One, the minimal insulation within and light panelings all around. The writer testified that he could literally feel the road surface, especially on highways, due to an apparent reason – the low profile tyre. The Civic’s braking was on the soft side, but sufficient thanks to all round disc brakes, being ventilated in the front and solid at the rear.

The Honda Civic delivers best when it comes to safety, thanks to a plethora of active features such as’ Dual SRS Airbags, side airbags with Occupant Position Detection System, ABS, VSA, Reverse sensors (4), and Rear Side and Centre Headrests, just to name a few.

After two days of short and long distance driving, the Civic 2.0l returned about 11.5km/liter , which the tester deemed a little on the high side. Although on highways, the Civic averaged much better at 15.0km/l.

In a nutshell, the Civic 2.0l’s retail price of RM131,980 is slightly on the high side for a legitimate best of C-segment contender. At the same time, the 1.8l and Navi version go for RM 115,980 and 136,980 respectively. The petrol-engined Civic is offered in four shades: Alabaster Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic and Taffeta White. A 5-year or 100,000km warranty with 6 free services is attached. To Spruce up the Civic, the compatible Modulo comprehensive package is available for RM4,670, inclusive of paint works and installation. Separate Modulo accessories are also valid.


Honda Civic 2.0l_3 Honda Civic 2.0l_2  Honda Civic 2.0l two-tier instrument cluster Honda Civic 2.0l peeking inHonda Civic 2.0l system switches and ECO button

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