2021 Honda Civic 1.5 Turbo Review: Middle Ground

1. Introduction
2. Design and Appearance
3. Interior and Features
4. Safety, Space and Practicality
5. Driving Experience
6. Competitors and Conclusion

6. Competitors and Conclusion

At S$125,099 inclusive of COE, the Civic is somewhat pricey when compared to most of its competitors. That price point puts the Civic squarely in the territory of the Skoda Octavia, and while there’s plenty to like about the Honda, it doesn’t quite match up to the better overall quality of the Skoda.

At the same time, the Kia Cerato and Hyundai Avante are going for nearly 20 grand less, and though the Civic is a much better car to drive, it’s hard to argue with the value that the Koreans offer, especially since they’re pretty much neck-and-neck when it comes to spec and feature count.

Perhaps Honda might justify the price premium on the Civic’s turbo engine, but its detuned nature does make its case a little bit harder to argue. We reckon if the Civic was priced closer to its main Japanese rival, the Toyota Corolla Altis (S$110,888 with COE), then it might stand a greater chance of being competitive against its rivals, taking into account what the Civic can offer.

But as it stands, the Civic, while fundamentally actually a good product, falls into an area that’s neither here nor there. A less powerful non-turbocharged engine might help to bring the price down, but would dampen the car’s appeal substantially. What might work though is a hybrid drivetrain, which would help the Civic net a substantial VES rebate (the Turbo is in the neutral B band), but as of now there appears to be no plans for Honda to offer it one.

After eleven generations, the Civic arguably deserves better, and hopefully car buyers can see the car for what it can offer for both the keen driver as well as the average family man, despite its somewhat steep asking price.

Honda Civic 1.5 Turbo

Engine1,498cc, turbocharged, inline 4
Power129hp at 5500-6000rpm
Torque180Nm at 1700-4500rpm
GearboxContinuously Variable Transmission
0-100km/h10.7 seconds
Top Speed200km/h
VES BandingB / –
Fuel Efficiency6.4L/100km
AgentKah Motor
PriceS$125,099 with COE
Verdict:Decently equipped and good to drive, the new Civic is an excellent choice hampered by a high price tag

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about the author

Ben Chia
CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben