The 10th generation Honda Civic boasts an angular, sporty design and a new turbo-charged engine as well as a number of optional autonomous driving features.
Although the 9th generation Civic was a top seller, Honda redesigned the new version from scratch. In addition to the aggressive bodywork, Honda is jumping on the autonomous vehicle bandwagon and bringing advanced driving assist systems (ADAS) to smaller, less expensive cars like the Civic.
Honda goes all in on driving assist systems
Honda has departed from its traditional model of offering standardized trim levels, and is set to offer the Honda Sensing package as an option on all of its new Civics. The package does not make the car fully autonomous, but instead enables a number of driving assist systems.
The forward looking camera and radar sensors mean that drivers will enjoy lane and road departure warning systems, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking. As a result the Civic becomes the first Honda vehicle to boast low-speed following capability thanks to adaptive cruise control, which uses radar to maintain a safe distance to the car in front.
Most Honda cars will now have the ADAS option, but unfortunately the company has fallen behind its rivals in blindspot monitoring. Most carmakers now use radar sensors in the rear corners to warn drivers about objects that cannot be seen in the mirrors.
Autonomous driving features increasingly common in the auto industry
In addition to monitoring blindspots, the sensors also alert the driver to other vehicles or objects that are located to the side of the car when backing out of a parking space. Although Honda is banking on driver assist systems taking off, the lack of this feature puts the company at a disadvantage.
The new Civic will go on sale in November 2015, and the car is already receiving favorable reviews. The Latin Post claims that Honda has “exceeded expectations as the new model is great in terms of performance, safety, style and technology.”
It looks likely that it is a question of when, not if, a fully autonomous car is brought to our roads. Honda is bringing the features to more and more of its vehicles, and must be hoping that it will give the restyled Civic the edge against its rivals.