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Hi Civinfoers,

I’ve had my 2014 Civic Vti-S Hatchback (Australia) with the R18 1.8L and 6 Speed Manual for almost 2 years now and would like to share my ownership experiences with you over it’s life so far. Previously owned a 2008 Accord V6 Luxury 5 Speed Auto (wide-body US design, Thailand built) an amazing car in it’s own right but could not bear the fuel economy! (blame my lead foot).
I also thought it’d be interesting to share an Australian review of the car since these cars are in my opinion, very underrated and not well known as the sedan counterpart which has lets say unfavourable reviews due to it’s poorer build quality and value compared to rivals.
Firstly why did I pick the Civic hatch compared to other competitors in the segment:
- Uniqueness and rarity on Australian roads (something different)
- Manual gearbox (Honda makes the best in my opinion)
- Magic seat practicality
- Something reasonably fun to drive
Being one of the lucky ones to discover this odd-ball model in the local lineup, I decided to head to the nearest Honda dealer to have a look. I read that the previous 8G had a base price of 40k (AUD) upon release due to the import costs but later Honda reduced this to 30k but by then most consumers had lost interest in the car. The 9G that I got was the base model at around 22k (Honda learnt their lesson with pricing) and for that money the car is excellent value for money in opinion.

First I will explain the trim levels we get here. Initially 3 trim levels were available:
1) Vti-S (Base and a choice of 6 Speed manual standard or option 5 speed auto)
2) Vti-L (Auto only) with leather only Series I models
3) Vti-LN (Auto only) same as Vti-L but with navigation
In 2013 the Dti-S 1.6L Turbo Diesel was introduced here but was a very slow seller mainly because it was a niche model and also because the majority (I’d say 75% of Australians) drive Automatics. In terms of spec it was between the Vti-S and Vti-L.
As of the Series 2 update, the Dti-S was discontinued and Honda decided to cheap out on the Vti-L and reserved leather only for the top of the range Vti-LN but at least the Civic Hatch had decent equipment in base form including the addition of cruise control, Bluetooth, door tweeters which we didn’t get previously.
Wanting a manual naturally the only choice was the Vti-S anyway.

So far, I have covered nearly 50,000 in the two years I’ve had it.
Some of the pros:
- Space and practicality with magic seats is awesome. It’s like a tardis in there
- European style and design
- Generally good build quality and a good choice of materials
- Two tiered digital dash
- Speed limiter function
- Is miles better than the sedan counterpart
- Supple ride quality
- Nice progressive brakes
- Great heater (must be because it’s always cold in the UK)
- Typical snick snick manual gearbox
- Fuel efficient even when you drive it hard
- Nice nimble handling (this was surprising considering how large it looks)
- Light clutch and smooth steering
- Free revving and fun R18 motor
- Great grip from standard continental tyres
- Standard safety features seatbelt reminders, full airbags all around, VSA and knowing the front black insert in the front is pedestrian impact ‘friendly’
- Most aerodynamic car in it’s class
- Standard TPMS and reversing camera
- Added rear wiper compared to 8g

Cons:
- 8G looks sportier and feels a bit more premium in some small areas eg. Cooled glovebox etc
- Steering wheel material in base model is not very nice (Urethane)
- Seating position is too high even in it’s lowest setting (I’m aware this is because the fuel tank is under the seat for magic seat design)
- Visibility isn’t the best but standard rear camera helps massively
- A few minor squeaks and rattles coming from the rear hatch area
- Seats themselves can be somewhat uncomfortable in terms of lumbar I find but they have become better over the mileage put on the car
- Airconditioner is weak for Australia and saps engine power when on
- Econ mode is useless makes the response extremely dull
- No option to turn off hill start assist or have any indicator it’s engaged on the dash
- Minimum requirement for 95 octane wheras the sedan can take 91 minimum (why?)
- Sound system is passable but used to be premium for Series I models
- Brake pads dust excessively and wear out quite quickly
- Stupid aero pieces under the front bumper scrape on literally everything (have since removed this)
- Torsion beam rear can be felt at times (not really a con but something to get used to)
- Subpar headlights especially in base model
- Soft paintwork and excessive stonechips (a general Honda complaint really)
- No sliding armrest (miss this from my old Accord)
- Small square cupholders which are barely cupholders)
- Lack of a cubby in the front to put your phone (I use the supposed cupholder instead)
- Headunit is not easily upgradable to an aftermarket system without the loss of access to imid settings
- Ugly black wheel arch trim pieces (I assume this is to combat rust in rainy and wet climates like the UK?)
- Wipers are better at smearing dirt on the windscreen as opposed to clearing water
- Lack of torque and gear ratios which seem to be more focused towards fuel economy
- More frequent and relatively expensive service intervals in Australia (every 6 months or 10,000km)


All this being said, I’m extremely happy with the purchase and would rate the car a solid 7.5 to 8 out of 10 and I hope to continue enjoying it for many years to come.
 

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Fellow vti-s owner here. I've had mine since June 2012 and have done almost 90,000 kms so far. Initially, the vti-s series 1 was still quite expensive before they reduced the price around the start of 2013 (and added bluetooth, tweeters and cruise control for series 2, which were non-existent in series 1 vti-s). I agree with everything you point out except for the AC cooling and headlight performance. Out of my 3 Honda's the AC on the 9G is the best so far. It was able to easily handle the abnormal heatwave in Sydney a few years back (one of those days was a officially recorded 47 degrees celsius). I find the headlight performance good for my needs and haven't had the need to upgrade to Plus type bulbs (having said that, in my next car I would like factory LED headlights). As mentioned previously I didn't get bluetooth, cruise control nor tweeters in my series 1 car so have since fixed this up somewhat with a Honda fascia, Pioneer 2DIN headunit (that can do GPS via phone app) and tweeters from the vti-l.

Overall quite satisfied with my 9G ownership experience so my next car will most likely be a 1.5L turbo 10G hatch. Disappointed that our hatches for the Australian market will be built in Thailand (specification and build quality could suffer slightly) but the upside is more competitive pricing.

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- Uniqueness and rarity on Australian roads (something different)
The 9th gen is more popular compared to the 8th.
There were only about 5(including mine) 8th gens in the wollongong area, 2 of which were a type R

- Manual gearbox (Honda makes the best in my opinion)
Being one of the lucky ones to discover this odd-ball model in the local lineup, I decided to head to the nearest Honda dealer to have a look. I read that the previous 8G had a base price of 40k (AUD) upon release due to the import costs but later Honda reduced this to 30k but by then most consumers had lost interest in the car.
Tell that to the 2nd gear syncro which was damaged due to that random not wanting to go into gear during downshifts resulting in crunch

First I will explain the trim levels we get here. Initially 3 trim levels were available:
1) Vti-S (Base and a choice of 6 Speed manual standard or option 5 speed auto)
2) Vti-L (Auto only) with leather only Series I models
3) Vti-LN (Auto only) same as Vti-L but with navigation
In 2013 the Dti-S 1.6L Turbo Diesel was introduced here but was a very slow seller mainly because it was a niche model and also because the majority (I’d say 75% of Australians) drive Automatics. In terms of spec it was between the Vti-S and Vti-L.
One of the reasons I wont be getting a new honda any time soon.
The new civic sedan will be CVT only even on the base model R18 and L15 Turbo.

- Is miles better than the sedan counterpart
Damn straight, 8th and 9th are better than the fugly FD

- Fuel efficient even when you drive it hard
This is very true, I could do many spirited runs and still get 7l/100km

- Nice nimble handling (this was surprising considering how large it looks)
I loved this about my civic

- Great grip from standard continental tyres
Wait till you put something good on, basic entry level high performance tires(ones that cost $150 each) will make it feel way better

- Added rear wiper compared to 8g
I had no issues with water on the rear with the 8th gen, But i did run 3 coats of rainX which keept it fairly free of water

Cons:- Visibility isn’t the best but standard rear camera helps massively
You will get use to it

- No option to turn off hill start assist or have any indicator it’s engaged on the dash
Same on my impreza, but I dont keep my foot on the brake, I use the hand brake to hold the car so HSA does not bother me on my impreza

- Minimum requirement for 95 octane wheras the sedan can take 91 minimum (why?)
my 8th gen would run on E10 but I do not recommend it for a few reasons.
1: it makes the car run like crap, many times coming to a stop light the RPM would drop down to 500rpm when the clutch was fully disengaged
2: you use more petrol when using E10 as ethanol has less energy content compared to petrol so you need about 5% more fuel being injected to get the same amount of power, so never run E10 as you use more fuel compared to running 95

- Brake pads dust excessively and wear out quite quickly
Was a pain on my 8th gen too, even with me using engine braking heavily.
VSA is just too sensitive.

- Stupid aero pieces under the front bumper scrape on literally everything (have since removed this)
Same with my old 8th gen.

- Subpar headlights especially in base model
You can only get so much light focused using reflectors.

- Soft paintwork and excessive stonechips (a general Honda complaint really)
Hope yours car is not black as it is a pain in the butt to keep clean and swirl free.

- More frequent and relatively expensive service intervals in Australia (every 6 months or 10,000km)
Stupid Yes, Service yourself with your own mechanic to make it cheaper, bring your own oil too.

Glad you like your civic, I would not have bought it due to the colored nose, the passenger side handbrake and lack of manual on anything but povospec.
 

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The 9th gen is more popular compared to the 8th.
There were only about 5(including mine) 8th gens in the wollongong area, 2 of which were a type R


Tell that to the 2nd gear syncro which was damaged due to that random not wanting to go into gear during downshifts resulting in crunch


One of the reasons I wont be getting a new honda any time soon.
The new civic sedan will be CVT only even on the base model R18 and L15 Turbo.


Damn straight, 8th and 9th are better than the fugly FD


This is very true, I could do many spirited runs and still get 7l/100km


I loved this about my civic


Wait till you put something good on, basic entry level high performance tires(ones that cost $150 each) will make it feel way better


I had no issues with water on the rear with the 8th gen, But i did run 3 coats of rainX which keept it fairly free of water


You will get use to it


Same on my impreza, but I dont keep my foot on the brake, I use the hand brake to hold the car so HSA does not bother me on my impreza


my 8th gen would run on E10 but I do not recommend it for a few reasons.
1: it makes the car run like crap, many times coming to a stop light the RPM would drop down to 500rpm when the clutch was fully disengaged
2: you use more petrol when using E10 as ethanol has less energy content compared to petrol so you need about 5% more fuel being injected to get the same amount of power, so never run E10 as you use more fuel compared to running 95


Was a pain on my 8th gen too, even with me using engine braking heavily.
VSA is just too sensitive.


Same with my old 8th gen.


You can only get so much light focused using reflectors.


Hope yours car is not black as it is a pain in the butt to keep clean and swirl free.


Stupid Yes, Service yourself with your own mechanic to make it cheaper, bring your own oil too.

Glad you like your civic, I would not have bought it due to the colored nose, the passenger side handbrake and lack of manual on anything but povospec.

Too bad that our market is too small compared to US and China.

US sedan gets manual trans with a 2L NA base engine (based on K series rather than R series) and upcoming 1.5 L turbo with manual trans.

China sedan has upcoming 1.0 turbo engine as base and already (on sale) a manual trans for their 1.5L turbo. Their 1.5L turbo also gets engine stop/start which no other markets get.

At least we don't get the ASEAN spec sedan with non foldable rear seats due to a cross brace.


I sat in a new 10G sedan recently at a dealer and it seems like a nice car inside and out (looks better in real life than in photos) but will prefer the upcoming 10G hatch. According to the sales rep I spoke to he says the hatch will definitely be Thailand made which is bit of a shame. Much rather would have preferred UK built.


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Too bad that our market is too small compared to US and China.

US sedan gets manual trans with a 2L NA base engine (based on K series rather than R series) and upcoming 1.5 L turbo with manual trans.
The US dont get a type R, they get the Si which could be seen as the USA version of the Type R.
 

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The US dont get a type R, they get the Si which could be seen as the USA version of the Type R.


I meant to say the US gets the 2.0L NA as a base engine which is not based on the R20 engine but rather, an updated version of the K20.




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I meant to say the US gets the 2.0L NA as a base engine which is not based on the R20 engine but rather, an updated version of the K20.


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That was the Si, the other 2.0 which were sold on the other trims was the R20 from what I have seen.

Makes more business sense to sell a economic version and performance engined models than just a performace based engine with lower MPG than what others offer.
 

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Yes, the US Si had the K20 for the 8G ,then K24 for the
9G. But now they have introduced a low power version of the K20 (158hp) for the base model US 10G sedan. It'd be interesting to see what the 10G Si will get.


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