Automotive

2019 Honda Civic RS Turbo: Is this the return of the Civic we loved?

Looks good and packs a punch

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The Honda Civic has been around for more than 4 decades now and is one of the most popular cars around. In its glory days, it appealed to almost everyone, from being a family car to a daily driver, a road trip car, and even to petrol heads who are also racing enthusiasts.  Thanks to its VTEC technology, the Honda Civic can switch from a conservative, economic daily driver to a ferocious race car. The fifth and sixth-gen Civic from the ’90s was an all-time favorite with a better aerodynamic body and not to mention it was packed with plenty of horsepower under the hood. Parts were also cheap and it was easy to modify the car to your liking.

Every time a new model was released, people expected more and more from Honda. But in recent years, the Civic has been a bit on the unimpressive side. It got heavier and slower, and Honda seemed to focus more on economy rather than performance with technologies that Civic enthusiasts did not find necessary. It just got boring and dull. So is the release of the latest 10th generation Honda Civic the answer to our wishes? The styling is stunning, but does it perform the way we expect it to? Is this the return of our beloved Civic?

The styling of the new 10th generation Civic has so much character that you can instantly tell it’s a Civic even from afar. It looks exceptionally muscular yet sleek. The grille protrudes forward with its character lines and cuts direct your eyes to the front and emphasizes the low set assertive-looking LED headlamps. This makes the fascia look bold and aggressive, like an angry rhino ready to charge.

More lines and curves can be seen from the sides with broad fenders giving the car a wide and sporty stance. I personally liked the repeaters on the front wheel arch and the 18-inch RS Design Belrina Black alloy wheels as they add character and identity to the Civic. The rear is just as eye-catching; the C-shaped LED tail lamps are sleek and is complemented with black trims and diffusers. Plus, included in the RS package is a rear wing that gives the car extra downforce for better grip in high speeds.

The interior did not fall short in design as well. The dashboard was distinctly modern in appearance with a more ergonomic design and there was no shortage of cup holders nor small storage spaces. The interior is plush and spacious with leather and soft-touch plastic. With the RS variant, you get red accent stitching on the dash and steering wheel which evokes a feeling of passion and added sportiness.

Starting the car up, you are instantly greeted with a digital instrument panel. The center console is high and it gives you that feeling that you’re really in a sports car. The seven-inch touch screen is well-equipped and user-friendly. Looking at this car, you can tell that the design department went all out as every detail is well proportioned inside and out and it’s just one of the better-looking cars in the market today.

Although, does it drive the way we expected it to? Is it as sporty as it looks? We took this car up to the twisty mountains and the engine was quiet and extremely smooth. The i-VTEC engine produces 173 horsepower and getting up to speed was a breeze. Turning off the ECON mode and switching the gear lever to Sport mode, this car transforms into an adrenaline-inducing vehicle. It gives you higher revs between gear changes and it simply makes the car more responsive.

However, like most CVTs, you will not get that instant punch in acceleration when you put your foot down the throttle. A bit disappointing but thankfully, once the transmission has found the right ratios, it will slingshot you forward and fast. Steering was very light and responsive; hammering down a corner at 80kph has zero drama and is accompanied by firm suspensions. Body roll was minimal and the car just hugs the road exceptionally.

It’s close to being the perfect car, especially for its price range.  It is a fun, adrenaline-packed, yet quiet and smooth midsized sedan. If only it were up to me, I would replace its CVT setup. Mating this type of engine to a traditional 6-speed transmission would have made this car more aggressive on open roads. Secondly, the electronic handbrake seemed out of place. Sometimes you want to have fun with handbrake turns and try daring maneuvers but would be impossible with electronic handbrakes.

Third, it lacked some safety features that come standard with a lot of cars nowadays — features like front proximity sensors, blind spot warnings, and lane departure warnings. These features just give you better confidence while driving. Lastly, it’s nice that the Civic is quiet in city driving, but there are times when you set free some horses, and a vicious engine grunt would be nice. Maybe a better sounding exhaust system?

At the end of the day, the 10th generation Honda Civic is still not perfect but is no doubt a fun all-around car.  Going back to my initial question: Is this the comeback of the Civic? In my opinion, the answer is, almost. It still has so much more to offer and we will be expecting more from Honda in its upcoming Civic models.

Want to see more of the Civic RS Turbo? We have a video!

Automotive

Land Rover launches hybrid electric SUVs, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport

Part-electric, all-terrain

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When you think of electric vehicles, you’re usually thinking of city driving or, at least, travelling through city roads. However, the electric vehicle segment has already developed cars that can traverse all types of terrains.

Recently, celebrating its 50th anniversary, Land Rover has launched its second set of hybrid electric SUVs, the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport.

The plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) sport a 2.0L Ingenium turbocharged petrol engine complemented by an 85kW electric powertrain, churning out 404ps of horsepower and 640Nm of torque. Both engines have a 0-100km/h time of just 6.7 seconds. Both also have a top speed of 220km/h.

Either model will come in two modes: Parallel Hybrid mode and EV mode. The default Parallel Hybrid mode will use both the petrol engine and the electric motor to power the vehicle. In doing so, the vehicle can optimize usage of both engines, complemented by a smart computer analyzing driving conditions and destinations. Meanwhile, the all-electric EV mode will allow for a quieter, no-emission drive.

Using the default mode, drivers can reach up to a whopping 700 kilometers before needing a recharge or a refuel. On the other hands, the EV mode can reach up to 50 kilometers without the petrol engine.

Both models come with a 13kWh Li-ion battery that charges from empty in just 2 hours and 45 minutes. Both are covered with an eight-year, 160,000-kilometer warranty for when the battery dips below 70 percent health.

If you purchase either model, Land Rover will bundle a free Type 2 7kWh wall charge. However, you’ll still need to pay for installation fees outside of the price tag. The carmaker will evaluate households if their homes are compatible with installation.

The Range Rover PHEV starts at PhP 11,990,000. Meanwhile, the Range Rover Sport PHEV starts at PhP 9,490,000. The price tags already come with a wall charger. A second charger will sell for PhP 105,000, pending installation fees.

SEE ALSO: Jaguar launches the all-electric I-PACE

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Automotive

Jaguar launches the all-electric I-PACE

Two motors to power through the week

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In today’s tough times, an electric vehicle presents one of the most economic decisions when it comes to travelling around the metro. Besides an incredibly quiet drive, powering an electric vehicle is more affordable than chugging through liters of fuel every week. Unfortunately, the problem is still the same: the lack of infrastructure.

Fortunately, electric carmakers are working on building personal infrastructure for its customers. Particularly, Jaguar has launched its globally recognized electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-PACE.

Sporting 400ps of horsepower and 696Nm of torque, the I-PACE can effectively use 97 percent of its electric power, compared to a paltry 70 percent in traditional electric powertrains. Further, Jaguar boasts a 0-100km/h time of just 4.8 seconds, thanks to two motors under the hood. The company will also ship software updates over the air, preventing the need to visit service centers all the time.

With its 90kWh battery, the vehicle can drive up to 470 kilometers, a perfect distance for driving around the city. Charging from empty will take 12 hours and 48 minutes. Of course, since drivers won’t usually drive the maximum range every day, a weekly charging time should be enough.

The I-PACE comes with a future-proof 11kW on-board charger. Further, Jaguar is bundling a Type 2 7kW wall charger for households. However, the price tag doesn’t come with installation costs. The company will assess the homes of those interested in the electric vehicle, especially to accurately price the car. In any case, the battery comes with an eight-year, 160,000-kilometer warranty for when the battery dips below 70 percent health.

The all-electric Jaguar I-PACE will start at PhP 7,590,000, pending installation costs. The first charger will come with the price, but a second one will cost an additional PhP 105,000.

SEE ALSO: Land Rover launches hybrid electric SUVs, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport

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Apps

Waze gets a new look!

It was long overdue and it’s finally here

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If you frequently take the roads and use Waze as your driving companion, you may have gotten used to how it look — no matter how dated it seemed. That’s changing now as the app is getting an all new look.

The company says the brand refresh “reinforces inclusivity and connection into every journey on the road.” Whatever that means, the revamped Waze app now follows a more flat design and with more expressive cartoony mood indicators.

The new visual language based on roads and maps which will also be seen in multiple places, including the Waze website, emails, and social channels.

“This brand refresh encapsulates that unique Waze experience visually, with a new grid format based on our map, new Moods to capture the infinite array of emotions we all feel while driving and a lively color palette that celebrates the joy that we always try to bring to the road, and the magic of our community and the way we work together for better,” said Waze Head of Creative Jake Shaw.

What do you think? Do you like this new look or do you prefer the old one?

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