Honda Civic 1.5T Sport

Secret Sport kit brings the Vader out in Civic

We've had a few bites at Honda’s fine Civic already and will not complain if we had a few more too. This one is pretty cool though, as it steps aside pretty smartly in looks and spec.

To be honest, this 1.5T Sport model is probably the best-kept secret on the range — in fact we’d almost missed it initially. I’d noted the model in the line up but never thought too much of it, probably because the press pack said anything about it at all: 'in line with its overt and dynamic character, the 1.5T Sport gains 17-inch alloys finished in Berlina Black, augmented by a dark coating'.

To be clear, that understated ‘dark coating’ completely transforms this Sport model to give it its own unique character. It’s more Darth Vader stealthy than Mickey Mouse chrome — not only does the matt black treatment hide the ugliest aspects the the alternative chrome so accentuates the gnashing grill of the other variants, but this one certainly has a hell of a lot more attitude too.

Even better is that the Sport is the cheaper of the two 1.5T versions, so if you, like me prefer the darker side, that’s a cool bonus, especially considering that it packs in most all of the Executive spec anyway. 

Civic’s liberally equipped upmarket cabin is noticeably soft on the ear and other senses and packs a surprising level of spec, while it’s great to see that carmakers actually read some of our complaints. This latest Cvic's revisited seven-inch Apple and Android compatible LCD infotainment interface brings good old hard buttons and a volume knob back in place of the stupid outgoing touchscreen. 

Still we’d prefer not to ask the system to communicate with us every time we start her up. Some of us actually realise we're in a car...

For the rest, Sport equals Executive and it impressed us equally too – the creamy little 127kW 220Nm one-point-five-litre VTEC petrol four takes that tech to a completely new level in turbo incarnation to box out of its shoes and rival some hatches billed as hot, even though this one is not.

Honda’s continually variable transmission is among the better out there although it could perhaps better mask that constantly droning soundtrack, but the Civic 1.5 T Sport is splendid on the road. 

Sophisticated, positive and driver friendly, 7.75 second 0-100km/h acceleration and 15.6 seconds to 400m at 147km/h with an elastic 5.87 seconds 80 to 120 pull is a wonderful bonus on top of it all. 

All quite special really — especially with this one's dark Vader frown on its face. – Michele Lupini

Images: Giordano Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Honda Civic 1.5T Sport CVT
Engine: 127kW 220Nm 1498cc turbo petrol I4
Drive: CVT FWD
0-60km/h:         3.74sec
0-100km/h:       7.75 sec   
0-160km/h:       18.98 sec
400m:               15.6 sec @ 147km/h
80-120km/h:      5.87 sec
120-160km/h:    8.26 sec       
VMax:               200km/h 
Fuel:                 5.9 l/100km
CO2:                 140 g/km
Warranty/Service: 5y 200K/5y 90Kkm
LIST PRICE:       R513K
RATED:              8