Now, it's preparing to increase the renowned model's fan base in the country by accepting reservations for the long-awaited 11th-generation Civic from RM125,000, which made its global debut earlier this year.
This positioning will be mirrored in the Civic's more mature exterior, however it will come at the expense of those who preferred the FC's exuberant styling. Straighter body lines, Audi-style trapezoidal LED tail lights, and a polarising protruding "forehead" have replaced the full-width "Solid Wing Face" front bar, flared fenders, and "ketam" C-shaped tail lights.
The RS-specific details, which include LED headlights with darkened internals, matte black side window trim, visible twin tailpipes, and gloss black highlights on the wing mirrors, door handles, and unique rear spoiler, add some sportiness back to the mix.
There are also a few RS emblems, and while Thai and Indonesian versions have modest 17-inch alloy wheels, we get the same 18s as the US and Japanese cars, with a gorgeous Y-spoke design and a matte black finish.
The new Civic measures 4,678 mm in length, 1,802 mm in width, and 1,415 mm in height, which is 30 mm longer, three millimetres wider, and one millimetre lower than the previous model; its 2,733 mm wheelbase is also 33 mm longer. According to Honda, the latter has extra legroom, especially in the back.
The Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance systems, which includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane centring aid, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beam, is standard on the RS. A Lead Automobile Departure Notification System is new to the FE, and it warns the driver if the car in front of them is pulling away from a stop. It's unclear whether the complete package will be included as standard, as it is in Thailand. The RS is also equipped with Honda's LaneWatch blind spot camera.
The RS is powered by a 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo four-cylinder engine that now has actual VTEC (variable valve lift). We get the full outputs available in America and Japan, listed at 182 PS at 6,000 rpm and 240 Nm from 1,700 to 4,500 rpm, which is not the case in Thailand (up 8 PS and 20 Nm). All of this is routed through the CVT to the front wheels. According to the aforementioned memo, the base 1.8 litre naturally-aspirated mill will be discarded in favour of the FE.
On the course, the new Civic performed admirably, handling high-speed turns with ease. The steering was precise and well-balanced. And it held its line once it did, thanks to the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres' amazing grip and great body control.
The Civic tracked straight and true as it approached the braking zone for the tight Turn 9 hairpin, generating a strong brake pedal feel that gave the driver confidence to attack the corner. It subsequently maintained its composure through the uphill turn and was able to maintain a comfortable speed into Turns 12 and 13 without becoming worried. Through a slalom setup on the back straight, the Civic proved similarly nimble and composed.
The new Civic is expected to arrive in Malaysia in the first quarter of 2022. Until then, keep an eye on this space for further information.