Civic society

Inside, the Civic features the two tier, space age driving environment that is so much talked about at its launch. Five years on and the futuristic dash has not aged at all. It might not suit to everyone's tastes but it's a nice place to be in - the materials feel of substantial quality and the controls and switchgear feel tactile to the touch but the Jetta takes quality and perceived luxury levels even higher thanks to Volkswagen's legendary build quality - all the surfaces are soft to the touch while the switchgear and controls feel expensive and of even higher quality than the Civic's.

Like in the Golf and the newer VW models, the Jetta's instruments are now lit in white instead of blue while the centrally mounted LCD display within the instrument cluster is no longer in red and features a useful digital speedo display. There's also a new stereo head unit with a screen that also shows settings for the climate control. New climate control switchgear and a new three-spoke steering wheel round off the updates in the recently tweaked Jetta.

The driving position in both cars are spot on thanks to a wide variety of adjustments on each of the seats and the steering wheels and all the controls are perfectly placed for a comfortable drive.

At the rear, the Civic has the edge over the Jetta when it comes to legroom. Rear passengers will appreciate the amounts of legroom they have thanks to the flat floor, something which the Jetta lacks. The Volkswagen isn't exactly stingy when it comes to accommodation at the rear; it's just that the Civic really shines in this department. On the upside, the Jetta offers air-con vents for its rear passengers.

The Jetta has the edge when it comes to utility. There are large door bins, under seat drawers, cubbyhole under the front armrest and so on. The boot is much more voluminous than the Civic's while the rear seat backs split/fold for an even larger load space.

The Civic 1.8 VTi-S here shares its 1799cc i-VTEC engine with the Stream. The engine produces a maximum power of 140bhp at 6300rpm, 15bhp less than the range-topping model, the 2.0 Si can muster.

With maximum torque of 174Nm produced at 4300rpm, the engine has a relatively peaky torque curve so you'll need revs to fully exploit its full performance. Thankfully, the engine is one of the sweetest revving four-cylinder units around. It revs eagerly to its redline every time you decide to go quickly.


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Engine Capacity 1799cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.5:1
Bore x Stroke (81 x 87.3)mm
Power 140bhp @ 6300rpm
Torque 174Nm @ 4300rpm
Power to Weight 114.1 bhp per ton


Acceleration 10.2s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 197 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 13.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 5 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4550 x 1750 x 1435) mm
Wheelbase 2700 mm
Turning Circle 5.4 metres
Kerb Weight 1227 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs


Engine Capacity 1390cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 122bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 200Nm @ 1500rpm
Power to Weight 23.9 bhp per ton


Acceleration 9.8s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 199 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4554 x 1781 x 1459) mm
Wheelbase 2578 mm
Turning Circle 5.45 metres
Kerb Weight 5100 kg


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs