Automotive, Opinion

2022 Honda Civic – Should You Get the RM126k Base E Model or RM144k Civic RS?

The Honda Civic has dominated the C-segment sedan market in Malaysia since the 10th gen model was launched here back in 2016. Fast forward to today, we now have the 2022 Honda Civic with a more mature styling and premium interior – along with higher price tags.

Although the entry price for the new Civic is higher than ever – an increase from RM109,326.51 to RM125,634.64 with sales tax exemption applied until 30 June 2022 – you are getting quite a number of upgrades. These include a more powerful engine and the Honda Sensing safety suite as standard.

If you can’t quite make up your mind which model of the 2022 Civic to get, here’s our breakdown of all three variants!

Civic E – Best Value

Despite being the most affordable model (RM125,634.64), the Civic E is actually quite well-equipped. Not only does it get the same 1.5L turbo engine as the V and RS trims (paired to a CVT) that outputs 182PS and 240Nm of torque – that’s 9PS and 20Nm more than the 10th gen Civic – it also gets the aforementioned Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance safety systems.

While the 2022 Civic E costs exactly RM16,308.13 more than the previous generation Civic 1.8 S, the price difference is justified (in my opinion) with these additions. After all, Honda Sensing was previously reserved for the range-topping Civic TC-P, which was priced at RM134,321.28.

Granted, the TC-P had a lot of other upgrades too, but it’s certainly a good move on Honda Malaysia’s part to offer Honda Sensing as a standard feature for the new Civic.

Civic V – Extra Creature Comforts

Moving up the price range is the Civic V. Priced at RM138,043.36, it is quite a bit more costly than the E model (by exactly RM12,408.72). But for that kind of money, you’re getting extra creature comforts, including leather seats, larger 17-inch alloy wheels over the E variant’s 16-inch wheels, and Honda Connect.

Previously only offered for the City RS e:HEV, the Honda Connect telematics system smartphone app offers a range of useful features. There are three main components of Honda Connect: safety, security, and convenience.

Within the safety and security categories, the app offers Automatic Collision Detection System, Security Alarm Detection, Speed Alert, Find My Car, and Geo-Fencing Alert; the latter will send a push notification to the owner if the car is driven out of a set radius.

In the event of a collision or airbag deployment, the Automatic Collision Detection System will send a notification to Honda’s 24-hour roadside assist call centre; emergency support will also be dispatched. Security Alarm Detection, on the other hand, will also notify the call centre – as well as the the owner via a push notification – if the car’s door, trunk, or bonnet is forcibly opened.

As for the convenience category within the Honda Connect app, there’s Remote Vehicle Control. As its name suggests, this lets owners control certain aspects of the car, such as unlocking the doors, start the engine, control the air-conditioning, and even switching on the headlights; it’s quite a nifty feature.

Honda Connect is by no means a groundbreaking feature, but it does make the owner experience of the Civic V a little bit more…well, fun.

Beyond that, other upgrades the Civic V gets over the E variant include Honda LaneWatch, paddle shifters, a drive mode selector – you can switch between Eco, Normal, and Sport to adjust the throttle and CVT mapping of the sedan – eight-way driver power seat, auto dimming rearview mirror, and a larger 9-inch infotainment system; the E gets a 7-inch unit instead.

Civic RS – Sportier, With a Matching Price

Last but certainly not least is the Civic RS, which gets all the bells and whistles and a sportier appeal. These include 18-inch alloy wheels with a black matte finish, blacked out door handles, side mirrors, shark fin antenna, and trunk spoiler, half leather seats with suede material and red stitching, as well as automatic front wipers.

How much do you have to pay for these upgrades? A cool RM144,350.09, which is exactly RM6,306.73 more over the mid-tier V model. Essentially, you’re paying more to get the sportier styling of the RS model – whether these aesthetic changes are worth the premium or not (though you’re also getting the excellent Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres) is entirely up to you.

Which Variant to Get?

Again, it depends on what you want out of the 2022 Honda Civic. If you want the absolute best value for money, the Civic E is the model to get. Want more creature comforts? Opt for the Civic V. If you want the sportiest-looking 11th gen Civic, then you’ll be happy with the Civic RS.

Personally, I’d get the Civic V for the larger infotainment system, bigger wheels, Honda Connect, and leather seats. But if the RS variant for our market had the larger 10.2-inch digital meter as other regions, I may opt for that model instead. I was told by Honda Malaysia that the feature will be kept for future consideration, so perhaps the facelift will get it.

Anyway, do I regret purchasing the older Civic now that the new 11th gen model is here? Not at all, though I do like the more premium interior of the 2022 Civic. But hey, I’ve made my decision – it’s not too late for you to decide which model is right for you.

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