Auto Review: 2019 Honda Civic RS

THE Honda Civic RS a melting pot of great looks and for a small to medium car, it offers a high level of comfort and technology, coupled with a hint of sports car feel, thanks to its aggressive chiseled front end.

Black outs, and a colour-coded rear tailgate spoiler compliment the overall styling package. The doors close with a comforting thud. It’s a good looking, solid car, and who could ask for more.

Well actually, as an RS model, it needs a sports exhaust for one. The sporty LED headlights with auto dusk sensing, auto leveling and accompanying daytime running lights work well though.

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The auto high beam function sometimes got confused during testing and is slow to respond especially around corners, but they do the job, and the auto sensing wipers handle all conditions well.

One great and very useful feature are the auto retracting door mirrors, as the left hand side one features an integrated camera, activated by the left turn indicator (or a button on the stalk), so you don’t take out a cyclist or clean up a pedestrian when turning left.

The Honda Civic RS is powered by a 1.5-litre DHOC VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers 127kW of power and 220Nm of torque. It’s adequate enough for the 1,326kg Honda, and it pulls well through to cruise speed.

But when asked for that extra something something, it doesn’t quite deliver. It runs on unleaded RON 91 and the CVT gearbox is well matched to the engine though, and there are wheel mounted paddles which change gears permanently in sports mode only.

Fuel economy is a respectable 6.9-litres/100km, but this could be improved with diligent throttle control and the use of the of ECON feature.

From a style perspective, the Civic RS has a low front stance which is enhanced by the 235/40 ZR18 Michelin tyres mounted on black alloys. Highway driving is comfortable and it handles undulations well.

The interior is not glitzy but gives you a feeling of purpose and comfort, while the leather 8-way adjustable drivers seat, complete with a chequered flag insert and red stitching, is very comfortable.

The three level heating on both front seats is quick and effective, and an absolute bonus during a chilly winter. The soft feel steering wheel is the perfect size too, but control buttons are messy and small, to the point of being frustrating.

The comfortable rear seat has good leg and head room and the centre arm rest has two cup holders. Other features include an accessory power port, plus a HDMI port and two USB ports, located in a very well thought out if slightly difficult to get to under tray.

You’ll also find dual-zone climate control, an electric park brake with brake hold function, key-less entry, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB+ digital radio and a powerful 452W 10-speaker sound system with volume compensation.

The Honda Civic RS does not however, get satellite navigation as standard. The RS is a little special though, because it does get its very own exclusive Phoenix Orange (pearlescent) paint colour.

You can of course also order your new 2019 Honda Civic RS in Sporty Blue, Rally Red, Modern Steel, Lunar Silver, Platinum White, Crystal Black and Cosmic Blue.

Honda’s sensing technology is very comprehensive and includes adaptive cruise control, which is easy to use, and sensitive to adjustment, and when combined with low speed follow, makes long distance driving a pleasure.

Lane keep assist and straight driving steering assist also add to the positive experience. There’s a huge boot too, with a 517-litre capacity, and with the rear seats down it can handle large items easily. Having the seat fold leavers in the boot though is not ideal.

The RS has a braked towing capacity of 800kg and comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 12 month service intervals. The 2019 Honda Civic RS has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, and could be yours for $35,425 drive away.

Our test vehicle was provided by Honda Australia. To find out more about the 2019 Honda Civic RS, contact your local Honda dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pros - looks good; comfortable seats, plenty of safety equipment; boot size.
Cons - limited cup holders; rear seat fold down handles are in the boot; climate controls; no satellite navigation; fiddly controls.
Geoff Counihan
Geoff Counihan
With a background in mechanical engineering, Geoff appreciates the workings of all things automotive. He's currently building a 1968 Ford Mustang from the ground up and his past includes work with Peter Brock as a development engineer. He's owned more than 20 cars and is a big fan of track testing.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> looks good; comfortable seats, plenty of safety equipment; boot size.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> limited cup holders; rear seat fold down handles are in the boot; climate controls; no satellite navigation; fiddly controls.Auto Review: 2019 Honda Civic RS