The revamped Honda Civic has touched down, and is noticeably sportier and smoother than its big brother.

The revamped Honda Civic has touched down, and is noticeably sportier and smoother than its big brother.

Available as both a saloon and hatchback, the 81kW 1,5-litre is capable of producing 135N.m of torque while the bigger 1,7-litre VTEC unit produces 96kW and 155N.m. All variants can be obtained with both automatic and manual transmission.

The new range looks noticeably sportier than the current Civic and features new projector-style headlamps, a larger badge on the grille, re-shaped bumpers and chrome door handles on all the models.

The five-door version of the Civic has a reshaped tailgate, rear spoiler and tweaked rear bumper, and all models have revised taillight clusters. Executive models have door mirror-mounted side indicator repeaters and body-coloured side sills.

Honda has further upgraded the Civic's steering and suspension systems, with a new variable-ratio steering rack, increased steering castor angle and recalibrated spring, damper and anti-roll bar settings. Noise-suppressing insulation is used more extensively and a new front subframe dynamic damper has been fitted.

According to the manufacturer, the technical revisions should "improve on-centre steering feel at high speed, steering response, ride comfort and smoothness."

The main technical change on the saloon is that it is now, like the hatchback, fitted with a solid rear disc. ABS with EBD is fitted to the entire Civic range and both derivates of the 150i are now available with a standard CD front loader.

The changes have been concentrated on the exterior, but on the inside, the main change effected is the altered shape of the seats. The seats and door trim have also been fitted with new upholstery.

There is more chrome-effect detailing, a new centre console, a rear centre cup holder, larger seat-back pockets, luminous instrumentation and steering wheel operated audio controls, trip computer and enlarged boot capacity through adoption of spacesaver spare wheel. Executive-spec models have dark grey titanium-coloured leather seats.

The entire new Civic range is fitted with catalytic converters to limit the cars' impact on the environment.

The Honda Civics will retail from R154 900 for the manual 150i hatch, up to R188 800 for the 170i four-door automatic.