The Civic is built on an all-new version of Honda’s Global Compact Platform. The solid unit body of the Civic was designed from the outset to define a new standard for torsional and bending rigidity in the compact segment. The new Global Compact Platform implements advanced body construction technologies for enhanced safety, better rigidity, improved ride comfort and a quieter cabin. With 50 percent total high strength steel content and advanced new structural engineering, torsional rigidity increases by 35 percent.
Body construction now includes Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure that enhances frontal collision energy management through a network of load bearing structures in the front of the vehicle. Conceived around “real world” safety, this newly developed front-end frame structure incorporates new upper and lower frame members to significantly enhance energy dispersion in a frontal collision. The ACE concept differs from traditional crash designs that channel a high percentage of collision force through a vehicle’s two lower channels in a collision (useful only if the frames of the two vehicles connect). The ACE design with its polygonal front structure helps reduce the potential for misalignment with the frame of the opposing vehicle. These features are designed to increase compatibility between vehicles of different size categories for enhanced occupant protection in the event of a collision.
Honda’s commitment to safety extends to pedestrians as well as vehicle occupants. To help reduce pedestrian injuries in the event of a collision, the Civic’s hood and fender areas are designed to deform if contacted by the head of an adult or child pedestrian. Energy-absorbing collapsible hood supports, wiper arms and fender mounts are designed to allow substantial deformation in an impact.
The Civic conveys an aerodynamic presence on the surface, but many aerodynamic improvements exist in areas that may not be as obvious. All models feature a chin spoiler and multiple under covers that reduce air turbulence near the engine, rear wheels and rear bumper. The Civic Si manages airflow even further and features a rear wing spoiler that creates meaningful and intentional downforce at high speeds, along with a brake cooling strake (a small fin ahead of the front wheel) that directs air across the brake rotor like a dedicated brake duct. The Civic Hybrid and Civic Coupe models use a lip spoiler on the trunk that cleans up the airflow behind the vehicle. The Civic Hybrid has an enhanced undercover for even cleaner aerodynamics. In order to accommodate the steeply raked windshield and its significant surface area, opposable windshield wipers are used that cover more surface area than typical wipers and the blade bodies have a flat design that makes air flow push the wiper blades firmly against the glass.
Honda has a tradition of making its vehicles fun-to-drive with responsive suspension tuning and refined road manners. Precise and sharp handling performance also contributes to accident avoidance maneuverability. The 2006 Honda Civic chassis delivers higher levels of sportiness and ride comfort with improvements in three key areas – enhanced suspension geometry with larger wheels and tires, a longer wheelbase, and a new generation 4-channel anti-lock braking system. The changes add up to a new Civic that is even more responsive and sporty in demanding situations while also maintaining a smooth and quiet ride.
The all-new MacPherson strut front suspension design incorporates new geometry with a high caster angle for straight line stability along with improved toe-control dynamics for sharp and responsive steering. Changes to steering angles, bushings, material rigidity, and spring and shock tuning result in amazingly linear suspension movement at the upper limit of vehicle dynamics and flatter cornering.
The all-new multi-link double wishbone rear suspension design benefits from a new design that facilitates a longer damper stroke and improved positioning of the damper itself. The additional rebound stroke allows the vehicle to soak up bumps and harsh road surfaces with quietness and ease. The damper is mounted closer to the wheel for a more favorable 1.1:1 lever ratio (the relationship between the suspension movement and the distance that the damper actually travels). The previous relationship was 1.7:1. The more direct relationship means the forces acting on the shock do not become magnified and the intended tuning provides maximum benefit throughout a wider range of suspension travel. These changes combined with sport-oriented spring and damper tuning greatly increase the overall sporty feel of the vehicle and increase the feeling of coordination between the front and rear suspensions (a surprisingly uncommon trait in many vehicles).
The steering systems feature quick gear ratios for sharp and sporty transitions. Previously a high-mounted steering gearbox, the new steering system is now located lower in the vehicle to improve suspension geometry for a more direct feel and quick response. The Civic Si and Civic Hybrid feature a sport-oriented speed sensitive Electric Power Steering (EPS) that increases power assist at low speeds and reduces power assist at high speeds. The Civic Coupe and Civic Sedan use a speed sensitive hydraulic power steering system. All models have a tilt and telescope steering wheel.
Larger wheels and tires contribute to the Civic’s improvement in ride and handling. The Civic Si uses Michelin’s all-season Pilot HX MXM4 tire in size P215/45 R17 (also available is a new Pilot Exalto high performance summer version as a factory option) and 17×7 inch alloy wheels. A dealer installed 18-inch tire and wheel package is available. The Civic Hybrid features P195/65 R15 low rolling resistance tires with lightweight and aerodynamic 15×6 alloy wheels. The most popular LX and EX trim levels for sedan and coupe have P205/55 R16 tires and 16×6.5 inch wheels (the EX has alloy wheels and the LX has steel wheels with covers). The DX sedan and coupe ride on P195/65 R15 tires with 15×6 steel wheels with covers.
All Civics are equipped with a new 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). Disc brakes are used on the front and rear wheels on Si and EX models; rear drum brakes are used on Hybrid, LX and DX models. The 4-channel ABS with EBD independently modulates braking power at each wheel, as opposed to the more common 3-channel system that modulates the front wheels independently and the rear wheels with equal braking force. Electronic Brake Distribution proportions brake power to the rear wheels based on vehicle weight distribution. The new 4-channel capability allows the rear wheels to react independently while cornering, representing a significant enhancement to the ABS system’s ability to influence vehicle stability and safety. Further additions to the braking system include a new ABS control module (that applies the new 4-channel features) and a brake booster that improves pedal feel. Bottom line, the Civic stops with greater authority and added control.
High-tech and futuristic just begin to describe the Civic’s new interior at the core of its design. Honda stylists and engineers prioritized sophistication to create a high-quality, advanced and sporty space with the latest technology, loads of storage and innovative ergonomics. More standard features and new available features like a voice activated navigation system highlight the dedication to taking the interior to an entirely new level.
A two-tier instrument panel positions priority gauges like the speedometer up high in the driver’s field of vision. The increased body width allows the seats to be wider and more supportive, and a spacious multi-functional center console accommodates up to 20 compact discs and performs armrest duties for both front occupants. Active front seat head restraints are used to help minimize the potential for whiplash injuries in a rear collision.
The Civic Si includes Civic Coupe EX features plus a 197-horsepower 2.0-liter i-VTEC DOHC 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual transmission, limited slip differential, 17-inch alloy wheels, P215/45R17 tires (available in summer version), rear wing spoiler, Si badging, amber inner headlight ring, sports grille, sport exhaust tip, deeply bolstered seats with premium seating surfaces, red illumination instrument panel meters, leather wrapped steering wheel, leather wrapped aluminum shift knob, aluminum sport pedals, and a rev-limit indicator light.