2017 Honda Civic Modulo RS Turbo

Style and speed in a pretty package

The Honda Civic has always been a staple sight on the streets. It goes without saying that it has also served as one of the greatest family cars to have ever run on our metro’s roads. For many enthusiasts, the dream is to be able to build a fast car, run it as it’s meant to, and look good while you’re at it. The usual route is to piece the car together from the engine to its exterior components, but it seems that Honda hit the nail on the head with something very special this time.

The current Civic lineup’s top-end model, the RS Turbo, got a lot of pampering with the Modulo Sport kit. As if it wasn’t good-looking to begin with, the unit we got was in red – Rallye Red – and it had the Modulo kit installed. This gave the car a much more aggressive look. Reminiscent of the Type R's of old, the Turbo was planted closer to the ground, thanks to the wraparound kit. The front was distinct given the high-gloss black grille, but what made people realize that this car can go was the addition of a rear wing.

We took the Civic up some twisty mountain roads knowing that it could handle it with speed, cornering ability, and good fuel economy. It did, and with a lot more ease than we thought.

On the open road where the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine could breathe, opening the tap brought one word to mind: quick. One is not left wanting in the power and speed department as this pint-sized engine propelled the car effortlessly. The transmission? Fantastic. Working up the tachometer was barely noticeable as the Earth Dreams CVT-equipped RS shifted the gears up smoothly with nary a jolt. The acceleration was not violent, and it was definitely not sluggish. Despite having an electronic throttle, and sometimes needing a little bit more input coming from a complete stop, there was no shortage of power here.

Further up the roads was where the RS Turbo shines. Being bigger than the older Civics, one would expect it to lurch around turns and corners. It is also heavier, so one would think that keeping your pace will require a bit more throttle work. No, neither of these happened. There was a certain grace to how the car danced in the twists. Steering wheel feedback could have been better, but given the driver’s input, the car responded very well at any speed and angle. Handling was tight, given the stiffer suspension, and the wider wheels and tires equipped on the RS Turbo.

As for the interior, it has premium written all over it. The dashboard is the same, except that the gauge cluster is illuminated in red. The head unit is also backlit in red (although this can be changed), and can play video and audio. USB and HDMI inputs are available for in-car entertainment; plus, the speakers sound good, too. The seats and door sidings, steering wheel, and shifter lever were also given premium treatment by way of black leather, which added luxury to the overall sporty theme of the car. The front seats are comfortable, and finding just the right position on the driver’s seat is easy with the 8-way power adjustment. Surprisingly, the backseat is also rather spacious. Leg and headroom is more than ample at the back. The biggest treat, this being a more sporting car, is the trunk space. The trunk lid size can look deceptively small, but once it’s opened, the compartment goes deep and provides enough space for luggage and cargo.

For those who want a good carrier, where family and friends and your things would fit comfortably, the Civic is a good choice. If you’re looking for a car that looks every bit as sporty as it can be, then the Modulo is also a good choice. If what you need is a vehicle that can get you to where you’re going fast and safe and efficiently, the RS Turbo is a good choice. These being said, we’re lucky that Honda has given us the Civic Modulo RS Turbo in one complete package.

Engine: Inline-4, 1496cc, dohc, 16-valve, VTEC Turbo, CVT

Max Power: 170 bhp @ 5500 rpm

Max Torque: 162 lb ft @ 5500 rpm

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 9.5 sec.

Top Speed: 201 km/h

Fuel Mileage: 9.1 km/l city, 14.2 km/l highway (ECON Off)

Price as Tested: PhP 1,537,000

+: Looks inside and out, handling, good fuel economy

-: Not too much – auto-lock doors and power folding side mirrors would be nice

C! Rating: 9.5/10