Owner Review: Civic FC (Ketam) 1.5 Turbo – After 6 Years
Looking for a great used Honda Civic?
Buying a used car is always a gamble & in this article, I will share my real 6 year owner review of my 2016 Honda Civic 1.5 Turbo (FC or aka ketam).
So after my personal sharing, I hope it can help you make a decision if this particular car model should or shouldn’t be shortlisted for your next used car purchase.
I’ll cover the following points:
Why I bought the Civic FC in 2016 over other car models.
What I still like about my Civic FC even in 2023
What I don’t like about my Civic FC if compared to newer cars
Issues I had within my 6 year ownership
Would I recommend the Civic FC as a great used car buy?
Why I Bought a New Civic FC Back in 2016
At the time, the contenders were the Mazda 3, Corolla Altis & the new Civic. I summarize the pro & cons findings in the table below:
What I Like
What I Don’t Like
– Pretty Kodo design
– Definitely stand out compared to the other 2 cars
– CBU pricing at RM130k+
– Reviewers say the 18” tires are expensive to replace
– The interior is not that luxurious IMO
– No rear AC vents
– It’s a reliable corolla
– If i’m not mistaken, it was slightly more exp than the base Civic at the time
– The sales rep only let me test drove it around the parking lot
– Lame interior & uncle car vibe
– The 1st mainstream turbo in Malaysia that’s not a luxury car
– It’s a Honda
– Radical new design
– The best interior Civic I’ve seen
– RM118k starting price for the 1.8NA, RM127k for the turbo
– Remote start? Hell yes!
– Reliability of the new turbo engine
– Lame halogen lights for a RM127k car
– This will be a common car on the road
The pros of the Civic clearly outweighs the cons. It was a pretty hard to beat family car package.
There were 3 variants of the 2016 Honda Civic (that I can recall at the time):
1.8 NA – RM118k+
1.5 TC – RM127k+
1.5 TCP – RM137k+
I obviously was eyeing the turbo, but the top-spec 1.5 TCP costs RM 10k more than the 1.5 TC & it only offers additional built-in navigation, blind spot assist & cosmetics trims.
So I thought the 1.5 TC was the best bang for our buck & it did not stray too far from our budget. So in Dec 2017, my family & I decided on the Civic 1.5 TC.
So after almost 6 years, but not more than 90,000km (thanks to the pandemic & WFH), let’s dive into the meat of my review:
What I Still Like About the Civic FC After 6 Years
The 1.5L Engine Makes a Lot of Sense
The 1.5L engine may sound small (which it is), but it makes a lot of sense for a daily commuter.
I don’t need so much horsepower as 80% of the time, I am stuck in horrific KL traffic most of the time anyway.
I only need boosts of power during overtaking & when I am in the mood for spirited drives. So a 1.5L turbo engine offers a cheap RM70 road tax. My weekly fuel cost is around RM70 for a full tank that can last around 2 weeks for me (400 to 450 km travel).
Does a 2.4NA make any sense in today’s KL traffic?
Large Boot Space for Hauling Family Stuff
Underrated selling point if you use the Honda Civic FC as a family car & frequently pick up people from the airport all the time.
The current generation Civic FE’s boot space is smaller than the FC:
During our family trip to Bali (2 adults & 1 baby), we can fit all of our stuff in the boot:
Nuna Trvl stroller
2 medium-sized suitcases
Boot space is often overlooked. Do you travel to the airport often? Do you do regular family road trips? So far, my Civic FC can carry all of my family’s stuff without an issue.
Spacious Interior with Rear AC Vents
The interior at the rear is spacious for our baby car seat & other miscellaneous baby gear.
Rear AC vents are also something I highly look for in a family car to keep everyone (especially the baby) cool in the hot Malaysian weather.
Remote Start Feature is So UNDERRATED
In 2017, Honda was one of the 1st to bring the remote start stop function to the mainstream market. Most people think this is a gimmick feature.
But as a family man, where I often take my family out for trips & park the car in the sun, the remote start feature allows me to start the car remotely & turn the AC on full blast.
So by the time we reach the car, the cabin is nice & cool. A totally UNDERRATED feature!
Ride Comfort & NVH
NVH levels on the Civic are acceptable at highway speeds but not impressive. It’s enough dampening to not annoy me to the point that I need to spend extra on sound-dampening aftermarket services.
The Civic’s suspension is surprisingly soft for a low-riding “sport” inspired car & coupled with the rear multi-link suspension setup, the car rides over bumps & uneven roads acceptably well, which is paramount for passenger comfort.
Now, the low height of the Civic is great for handling, but it does have its drawbacks:
What I Don’t Like About the Civic FC vs Newer Cars
It’s Too Low to Ferry Old Folks
This was never an issue for me when I was single & driving it alone most of the time.
However, once I got married, I tend to do more family stuff & my parents & in-laws do show audible difficulties when getting out of the car due to the low seating position.
The 1A USB Charger at the Back is a Joke
There’s only 1 USB charger for the people at the back & the plug is located in the rear center armrest.
It’s only 1A, which quite frankly is near pointless to charge any modern smartphone as the current is too small.
Luckily, the USB chargers up front are decent in current rating. But I do have to buy at least a 2m long charging cable to reach all the way back.
Cost Cutting in the Interior Back Seat
At first glance, the leather rear seats seem nice. However, once I sat at the back, my elbows felt the left & right most outer parts of the rear seats are made out of hard plastic (it was a full cushion in my previous FD).
I think this is a cheeky move by Honda to save some money during the manufacturing process.
The Honda Service Center Transparency
This is a big one for me, as I like to send my car for servicing at the Honda dealership even out of warranty for maximum peace of mind.
So before I head over for each of my booking, I usually check out the Honda website to get an estimate of the financial damage I’ll be dealing with.
For example, in one of the service interval, the Honda website quoted around RM500+. But when I got to the dealership, they quoted me RM700+.
I obviously asked the Honda person to break it down for me & the justification was that the price quoted on the website was not inclusive of the engine oil & oil filter.
I’d love to take my car for servicing at the dealer, but I hope Honda can just put the absolute price on the website so the consumer can know how much they’ll be paying during each service without any surprises or arguments at the dealer counter.
Issues I Faced Throughout My Ownership
All cars will have issues, no matter the brand & from which country its from.
There are thousands of mechanical & electrical components in a car. Over time, there’s bound for something to stop working or wear out prematurely.
After 6 years of ownership, I am happy to report that there were only 2 things that went wrong with the car:
Spoiled Infotainment Unit (Under Warranty)
The infotainment will beep everytime I touch the screen.
At around the 4.5 year mark of the car, something suddenly went off & the infotainment system was beeping like crazy even though no one was touching the screen.
It was so bad that I couldn’t change the radio or use the infotainment at all. Driving in the car with all the constant beeping was unbearable.
I brought the car back to the dealership & luckily it was still under warranty. They replaced the entire infotainment unit free of charge, but it stated on the invoice that the price for a new infotainment unit was around RM5k+ plus labor, in which I did not pay a cent as it went bad within the warranty period (thank god).
Car electronics… Do you love em or hate em?
Spoiled AC Cooling Coil
At around 5.5 years of the car age, the AC was suddenly not cold anymore. I knew something needed to be replaced.
Trying to save money, I took the car to a regular workshop & the guy confidently said that I have to replace a hose. Not knowing any better, I agreed. Parts & labor cost me RM 450.
The AC continued not to work the following week. I didn’t want to see the same guy again.
So I googled ‘Car AC Specialist’ & booked an appointment. The shop was very professional & they identified that my cooling coil is leaking.
Unfortunately, the cooling coil was located at the back of the dashboard, and they have to use 1 day to take the dashboard apart to access the cooling coil.
The total bill came out to around RM2k. The problem was fixed & the job was done professionally.
Would the Civic Make a Good Used Car?
Yes. As mentioned earlier, no car is perfect & in my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons, which makes the Honda Civic FC (2016 to 2022) an easy car to recommend.
What to Look Out for When Buying a Used Civic FC?
These tips are general & apply to buying any used car, but here it goes:
Find a car with convincing service records.
Avoid cars that have been modified by the previous owner (including rims).
Don’t trust the odometer. Many used car dealers roll back these numbers.
Watch out for signs of a flood damage car from this article.
For a more transparent buying experience for a used Honda Civic, check out Carsome.