The Honda Civic is synonymous with Swindon and the 10th generation of the series is the lifeblood of its global manufacturing plant, so its good to find the newcomer is in good shape after a facelift.
In fact, style is what the Civic is all about and it’s arguably one of the most immediately recognizable five-doors on the road and now enhanced by new nose and tail styling with a revised interior as well. The reworking hasn’t done away with the rear aero-wing sitting mid eye-line in the mirror which restricts visibility but the car has better headlights and brighter sidelights. Inside, there is a new range of materials and some subtle styling changes to the fascia. The whole package is up to £1,620 cheaper than the previous series.
There are five trim levels in the 30-model range with 1.4 and 1.8 petrol engines or a 1.6 diesel. We tested the perceived most popular, the diesel SR, additionally equipped with the driver assistance safety pack and Pearlescent white orchid paint which together added £1,125 to the list price.
The 1.6 litre diesel is a gem. It is as quiet as many petrol engines, pulls strongly from rest and when overtaking and the high gearing helps the Civic SR return over 60mpg.
The gearchange is quick and direct but a few times we found the clutch did not fully depress and some crunching of gears was heard.
We liked the well balanced and strong brakes as well as the feedback, lightness and precision of the steering. Ride quality was good over all but the very worst surfaces and the handling was sharp and grip was good on twisting roads.
Despite looking like a coupe, the Civic’s four-doors allowed easy access and egress and there was good room inside for four, a might tight for five.
With a lower compartment behind the high tail and beneath the floor the nominal capacity of 477 litres can expand to almost 1,400 litres when the rear seats are folded.
The oddments room was useful and well spread about the front and back, the heating and ventilation was highly effective and the secondary switches well placed for ease of use.
Very good lights and wipers help in poor conditions and there are some useful sensors and rear camera, much needed on this family model.
The new Honda Civic felt very well put together without any adverse noises and this imparted a great sense of quality and refinement. Commuting or covering larger distances, the Civic was capable of getting you there easily and economically, and often enjoyably.
|Fast facts:||Price: £23,140 (as tested £24,265)|
|Insurance group: 16E||Mechanical: 4cyl 120ps 1.6 turbo-diesel, 6sp|
|Max speed: 129mph||0-62mph: 10.5sec|
|Combined mpg: 62.8mpg on test||CO2 emissions: 94gkm|
|BIK rating: 15%||Warranty: 3yrs/ 90,000miles|