Honda
Civic

The latest tenth generation Honda Civic is new from the ground up. It boasts an ultra-sporty design, generous levels of on-board technology and an array of first class safety features. At launch it is available with two punchy petrol engines.



The good

Sporty design, packed with techno treats and drives beautifully

The bad

Competing against tough opposition

Tech Specs

Price from
£18,375
Combined Fuel up to
60.1mpg
0-62 from
8.2 seconds
max speed up to
137mph
co2 from
106g/km

Test Drive

Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC EX (2019)

The latest Honda Civic has left me with a bit of a marmite-type dilemma – I just can’t decide if I love it or loathe it. I’m hoping I can convince myself it’s the former.

There are lots of plus points such as the ultra-dynamic styling that looks the business when viewed from any angle. Another positive is the handling and performance – absolutely no complaints there either. But it’s the interior – it has everything you need to be fair, but it’s so dull. It’s like an old man’s car without an ounce of flair. And that’s why I can’t make my mind up about the Civic.

We tested the latest diesel powered model featuring the powerful 1.6-litre 120PS engine delivering 300Nm of torque matched to a six-speed manual gearbox. This car can reach 62mph from a standing start in 10.2 seconds and tops out at 125mph while achieving a combined 80.7mpg with carbon emissions of just 93g/km.

The performance is all you could wish for, as is always the case with the Civic – it’s responsive, sharp and boasts oodles of power. The road holding is super confident and body sway is non-existent as it fires through the nicely tuned six-speed gearbox with a constant supply of power on tap. The handling is agile and this is a car that responds immediately to the slightest throttle pressure with instant bursts of pace for overtaking.

Motorway miles are eaten up for fun and the Civic is nimble enough to weave its way through busy town centres without any fuss. Another tick in the plus box are the high levels of comfort with room for a trio of passengers in the back. Storage options are good too thanks to a deep boot capable of carrying 478 litres of kit – a limit that increases to 1,267 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

First impressions are vitally important and the Honda Civic leaves you in no doubt that this car will deliver when it comes to dynamic driving. It is a great-looking vehicle and our range-topping EX model was fully loaded. Priced at £25,460 (£28,900 with options), it included muscular styling with sharp lines, neat light clusters, tinted windows and 17-inch alloy wheels. It certainly has the wow factor especially when viewed from behind.

Move inside though and you are brought back down to earth with a bit of a bang. The car has all the mod cons we demand these days with the likes of full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, heated seats, a touchscreen infotainment system and full leather upholstery. But it all seems a little drab and the touchscreen takes far too long to respond.

Getting a comfortable driving position is a simple process with ample seat and steering wheel adjustment and I did like the fact that the climate control could be accessed quickly by pressing a button rather than having to navigate an over-complicated touchscreen menu.

There are numerous other features such as a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, dual zone climate control, heated rear seats, a rear parking camera and a whole lot more.

The front seat occupants are separated by quite a wide centre console and the chunky gear lever is well positioned for ease of use. I also liked the deep drinks holder that makes it possible to carry a large water bottle without it getting in the way of gear lever.

The visibility is great forwards and sideways, but the traditional split rear screen on the Civic does rather hinder the view from the rearview mirror.

But that aside, the Honda Civic is a great drive and it’s also a very safe car that’s packed with innovative technology to protect occupants and passengers alike, as well as helping to prevent accidents happening in the first instance. Safety kit on our test car included blindspot warning, a cross traffic monitor, collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, high-beam assist, intelligent adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition and plenty more besides.

All in all, the Honda Civic is a fabulous car to drive and it will turn heads thanks to its modern styling cues. I just wish the interior had a little more sparkle.

Test Drive

Honda Civic – 10th generation (2017) – first drive

It would be a pretty accurate assessment to say that the Honda Civic was starting to look quite dated and jaded round the edges, but hold that thought because the latest 10th generation model has just been launched and it’s suddenly a whole new ball game.

The five-door hatchback is new from the ground up and is guaranteed to turn heads wherever it goes. Boasting a fresh, sportier and more muscular design, it is powered by two punchy petrol engines and buyers can choose from a range of richly-equipped trim levels with either manual or automatic transmissions.

New Civic is priced from a very competitive £18,335 and initially just two new petrol engines are available. These are a three-cylinder 1.0-litre 129PS powertrain which can deliver combined fuel economy of 55.4mpg with carbon emissions of 106g/km. Alternatively, the more powerful 1.5-litre 182PS engine can offer a combined 46.3mpg with emissions of 133g/km.

The 1.0-litre model is available in SE, SR and EX trim levels (there is a basic S model but few will take up this option as for £100 more you step up to SE with a whole lot more kit as standard). Cars powered by the 1.5-litre version are available in grades Sport, Sport Plus and Prestige. Although there are no diesel options at the moment we are reliably informed one will be introduced next year.

When it comes to styling, the new Civic is ultra-modern and dynamic in appearance. This has been achieved partly thanks to the car’s new dimensions. It is 20mm lower, 30mm wider and 136mm longer and those proportions along with sweeping light clusters, large air intakes, and smart alloys certainly give the Civic a more aggressive stance.

Move inside the spacious cabin and there is a wealth of technology to explore and even the entry-level models are generously kitted out. There is a new seven-inch TFT-LCD driver display which is positioned within the newly reconfigured instrument binnacle. Other creature comforts include the second-generation Honda CONNECT system to link up with multi-media devices via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In addition, there is a wireless smartphone charging pad, full navigation facilities and a pitch perfect sound system. More upmarket features such as leather seats and a glass sunroof are introduced on the higher specced models.

Comfort levels within the car are exceptionally high and there is ample room for five adults to stretch out. That said; taller back seat passengers may struggle a little for headroom due to the car’s sloping roofline. Storage options are impressive and Honda claims its boot capacity of 478 litres is class leading. This limit can be increased to 828 litres with the rear seats dropped flat.

The latest Civic also features Honda’s safety package – called SENSING – across the range which includes forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking system, lane departure warning, road departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed assistance and intelligent adaptive cruise control which is a useful system that helps to predict cars cutting in front of you on motorways and will adjust the speed accordingly.

I had the opportunity to test out the new Civic with both new powertrains and they each brought with them their own individual character and charming appeal.

The 1.0-litre version mated to a six-speed manual gearbox is an excellent combination and laid to rest any concerns or reservations about a little three-pot engine having enough gusto to power the mighty five-door hatchback. The acceleration was sharp and there was always ample power on tap. There was a little engine noise filtering through to the cabin when the car was pushed particularly hard, but it certainly wasn’t screaming.

The latest Civic is the most aerodynamic model to date and that is most apparent when it comes to its performance. It can be thrown into corners at pace and the lower centre of gravity delivers a far more engaging driving experience than its predecessor.

A new suspension system helps to iron out any road surface creases and the Civic is generally well insulated against outside noise. This test car was priced at £23,725 for range-topping EX trim.

Next up was the 1.5-litre Civic in Sport Plus costing £25,930. This model also featured a six-speed manual gearbox and instantly felt more powerful than the first test car. It seems like the grown up of the pair and whilst still delivering all the ride and handling capabilities expected, it seemed a little more sensible and refined in the way it behaved.

A short run out in the 1.5 model with CVT gearbox showed how smooth the new transmission is. The acceleration is constant and rapid with paddle shifts to take a little more control whenever you want.

All in all, the latest Civic is a fabulous piece of kit. Honda has built on the car’s 40-year heritage and brought it bang up to date. It looks striking, is packed with technology, it’s competitively priced and it handles beautifully.

Test Drive

Honda Civic Type R 2.0 GT manual

Honda’s Type R cars are the envy of driving purists across the globe – they boast blistering pace, awesome driving dynamics and an appearance that simply cannot be ignored.

The latest Civic Type R has been five years in the making, but it’s certainly been worth the wait and is sure to gain cult-like status in next-to-no time.

Powered by a 310PS 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, the Civic Type R is the hottest of hot hatches and takes just 5.7 seconds to burn its way to 62mph from a standing start and the top speed, where permitted, is a class-leading 168mph.

And despite carrying the Civic name, it looks more suited to a rally circuit thanks to the massive wing, deep front bumper complete with cooling ducts, eye and ear-popping quad exhausts, flared wheel arches, 19-inch alloys with striking red rims plus red brake callipers. And of course, there’s lots of Type R badging.

The racing theme continues inside the cabin with two deep bucket seats in red Alcantara with contrast stitching and there are flashes of red trim adorning the doors, steering wheel, air vents and dashboard.

There are plenty of techno treats to be explored too, including Honda’s CONNECT infotainment system complete with a seven-inch touchscreen, sat nav, a CD player and eight speakers. In addition, there is ambient lighting, parking sensors, dual zone climate control, a rear parking camera, alloy pedals and a rather interesting red +R button that is simply too tempting to resist.

While the car produces blistering pace and excellent performance at all times, the +R mode really cranks up the power. It increases the responses of various chassis and drivetrain systems for an even more intense experience. According to Honda, the engine responsiveness is heightened with more aggressive torque-mapping, the steering becomes more responsive. It also becomes more agile for high-performance handling.

The power on offer is electrifying and the slick six-speed manual gearbox is the perfect accompaniment as it snaps through the gears. It’s very difficult not to drive the Type R enthusiastically – it’s loud, bumpy, aggressive and very, very fast.

The road-holding is super grippy and a sense of excitement is guaranteed at the first glimpse of a tight bend on the road ahead.

But there is more to the Civic Type R than hair-raising blitz and gusto because the car actually has a practical side too. There is ample room for a couple of adults to sit comfortably in the back and the boot can hold 498 litres of luggage (increased to 1,427-litres with the rear seats dropped flat. And if driven carefully, the official combined fuel economy is a fairly respectable 38.7mpg with carbon emissions of 170g/km.

Honda has packed the car with safety features, including anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, vehicle stability assist, city-brake active system, hill start assist, numerous airbags plus some driver assistance systems such as blind spot information, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, cross traffic monitor and high beam support.

I do have one word of warning though – the smart red wheel trims stick out and apparently they can very easily be kerbed, which will prove a pricey mistake.

But all in all, the Civic Type R, priced at £32,300 (£33,900 with options) is a sizzling hot hatchback that attracts attention wherever it passes. It looks the business, handles superbly and screams ‘fun’ at you every time the engine powers up.

Test Drive

Honda Civic (2015) – first drive

Honda has given its ever-popular Civic range a fresh new look and there is an exciting addition to the line-up that really injects some razzmatazz.

There’s no denying the success of the Civic over the years – in fact 3.5 million European sales have been clocked up since 2010.

So it comes as no surprise that Honda has stuck closely to a winning formula and simply improved upon it.

For example, there have been styling upgrades inside and out, there is an improved suspension system to enhance driving dynamics and comfort, a state-of-the-art infotainment system is available across the range, there are some innovative new safety features and a dazzling new trim for hatchback fans who want a little razzle dazzle.

All models feature upgraded headlamps with integrated daytime running lights, a freshly-designed grille and new bumpers and the interior has also moved upmarket with improved fabrics and trim, plus a host of techno treats to be explored.

New Civic is priced from £15,975 for the entry-level model rising to £26,970 for the petrol Tourer. Buyers can select from a number of highly efficient powertrains along with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions.

There are five trim levels (four on the Tourer) called S, SE Plus, Sport, SR and EX-Plus. But the stand-out attention-grabber is the new Sport model which is only available in hatchback form.

Compared to the standard Civic hatch, this eye-catching model boasts a lower mesh grille, 17-inch alloys and a colour-coded rear spoiler.

Although the Sport version is no more powerful than standard Civic models, its dynamic and sporty styling is guaranteed to turn heads.

So it was that model that we took for a test drive on a two-hour road route incorporating busy town centres, winding country lanes and faster-moving motorways – and it certainly lived up to all the hype.

The test car was priced £21,430 (£22,555 with options fitted) and powered by an all-new 1.6-litre 120PS diesel engine with 300Nm of torque mated to a six-speed manual transmission. It can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 10.5 seconds and tops out at 129mph. According to official figures it can deliver 76.3mpg and has carbon emissions of 98g/km.

The Euro 6 compliant engine is the first from Honda’s next generation Earth Dreams Technology series to be introduced in Europe. It weighs 47kg less than the outgoing 2.2-litre diesel engine that it replaces and is the lightest in class.

The Civic has always had a good reputation for its performance and sharp handling and the Sport model was just as accomplished. The diesel powertrain delivered ample power as it accelerated through the gears and there was a constant supply of power on tap.

The multi-function sports steering wheel is stylish and the driving dynamics also impress as do comfort levels front and back. The road-holding was flawless meaning tight bends can really be attacked and any road surface or engine noise is kept to an absolute minimum.

The car was kitted out with Honda’s latest CONNECT audio and infotainment system which includes an FM, DAB and internet radio, Bluetooth connectivity, internet browsing, rear view camera and optional sat nav via a seven-inch screen.

Whilst this system is efficient and easy to operate, the sweeping neon blue instrumentation above the steering wheel does cause quite a few issues with glare when trying to read figures such as the trip, fuel gauge and time.

But that aside, the all-new Civic Sport is certainly a welcome addition to the line-up.

We also tested a Tourer model fitted with the same highly-efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine in range topping EX-Plus with six-speed manual gearbox. Priced at £26,140 plus £1,125 optional extras, this car can reach from 0-62 in 10.5 seconds with a top speed of 121mph. It can deliver 72.4mpg on a combined run with 103g/km of carbon emissions.

Despite its larger-than-life dimensions, the Tourer was beautifully nimble and the 1.6-engine once again delivered plenty of bite with all the power you could wish for.

But it’s on the practicality front that the Tourer excels especially when it comes to storage. The huge boot’s capacity of 624 litres is impressive, but can be increased to a whopping 1,668 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats flat.

All new Civic models are kitted out with a comprehensive range of safety features with City Brake Active System as standard across the range. In addition, a Driver Assistance Safety Pack costing £600 can be added which introduces the likes of forward collision warning, high beam support, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and a cross traffic monitor.

With cleaner engines and more trim levels to choose from, Honda has certainly increased the appeal of its Civic range and one other factor certainly needs mentioning – prices have been reduced by up to £1,600 compared to the 2014 equivalent so it really is a case of more for less.

Test Drive

Honda Civic Tourer

Honda set out to conquer three major challenges when developing the all-new Civic Tourer – practicality, performance, technology and design – and the British-built car seems to deliver on every count.

With the largest boot in its class, the practicality issue was sorted and performance is dealt with via two outstanding engines – a 1.8 i-VTEC petrol engine and the highly economical 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine that offers combined fuel economy of 74.3mpg and carbon emissions of 99g/km.

Technology is delivered via a world first rear adaptive damper system that keeps the ride as smooth and balanced as possible no matter what the load’s weight or size.

And finally, the design is just pure quality and skilled craftsmanship throughout.

Buyers can choose from four trim levels – S, SE Plus, SR and EX Plus and they are all richly-equipped with plenty of built-in creature comforts and techno treats as standard. Prices range from £20,765 to £28,185.

Just like its sibling, the five-door Civic hatchback, the Tourer maintains its entire sporting DNA with sleek streamlining and outstanding aerodynamics. These are key factors that help the vehicle deliver truly impressive economy figures, such as achieving 817 miles on a full tank in the diesel model.

From the front, the Tourer is identical to the Civic hatchback, but everything beyond the B-pillars is new. For example, there is a new aerodynamic spoiler, a connecting bar between the tail-lights, new rear lights plus roof rails.

But the major wow factor that cannot fail to impress is the Civic Tourer’s Tardis-like boot and the versatility it offers.

It boasts a whopping 624 litres load capacity which can be increased to 1,668 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

There is an under-floor compartment that can comfortably house two carry-on travel cases, there are adjustable cargo nets, a one-touch tonneau cover which has its own storage compartment and Honda’s Magic Seats format which enables the three rear seats to be arranged in numerous configurations including being folded flat to the car’s floor.

This is made possible because the Civic’s fuel tank is located at the centre of the car rather than under the rear seats as on most other models.

Even the loading area has been lowered by about five inches to make it easier to pack heavy or awkward-shaped items.

So the Civic Tourer looks great and is incredibly practical, but how does it handle?

The answer is very well indeed.

We tested out a couple of models on a lengthy road route incorporating busy town centres, motorways and winding country lanes and both impressed in the wet, wintery driving conditions.

First up was the 1.6 i-DTEC diesel EX Plus with six-speed manual transmission. This car was priced at £28,460 and can reach 62mph from a standing start in 10.5 seconds. According to official figures, it has combined fuel efficiency of 73.4mpg and carbon emissions of 103g/km.

The car handled beautifully and certainly didn’t feel like a large estate car especially when taking bends at pace. There was a noticeably quiet cabin environment with next-to-no road or engine noise to be heard and the ride was very comfortable even when the car was being driven in dynamic mode.

All the technology and instrumentation is very driver-focused and easy to use in the wrap-around style dashboard layout.

Next up was the 1.8 i-VTEC petrol in SR trim costing £25,350. This model also featured a six-speed manual gearbox and can sprint from 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds.

The economy is not quite as impressive as that of its diesel counterpart with a combined fuel efficiency figure of 44.1mpg and carbon emissions of 149g/km.

But this model also handled admirably and the six speed manual transmission was smooth and responsive.

The driving dynamics and ride quality were very similar to that of its diesel counterpart.

Sometimes the handling capabilities on a petrol variant far outperform those on a diesel but there was very little to differentiate between the two Civic Tourer models, except of course for the economy.

As one would expect, all Tourer models are fitted with a comprehensive list of top notch safety features that helped it achieve the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings.

In addition, there is a Driver Assistance Safety Pack which is available on SE models upwards costing £780 which introduces forward collision warning, lane departure warning, high beam support system, city brake active, cross traffic monitor, blind spot information and traffic sign recognition system.

All in all, the Honda Civic Tourer is a classy piece of kit.

It somehow manages to make class-leading estate car practicality look stylish and the price-tag is very reasonable too.

Test Drive

Honda Civic diesel 1.6i-DTEC EX

Constantly changing consumer demands mean car designers and engineers are under increasing pressures to produce vehicles that perform well, look great, are bursting with techno treats and prove economical as well.

Thankfully Honda’s new Earth Dreams Technology has been set up to combat those requests and the new1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine fitted to the ever-popular Civic model proves outstanding economy can be achieved without compromising on performance and handling.

The engine is available in three trim levels – all manual and they all come with plenty of built-in technology as standard. The SE is priced at £19,400, the ES £20,595 and the top-of-the-range EX costs £23,175.

But the really impressive figures come in the form of efficiency and this new Civic is certainly going to make rival manufacturers sit up and take notice.

And that’s because the official Honda combined fuel figures show it can achieve 78.5mpg which means a tank of fuel can take you 863 miles.

In addition, the low emissions figure of just 94g/km means owners will be free from road tax costs and congestion charges.

And another bonus is the car still handles beautifully. It’s agile, responsive and there is plenty of power on tap as and when required.

I test drove the EX model on a range of roads in the south of France and it easily coped with any challenge thrown its way.

It may all sound too good to be true, but the new diesel engine is the lightest in its class weighing in at 47kg less than Honda’s established 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine.

But that’s not all because the designers also examined other areas to help make the car lighter and more efficient. Elements such as aerodynamics, suspension and the transmission were all adapted along the way and that has resulted in a vehicle that delivers improved ride and handling and a 120PS engine with plenty of bite.

The six-speed transmission is neatly set and is both smooth and responsive even on demanding hills and tight bends.

And the Civic is quite a looker too with its sleek lines, new 16-inch alloys, neat light clusters, body-coloured door handles and mirrors, tinted windows and that distinctive split rear screen that makes every Honda stand out from a crowd.

And once inside, it’s impossible not to be wowed by the build quality and number of creature comforts at your disposal.

The main controls are housed in a central stack which is angled towards the driver for ease of use and features a great sat nav system, climate control and seat warmers.

There is a classy feel to the interior and the digital speedo and sweeping dashboard hood are other classic Honda styling features.

Efficiency settings are plentiful to help achieve such excellent fuel economy.

These include an ECO assist which advises on driving styles, ECON to minimilise the air con and Idle Stop which turns the engine off when the car is at a standstill – once again saving on fuel.

Comfort levels are excellent and there is ample room for two rear seat passengers to stretch out.

The boot offers class-leading storage space of 477 litres which can be increased to 1,378 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

Tom Hains, of Honda Europe, said: “With this new engine we hope to set the benchmark for high performance and low emissions.”

It would seem they have achieved that goal and the new lightweight engine is going to be gradually introduced into other models in the Honda line-up.

The C segment is renowned as exceptionally competitive with the likes of the Ford Focus and VW Golf always competing for the top dog position, but the Honda stats could prove very difficult to match and for now at least, the Civic is ahead of the chasing pack.

Test Drive

Honda Civic 1.4 i-VTEC SE 5-door manual

This year marks the Honda Civic’s 40th anniversary and over the years the model has certainly gone from strength to strength.

For example the 1.4 i-VTEC model I tested is viewed as one of the most economical Civics in the range, but it still manages to deliver plenty of zip when put through its paces.

As we have come to expect over the years, the Civic boasts sleek streamlining and eye-catching good looks with features such as tinted windows, smart light clusters, a shark fin antenna and 16-inch alloys.

The split rear windscreen housing the high mounted brake light is another distinctive Civic trademark.

Once inside, there is a real sense of quality and sophistication to the design and layout with a very driver-focused theme featuring a wraparound styled instrument fascia.

So it comes as no surprise to learn that the control panel layout was inspired by Honda experts who studied a fighter jet plane cockpit combined with that of a racing car.

There is a colour-coded display each side of the digital speedo read-out that lights up green when the car is being driven “properly” and economically and this gradually turns to blue when harder throttle is being applied.

It is features such as these colour hints along with gear shift prompts and the auto stop/start system that helps this particular Civic model achieve combined fuel efficiency of 52.3mpg.

But as drivers these days, we want it all – a blend of economy and performance. And the Civic can deliver on both counts.

The 1.4-litre petrol-powered engine delivers ample oomph both in and around town and out on the faster roads where it moves smoothly through the six-speed manual transmission.

The road-holding is excellent and cabin noise nice and quiet.

All occupants are treated to plenty of room and even back seat passengers benefit from ample leg, head and elbow space. The boot is generous in size and can be increased further thanks to 60:40 split folding rear seats.

Creature comforts inside this four-door Civic include a four-speaker sound system with CD player, MP3 compatibility and USB connectivity, automatic climate control, magic seats and plenty more besides.

And Honda has ensured that all occupants are kept safe with a whole array of features such as anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, vehicle stability assist, hill start assist and numerous airbags.

It may be reaching its 40th birthday, but as far as the Civic goes it is as fresh as ever and life still begins at 40.

Test Drive

Honda Civic 1.8 I-VTEC Si 5-door manual

It seems to have been around since the invention of the wheel, but every new Civic model brings something new and classy to the world of motoring.

And the sporty 1.8 Si is no exception with its striking lines, smart 17-inch alloys, split rear screen, twin chrome exhaust, colour coded body mouldings and hidden rear door handles to add to that sporty coupe feel.

And the quality of features inside cannot fail to impress either with comfortable half leather, half Alcantara upholstery, very clear controls and dials with a digital speedo perfectly positioned for readability.

Elsewhere, creature comforts include climate control air conditioning with pollen filter, a multi-function leather steering wheel, an excellent sound system with front and rear speakers and plenty more besides.

Comfort levels are good within the Civic and rear seat passengers are treated to enough leg room to survive a longer journey without arriving cramped and aching.

Storage is equally very generous with split folding rear seats enhancing the luggage compartment even further.

There are various useful storage options throughout the vehicle too including an illuminated and cooling glove box facility, along with conveniently positioned cup holders.

Every time I test out a Honda Civic, I know I am in for a fun-packed journey and thankfully, after the big build up – this model didn’t disappoint.

The 1.8-litre petrol-driven engine delivered exceptional power and the six speed manual transmission was also very responsive and easy to navigate.

In and around town, the Civic ambled with ease through the busy traffic although parking was a bit of an issue due to the lack of visibility through the split rear screen.

But, it’s out on the open road where the Civic just loves to show off. Road-holding is exceptional and the drive is very comfortable despite feeling the occasional bump and dip in the road surface – well, it is a sports model after all.

Honda has kitted out the Civic with a very comprehensive list of safety features such as anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability assist, side impact protection beams, numerous airbags and lots more.

All in all, the Civic is still the great all-rounder it always was and buyers are guaranteed a safe, reliable and fun-packed vehicle that will not break the bank either – test model priced at £18.7k.

Test Drive

Honda Civic 2.2i-CDTi ES 5dr

Boasting mind-boggling technology and control panels that could have been designed by NASA, the Honda Civic has certainly moved with the times.

They say first impressions are vital and my first impression of the Civic was verging on the awe-struck. The tiered displays, dials and control panels are all spectacularly lit in neon blue. There is a panoramic sunroof and even the rear screen has a water-repellent hydrophilic coating to keep the rain off and help improve driver’ visibility.

And the design flair continues with the glass front end incorporating the lights, indicators, grille and H logo.

So it would seem Honda has brought its Civic into the 21st Century at warp speed, but how about the drive itself.

The 2.2-litre engine on the test model delivered blistering pace with deceptively good acceleration both in and around town and out on the open road where the road holding was exceptional especially on sharp bends.

There is ample space for four adults to enjoy the Civic experience and make the most of some of the interior features such as climate control, a great sound system and the refrigerated glove box.

Safety features are also first class with anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, rain-sensing wipers, numerous airbags and side protection beams to name but a few.

My only real gripe was the massive spoiler which rather obstructed the view through the rear screen. It seems Honda has gone that extra mile to improve the vehicle’s all-round visibility with water repelling glass and then stuck a spoiler in the way.

But that aside, the Civic is a fantastic vehicle to drive. It is almost like Honda has breathed life into one of those jaw-dropping concept cars we see every year at international motor shows that rarely see the light of day.

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