Honda has pulled an ace from the pack with its 10th interpretation of the Civic. Its mainstay in the lower medium sector has become as much a part of the motoring environment as the Jazz, which is the best-selling model in the Japanese carmaker’s range.
The consumer motoring press has done its part to put the Civic on buyers’ shortlists, with titles such as Top Gear, Auto Express, Autocar and AM’s sister title, Parkers, all giving the Civic an 80% approval rating. “Back with a bang,” said Auto Express.
Plus points are awarded to the 1.0-litre engine as the most fuel-efficient choice, emitting the lowest CO2 (a strong contender for a company car choice list), refined and surprisingly responsive, belying the stated 0-62mph figure of 10.9 seconds.
Top Gear expressed concerns, however: “The 1.0 certainly has enough urge to get the car up hills. But because it needs high boost to make its power and torque, there’s definite lag across the rev range, especially below 3,000rpm.”
Most titles point out the lack of a hybrid.
Of the Civic’s five trims, the entry level is judged as not worth considering by What Car? as you don’t get a radio or air-con. SR is the pick of the bunch, adding leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, automatic wipers, driver seat lumbar adjustment, powered mirrors and a reversing camera. An upgrade from SE to SR will make no difference to the insurance group, both coming in at 15, points out Auto Express. The SR trim is its recommended choice.
From a practical point of view, the additional length and stretched wheelbase means greater front headroom and more rear space and, without an estate version, the boot space is generous, at 478 litres.
In terms of a verdict, the consumer press sings from largely the same hymn sheet – like its key rivals, the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf, the Civic is practical to own, efficient to drive and comes from a strong heritage, but if you want a car that is ‘highly styled’ and unconventional looking, choose Japanese.
“Overall, it’s more powerful and efficient than before, and certainly more accommodating, making it a compelling choice against the mainstream opposition,” concluded Parkers.