As of this summer, Honda’s Civic hatchback will be the only vehicle produced on UK shores by the Japanese car manufacturer.
Whether car retailers feel this is something that will rally UK car buyers to invest in the divisively styled family car may be a point worthy of debate, but publicity to this end could boost its fortunes amid a 16.97% year-on-year decline in Q1 registrations, to 4,473 (2017: 5387).
The Civic 1.0 VTEC Turbo SR, AM’s latest long-termer, is therefore a welcome arrival. Honda’s second-biggest seller of 2018 – behind the ever-popular Jazz – comes in at £20,755, with Brilliant Sporty Blue metallic paint, adding £525. That puts it within £140 of the Ford Focus Zetec Edition 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS and £30 of the Volkswagen Golf SE Navigation TSI 1.0 110 PS.
Customers should be impressed by a realistic 58.9mpg claim for combined fuel economy and 110g/km CO2 emissions. The 988cc engine is fun to stretch, too.
A mechanical, three-cylinder thrum greets enthusiastic driving, but the Civic feels well capable of claims of 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds and a top speed of 126mph.
Among the standard safety equipment is lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, traffic-sign recognition and automated emergency braking, all of which helped the Civic to a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
I think we’ll enjoy exploring the Japanese brand’s well equipped family hatchback.