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Long term: Honda Civic 1.7 CTDi SE 5-door



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Issues with low-speed steering have dogged our time with the Honda Civic but finally, as the car comes to the end of its six months with us, we’ve got to the bottom of the problem: it’s a standard characteristic, not a fault.

Fleet News, AM’s sister publication, also found excessively heavy steering at low speeds on both a diesel Civic and the high performance Type-R. It’s either purposely designed into the car or a general issue with the electronics.

Steering aside, the Civic turned out to be pretty practical. It seats four in comfort with ample leg and headroom, and five with a slight squeeze.

The Isuzu-sourced, but tweaked, diesel engine is a noisy throwback and not a patch on Honda’s own unit, currently starring in the Accord and Honda’s TV ad campaign, but it’s competent enough. Once we’d exceeded a few thousand miles, its true character started to shine through. Fuel efficiency finally nudged over 50mpg, though not quite meeting the official 56mpg combined figures, and turbo-acceleration became smoother.

This highlights the importance of longer term testing. In order for potential buyers to get the most from a 30-minute test drive, we’d suggest dealers put a few miles on the car first.

Price: £14,100 OTR
Test period: March - September
Mileage at start: 125 miles
Mileage now: 9,501 miles
CAP RV (3yr/30k): £5,425 (39%)
CAP RV (3yr/60k): £4,700 (34%)
Faults: Leaking oil seal
Likes: Legroom, reliable, looks/styling, 5dr practicality
Dislikes: Steering, harsh and slightly weak engine

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