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