The Honda Civic has been reworked more than ever before. Now lighter and stiffer, Honda wants this latest car to appeal to keen drivers as well as its traditional family-orientated audience.
It now receives multi-link rear suspension – a first for the Civic – while Honda’s suite of advanced safety technology, called Honda Sensing, is now fitted as standard.
Looks & Image
The new Civic is just as angular and bold as the car it replaces. However, the traditional hatchback shape has been ditched in favour of a more saloon-like look.
Inside, the cabin has been built with a variety of top-notch materials, and it feels light and airy throughout. Everything from the steering wheel to the console switches has a premium feel, while the leather seats are comfortable enough – though lacking in enough lateral support.
Space & Practicality
The new shape has meant that there’s more interior space than before. From the front seat it certainly feels that way, with the large windows and excellent driving position contributing to a fantastic feeling of spaciousness.
However, a negative is the Civic’s latest crash tests. Unfortunately, it failed to achieve the full five stars – scoring just four – and this was because one of the child dummies sat in the rear of the car took a heavy impact to the head from an airbag. This issue is likely to be addressed soon – but it’s something worth bearing in mind if you’re looking for a car with the best possible safety scores.
Behind the Wheel
When we attended the launch of the Civic Type R – the hot hatch version of this car – engineers told us that the standard vehicle was built around a sporty ideology so that the performance model wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to create.
The results are instantly recognisable, as this standard Civic is a real joy to drive. The steering is impeccably weighted and the car corners with a surprising lack of body roll too.
Value for Money
The Honda Civic enters into a closely fought segment, with contenders like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus proving firm favourites. The base model Civic starts at £18,475, which is just a few hundred more than an equally specified Golf.
However, our ‘EX’ grade car cost £23,000, but came with a full leather interior, heated front seats, a sunroof and keyless go as standard. It also benefitted from an adaptive damper system, which further helps the car’s ride.
Who would buy one ?
The Honda Civic is ideal for younger families, especially those ones who like to stand out. The Civic’s styling will appeal to those who like something a little different, and it’s able to back these looks up with plenty of space and practicality. The interior is more refined than the previous generation, and the cabin’s increased spaciousness means it’s a relaxing place to be too. The fact that it doesn’t cost the earth to run either is just an added bonus.
Facts at a Glance
Model: Honda Civic 1.0 Turbo EX Base price: £18,475 Engine tested: 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol Power: 127bhp Torque: 200Nm Max speed: 126mph 0-60mph: 11.0 seconds MPG: 55.4mpg Emissions: 117g/km