When it comes to small family hatchbacks the Honda Civic has always been one of the most practical players fantastic reliability ratings and strong owner review scores have also given it a very loyal following but in order to tempt a new wave of customers away from the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.
This ninth generation British built Civic has maintained its commitment to practicality but also want to put more emphasis on style and refinement to the Honda Civic is clearly an evolution of the previous generation version yet it remains pretty standout with a complex array of intersecting surfaces and graphics styling wise a lot of effort has been made in bringing it closer to the insight hence.
The appearance of these daytime running LED units plus the front headlamps are now integrated into that bigger grille but it’s also been aerodynamically refined to help reduce lift and improve stability at high speeds some of the design cues work really well like this low drag bonnet and split rear windscreen that now comes complete.
With a proper wiper but other areas like these arrow Phillips that have been tacked onto the rear bumpers but like a bit of an afterthought amongst the conservative layouts of the Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra the Honda Civics cabin feels like a bit of a spaceship you’ve got this split dashboard architecture.
Where a lot of the dials are now displayed in this digital pod though there are a section of more conservative switches logically located below all but the very basic models receive cruise control dual-zone air conditioning a rear parking camera and automatic lights and you can even spec.
This touchscreen satellite navigation system there’s a scattering of soft touch plastics which is nice though the quality of materials overall isn’t up there with the class leaders that said the driving position is excellent and there are loads of storage cubbies in here but be warned that rear split screen does impede visibility.
The rear bench may be wide enough for three adults but as you can see Headroom is quite tight however the seats in the Honda Civic are incredibly clever they don’t just folds completely flat with just one simple latch the bases can even pivot forward to reveal a really nice space for carrying taller loads.
The Civic also adopts torsion beam rear suspension as a post to a multi-link setup and while that may be considered a little less sophisticated the result is the packaging doesn’t eat into the boot as much so you have a class-leading load space here way bigger than a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf and you even get a secret storage cubby.
There are a range of engines on offer the 2.2 idtech diesel probably being our pick of the bunch as the performance is great it emits just 110 g/km of co2 and have some pretty fine motor a legs on it due to the fact that it’s hooked up to this very long ratio 6-speed gearbox it’s quite mechanical in its action really positive to use there’s an engine stop-start system across.
The range as well as this econ button which manages to save fuel by moderating your throttle mapping and reducing the output of your aircon Eco is a bit of a theme in here because even the speedometer lighting changes from green to blue depending on how lead-footed you are with that right pedal the car wants you to drive efficiently but if you fancy a little hustle down a road and don’t worry.
Because this chassis is well up for it existing customers will no doubt love the improvements made to the latest Honda Civic it’s good to look at it’s well built it still has the practicality angle nailed and it’s more comfortable than ever but I said it doesn’t have the blend of engagement or refinement you get in either a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf so tempting that audience may still be tricky