Civic 1.6 i-DTEC EX
to know that even if we fall
out big time with Europe we wont
go short of desirable cars to drive
for a start, Hondas
hatchback is Built in Britain...
THIS VIRILE NEW CIVIC is clothed in a smart and sassy bodyshell with
strong hints of its range-topping and decidedly more brutal big brother, the
320hp Type R. Seen from any angle it's attractively 'fit' with a strong hint
of a coupe about it.
Boldly emphasised 'swoopy' front wings and muscular rear haunches are enhanced
by aero fins and standout faux air intakes at each corner that infer a ready-for-the-track
persona. Sleek headlights merge with the slim, full-width, high-gloss black
upper grille while at the back the steeply raked tailgate is topped-off by a
roof spoiler above a screen-crossing spoiler bridging the striking arrow-shaped
tail light clusters. You can look but you won't find another mainstream five-door
hatchback that looks as sportingly athletic as this new Civic.
latest 'Generation 10' five-door, five-seater Civic offers an engaging choice
of powerplants: 129hp 1.0-litre petrol, another petrol of 1.5-litre capacity
with 182hp, and the Japanese brand's latest 120hp 1.6-litre turbodiesel. And
each can be had with either a six-speed manual or CVT automatic gearbox.
its true that
oil-burners have taken a
hit because of the
Dieselgate scandal, not
all diesels are tarred by
the same brush.
Hondas latest 1.6-litre
turbodiesel has a lot
going for it: a weeks
hard driving saw our
Civic record an overall
average of 56.9mpg.
Few would, or could,
quibble with that and
its likely some will do
While it's true that oil-burners have taken a hit because of the Dieselgate
scandal, not all diesels are tarred by the same brush. Honda's latest 1.6-litre
turbodiesel has a lot going for it, not least the headline 80.7mpg for the official
Combined Cycle and CO2 emissions of just 93g/km.
A week's hard driving saw our Civic record an overall average of 56.9mpg. Few
would, or could, quibble with that and it's very likely some will do
even better. For the record our near-60mpg was achieved without pressing the
Civic's Econ button to maximise fuel economy.
Also built at Honda's UK Swindon Plant, the 1.6-litre four-pot's turbocharger
has been engineered to minimise turbo lag and the unit also benefits from a
nitrous oxide converter to reduce emissions. It kicks out 118bhp (120hp) backed
by a meaningful 211lb ft of torque that makes it agreeably lively or, if you're
just pootling, relaxingly easygoing. Not that you need to hoof it very hard
because the 'grunt' delivers easy pull both low down and mid-range. Zero-to-62mph
takes 10.2 seconds and the 1.6 tops out at 125mph.
Make full use of the well-oiled six-speed manual gearbox and you'll get to hear
the engine growl as you slot precisely through the gears that's about
the only time you will, which is good news especially when you're cruising motorways
in the top two 'overdrive' ratios.
The cabin also hits the mark it's well designed with a sporty theme and
nicely put together. As you'd expect, the sloping centre stack is topped by
a 7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment and SatNav (a foolproof Garmin system
with crisply defined graphics) while the driver's TFT instrument panel displays
a central rev-counter scale band arced over a digital speed readout flanked
either side by neat bar graphs for temperature and fuel. Another essential,
and shown close by the digital speed readout, is Traffic Sign Recognition which
keeps you posted as to the prevailing speed limit.
Connect is on hand to keep you in touch with the all-important www along with
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Aha app integration. There's also an 11-speaker
HiFi, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity along with ample USB and HDMI sockets.
wide and roomy
cabin also hits the mark
its well designed with
a sporty theme and
nicely put together.
Physically theres plenty
to like, not least the well-
shaped and comfortably-
bolstered front seats
skinned with soft
perforated leather, with
and powered lumbar
Controls for the very efficient 2Zone climate system sit below the infotainment
screen so adjusting the temperature is easy and non-distracting on the move.
Fans of 'real' air can get their fix by pressing the one-shot button to open
the tilt-and-slide sunroof (for those who don't do rays there's a blackout sunblind).
Ahead of the gearlever is a tray where your smartphone can be wirelessly charged
as you drive while south of the stick is a wide and commodious storage bin with
a sliding top and multi-configurable cupholders. The damped, lined and lit glovebox,
and the door bins are all, thankfully, designed for the real world.
Physically there's plenty to like in this Civic's wide and roomy cabin, not
least the well-shaped and comfortably-bolstered front seats skinned with soft
perforated leather, with three-stage heating and powered lumbar adjustment.
The driving position is first-rate and agreeably sporty without visibility being
sacrificed the bonnet and front wing-tops can clearly be seen from the
helm. The controls and switches on the multifunction steering wheel are well-thought-out
and easy to identify visually as well as by feel. On the move the Civic is also
pleasingly quiet and its upscale ambiance is more like that of a larger and
more expensive five-seater.
All Civic's major on kit but the top-level EX has it all. In addition to that
already mentioned you get smart entry and push button Start, a rear parking
camera and front and rear parking sensors, heated powerfolding door mirrors,
electronic parking brake with brake hold, electric windows front and rear, alloy
pedals, privacy glass, rain sensing wipers and dusk sensing headlights, adaptive
suspension, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels.
Honda fits to every grade of Civic a wide-ranging active safety
suite that utilises both camera and radar technology to monitor the Civic's
surroundings and help keep you safe and sound.
lighter, stiffer all-new
platform with adaptive
dampers and a multi-link
rear suspension that
benefits the ride as much
as it does the handling,
itself enhanced by a low
centre of gravity, makes
it, if youre in the mood,
a capable charger on
quick A- and B-roads.
And brings home the
realisation that this
everyday Civic shares the
same DNA as its hard-
charging Type R big
Called 'Honda Sensing', its features include Collision Mitigation Braking with
Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, High Beam Support, Intelligent
Adaptive Cruise Control with Cut-in Prediction (with cruise active, this predicts
when someone will cut-in ahead of you, and to compensate slows down ahead of
time), Intelligent Speed Limiter, Lane Departure Warning with Road Departure
Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, and Traffic Sign Recognition.
Of course a full set of airbags is fitted along with active city braking, traction
control, hill start assist, Vehicle Stability Assist with Agile Handling Assist,
tyre deflation warning, height-adjustable front seatbelts, blind spot information,
and cross traffic monitoring.
A lighter, stiffer all-new platform with adaptive dampers and a multi-link rear
suspension that benefits the ride as much as it does the handling, itself enhanced
by a low centre of gravity, makes it, if you're in the mood, a capable charger
on quick A- and B-roads. And brings home the realisation that this everyday
Civic shares the same DNA as its hard-charging Type R big brother.
The high-geared steering is quick and the rest of the car is always keen to
follow the line its driver has set. Tidy body control allied to decent grip
levels combine to generate a 'planted' feel through the twisties. All in all
it's a successful recipe for a satisfyingly focused drive. The ace up its sleeve
is that it's also perfectly at ease playing the bone fide family hatch.
Despite its sporty outer shell this latest Civic is no track-hard teeth-rattler.
In truth, without compromising its handling ability and taut body control, the
ride is surprisingly smooth and cushioned over battered tarmac and reassuringly
stable when cruising. Set to their softest setting the top trim EX model's adaptive
dampers make the Civic particularly fluent.
the 4.5-metre-long Civic is one of the most spacious five-door hatchbacks in
its class, you might presume that its rear screen angle would steal headroom
from passengers travelling in the back it doesn't. Those lounging in
the comfy back seats enjoy plentiful space with especially good legroom (that
easily beats that offered by most of its rivals), all of which makes the five-seater
Civic a class act when it comes to playing the family hatchback.
lounging in the
comfy back seats enjoy
plentiful space with
especially good legroom
(that easily beats most
of its rivals), all of which
makes the five-seater
Civic a class act when it
comes to playing the
are Isofix points on the rear outer seats for those with children; for those
regularly carrying four adults the optional Tech Pack (£600) adds heated rear
seats (as well as wireless phone charging, LED headlights with washers, and
The Civic also provides a real-life boot for it driver and four passengers.
With the rear cabin given over to carrying people, the boot will swallow an
impressive 478 litres of luggage (550 if you load to the roof); however, fold
down the 60:40-split seatbacks and ta-da! an über-usable
seamlessly floored loadbay appears, offering a maximum 1,267 litres to carry
whatever you please.
A brilliant touch is the mini rollerblind luggage cover that runs side-to-side
instead of north-south. Removed, it's barely any bigger than a furled compact
brolly. Also, under the fold-up boot floor is a decent-sized lined well that's
useful for oddments to stop them rattling around in the boot. The boot floor
can also be folded in half and set in an upright position to effectively partition
the boot widthways, with the uncovered well adding extra height. All very simple
A refreshing alternative to the usual mundane family car suspects. Honda's sportingly
presented 'Gen 10' Civic comes well-specced with a spacious cabin and well-sorted
handling and is genuinely satisfying to drive. ~ MotorBar
Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC EX |
Maximum speed: 125mph | 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds | Test Average: 56.9mpg
Power: 118bhp | Torque: 221lb ft | CO2: 93g/km