Honda launches the new Civic with a comprehensive choice of trim levels – there are four with the 1-litre (though few buyers are expected to opt for the cheapest S model), and three with the 1.5, confusingly carrying totally different names!
Chief amongst the standard equipment is a safety package dubbed Sensing, using the car’s built-in radar and camera systems to offer such features as lane departure warning, collision avoidance and traffic sign recognition. The Honda Civic has yet to be put through its paces by , so its crash-test performance is not yet known.
Honda clearly expects the car to compete with the best in the segment – our 1-litre test car, in top EX trim, costs £23,200 with a host of equipment. Top of the list is the touchscreen-based Honda Connect infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, DAB digital radio and such like, while among other highlights are a parking camera, an 11-speaker audio, leather – comprehensive enough to make the price good value for money.
Honda has taken the bold option with the new Civic, by moving it out of its niche and into one of the most furious battlegrounds in the market, and the move has worked. The new car offers more room, more tech and crucially a more accomplished performance, which makes it easier to justify as an alternative purchase to the likes of the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra or Volkswagen Golf – three of the most popular cars in the UK…
Honda Civic – key specifications
Models tested: Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC Turbo EX Manual, 1.5 VTEC Turbo Sport Plus Manual, 1.5 VTEC Turbo Prestige CVT
On sale: March 2017
Engines: Petrol 1.0, 1.5
Power (hp): 129, 182
Torque (Nm): 200 (CVT 180), 240 (220)
0-62mph (sec)*:10.4 (10.2), 8.2 (8.2)
Top speed (mph): 126 (124), 137 (124)
Fuel economy (combined, mpg)*: 58.9 (60.1), 48.7 (46.3)
CO2 emissions (g/km)*: 110 (106), 133 (139)
Key rivals: Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, SEAT Leon
Test Date: May 2017
* Figures vary depending on trim level, best figures quoted.