Three Autocar readers spot the Honda Civic testing on UK roads, with styling closely following the Civic concept revealed at the Geneva motor show
21 March 2016

The 2017 Honda Civic has been spotted testing in Cumbria by two Autocar readers.

Autocar reader Adrian Jackson was able to describe the car in detail, paying particular attention to the non-LED rear headlights, which didn’t appear to extend into the tailgate like those of the Civic concept, high quality leather interior and large central twin exhausts.

Click here for our latest 2017 Honda Civic news

Mr Jackson's description was confirmed by another Autocar reader - Stephen Biggs, who spotted the Civic and managed to catch it on camera.

The test mule spotted by Mr Jackson was a five-door, left-hand drive example with a driver and passenger, and wore disguise with an extra roof antenna, and had three rear headrests, suggesting a full five-seat layout.

It was spotted on the A684, and continued to the A172, heading east through Cumbria, before heading for the North Yorkshire Moors.

Another reader, John Kennedy, subsequently spied a second test car on the streets of south west London.

The 10th-generation Honda Civic hatchback was previewed at the Geneva motor show with a close-to-production concept car.

The new Civic hatchback previewed by the Geneva concept will be closely related to the 10th-generation coupé and saloon, which have already been launched in other markets. It will have a range of turbocharged engines and will be one of the biggest cars in its segment.

Honda says that it is 30mm wider, 20mm lower and 130mm longer than the current car, making it 140mm longer than a Ford Focus and 245mm longer than a VW Golf. Those dimensions should result in a far more spacious cabin.

The concept is being shown without an interior, but it is understood that the design is similar to that of the saloon and coupé, which have a touch-sensitive central display and an instrument display incorporating a TFT screen. Don’t expect the basic production version to share the concept’s 19-inch alloys or vast brake calipers, but aerodynamic details such as the twin rear wing elements (one high and one low) are likely to make it to production.

The Civic will be launched with three engines, of which the two petrol units are new, comprising 1.0-litre three-cylinder and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder motors. Both are turbocharged VTECs. Power and economy figures haven’t been released, but the 1.5-litre produces a quoted 174bhp in the US-spec Civic saloon and it’s understood the 1.0-litre will be at least as potent as the 100bhp 1.6-litre engine in the current base Civic.

The smaller petrol engine should emit less than 100g/km of CO2. The 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine will continue in the new car, albeit with more power and a lower CO2 output than the current car’s 120bhp and 94g/km. A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, with a CVT automatic as an option.

The Type R will use a development of the current model’s 300bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged motor.

All five-door Civics will be produced at Honda’s Swindon plant, with sales starting in the first quarter of next year. There’s no official line on pricing, but a £17,000 starting price is likely.

Read more Geneva motor show news

Our Verdict

Honda Civic
The ninth generation of Honda’s venerable hatch has moved upmarket, although the styling is divisive

The Honda Civic is an impressive achievement and a worthy rival to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, but it isn't quite up to class-leading standards

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Comments
12

1 March 2016
Wierd c pillar detailing. Why not just make it metal? Why add a misshapen bit of black trim. The nose also looks better chromed. Shame they arent bringing the US Civic straight over.

1 March 2016
This has got to be the ugliest car I've seen since Fiat Multipla.

1 March 2016
Huge and lumbering for the American market - I'm out!

1 March 2016
It sort of borders Focus/Mondeo size. Vauxhall made this mistake with the previous Astra and reigned it's dimensions in with the current model. Shame as I quite like the looks.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

19 March 2016
Agree with you, its getting significantly longer and wider when space on the roads are not. If someone wants a bigger car, buy the next model up in the range or another brand. The car journalists and critics have to take some blame though. When they review cars & compare with other brands, they always make the statement, "its not as big or roomy as the class leading xxxx" or words to that effect.
Each new generation model is getting longer & wider, roads and parking spaces have remained the same, dur..!

1 March 2016
Yes, it's far too big (and probably expensive and heavy too), no wonder Honda has dropped the Accord. Whatever happened to Honda's clever packaging tricks that allowed a large cabin within a reasonable footprint? What Honda needs right now is a decent range of small cars to recover its rightful position, instead of simply handing it over to the Koreans. Where is Honda's equivalent to the original Civic, the car that made the company?

19 March 2016
LP in Brighton wrote:
Yes, it's far too big (and probably expensive and heavy too), no wonder Honda has dropped the Accord. Whatever happened to Honda's clever packaging tricks that allowed a large cabin within a reasonable footprint? What Honda needs right now is a decent range of small cars to recover its rightful position, instead of simply handing it over to the Koreans. Where is Honda's equivalent to the original Civic, the car that made the company?
I believe that car is called the Fit. We call it the Jazz. Same size as older Civic's. This each generation thing is across the whole auto industry. The Polo is now the same size as a mk3 Golf. The mk3 Golf is the size of the original Passat. If you want a smaller car .... visit a showroom, use measurements available on websites to find a car that fits your lifestyle. It is not hard, unless you make a car purchase based on a badge without making any other investigation into the purchasemail in which case you will buy a massive car called a Civic when you thought you were buying a small car because the last time you paid attention was 1988!!! Don't even get me started on people buying Audi's just because it says Audi despite the fact most are crap overpriced Skoda's. Same with theach pile of junk that is the Evoque. But I digress.

1 March 2016
What are Honda thinking at the moment with their styling? This is awful! I was so hoping it would look nothing like the American Civic, but seems it will be.

20 March 2016
By driving a disguised car on public roads, it suggests that Honda wants a bit of pre-launch publicity for its new Civic. Take away the disguise and no one would notice. It would just be another car. But I think the car's "ordinariness" might actually be a good thing for Honda given the lack of success enjoyed by this car's more outlandish predecessors!

21 March 2016
Well, I for one like it. It's a real step up from the awkward current model, and I think the styling suits the car's shape and purpose. It's nice to see a bonnet back, for example. As for the sizing, you surely buy a car for your needs, rather than 'it's what I've always had'? If this one wont fit in your garage, perhaps the excellent new Astra will.

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