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.
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.