From £15,760
118bhp, 221lb ft 1.6-litre turbodiesel will arrive in the UK at the end of 2012

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

What is it?

It's what has been missing from the Honda Civic line up for much too long, but the good news is that the new 118bhp, 221lb ft 1.6-litre turbodiesel will arrive in the UK at the end of 2012.



The all-new alloy unit is the lightest diesel plant in the world according to Honda, weighing roughly the same or less as an equivalent petrol motor. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, the new Civic will sit beneath the 2.2-litre diesel model and will compete with the likes of the VW Golf Bluemotion, offering sub-100g/km CO2.

What's it like?

Extremely competitive and recommendable, if not outstanding.
 Power delivery is a little uneven, with the majority of the grunt arriving in a short burst, but there’s enough of a spread elsewhere that it will run at sub-1500rpm in a high gear around town comfortably, even if you’ll need to change down for any worthwhile acceleration.

At higher speeds it copes well, with the slick gearbox and tall ratios keeping the revs low even at higher cruising pace, though the Japanese-spec car that we tested wasn’t as refined at any speed as the best rivals, with a noticeable if subdued low-end dirge from the motor entering the cabin even when the engine wasn’t under much load.

Work it harder and it responds well, revving more freely than the 1.6 TDI unit regularly used across the Volkswagen group and generally feeling a little less strained under hard acceleration. The slick six-speed ‘box is a noticeable step-up, too.

Should I buy one?

We’d like to try a proper UK-spec car and see confirmed figures before giving it a definite thumbs up, but given that we know the Civic is now a more rounded and better-riding package it’s likely that this engine will finally make it really competitive across the board.

The refinement is our biggest concern, but it’s a niggling one that may improve by the time this model gets to our shores. If the prices are competitive this could easily be the pick of the range.

Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC

Price: £19,000 (est); Top speed: 120mph (est); 0-62mph: 10.5sec (est); Economy: 75mpg (est); Co2: 99gkm (est); Kerb weight: 1300kg (est); Engine type: 4cyl, 1600cc, turbodiesel; Power: 118bhp; Torque: 221lb ft; Gearbox: 6spd manual.

Join the debate

Comments
22

5 December 2011

221lbf of torque from a 1.6 diesel is very, very good. How about a detuned 100bhp, 175lbf of torque version for the Jazz?

5 December 2011

Good news Honda are producing decent engines again shame about the disappointing car its gone into though . Wonder how this will compare to the new Renault 1.6 Diesel .

5 December 2011

Sounds like it's heading in the right direction. The comparison test in the current mag made for very interesting reading and with this engine in the pipeline the range is beginning to look very strong, if not an out-and-out class leader.

fat

5 December 2011

Renault 1.6dci 128bhp and 232lbs torque.

5 December 2011

Great engine shocking car, an expensive spaceship.

Myk

5 December 2011

[quote JezyG]

an expensive spaceship.

[/quote]

Not really. Have you seen the price of modern spacecraft?

5 December 2011

[quote Myk]

[quote JezyG]

an expensive spaceship.

[/quote]

Not really. Have you seen the price of modern spacecraft?

[/quote]

Since the crash of 3010 spaceships are worth nout round here get more in scrap value......

5 December 2011

Finally Honda have offered the engine that was needed 5 years ago. Still better late than never guess. Although I still can't imagine choosing this Civic over a Golf. I was buying a car to basically cart the kids and dogs around in because they were about to destroy my 5 Series. I looked at a Focus, didn't like the interior, it felt quite cheap, the Civics interior was fun for half an hour, I didn't need the 2.2 Diesel but I the petrol engines were the definition of gutless. So I bought a 2007 Golf, 1.9 TDI. I get 58mpg which is great. So why would you buy the Civic with such stiff competition from the Golf?

5 December 2011

[quote ej03]So why would you buy the Civic with such stiff competition from the Golf[/quote]

Because it is not a Golf?

5 December 2011

Wow! Not the best-looking car, but 0-60mph in 10.5 seconds, 75mpg and 99g/km (road tax exempt) make this Civic a somewhat appealing prospect at £19,000.

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