Autocar reader Adrian Jackson was able to describe the car in detail, paying particular attention to the non-LED tail-lights, which didn’t appear to extend into the tailgate like those of the Civic concept, high-quality leather interior and large central twin exhausts.
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 Jackson was a five-door, left-hand-drive example with a driver and passenger aboard. It 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 driving towards the North Yorkshire Moors.
Another reader, John Kennedy, subsequently spied a second test car on the streets of south-west London.
Previous spy pictures offer a closer look at the Civic's all-new space-efficient interior, with an updated instrument cluster and dashboard design seen here, along with a button for heated rear seats and a blind-spot protection camera.
New headlights can also been in these shots, and look similar to the LED headlights featured in the Honda Civic coupé concept at the New York motor show back in April which previewed the new Civic.
The next-generation Civic is based on a new global platform which will also yield a five-door hatch and new Type R, as well as the four-door saloon spotted here.
Although it has yet to be confirmed by Honda, a new Tourer version is also likely to join the range.
Currently in development in Japan, the US and UK, Honda UK boss Philip Crossman has already hinted that a hybrid version will be offered on the next-generation Civic. Speaking to Autocar at the New York motor show, he said: “We’ll come back with a class-leading hybrid powertrain in the next five years,” said Crossman, “and it’s likely to make as much impact as the VTEC valve system.”
Crossman admitted that Honda has fallen behind with hybrids, despite being the first manufacturer to launch one, with the Insight coupé.
Honda’s Swindon plant will build the five-door Civic for all markets around the world, including the US and Asia, where demand for the hatchback version is rising.