According to Honda, the current Civic ‘lacks emotion’, but that will all change next January, when the new Civic lands in showrooms. Powered by a choice of 82bhp 1.4-litre i-DSI or 138bhp 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol engines, a 138bhp 2.2 i-CDTi diesel, the new model is representative of Honda’s desire to head upmarket, and as such the company have branded the new Civic a ‘premium private sports hatch.’ A much-revised hybrid using Honda's IMA technology will follow later.
The new car’s radical exterior looks are immediately apparent, with its part-glass nose, triangular exhaust pipes and rear door handles tucked into the window frame giving it the appearance of a coupe. The unique looks continue on the bold interior, with a novel dashboard featuring a small digital speedometer, looking to be one of the most distinctive in its class. Cabin safety is provided by front, side and curtain airbags as well as rear headrests designed to support the neck.
Despite all the changes in appearance, the new Civic should still be spacious. The cabin benefits from having the fuel tank underneath the front seats, like the Jazz, to free up space. This, combined with removal of the spare wheel, results in a boot with 415 litres of space, a useful increase on class-rival Ford Focus’s 385. Another 80 litres is also available in a below-floor compartment.