Let’s be honest: without ‘Type R’ at the end of its name, many of us petrolheads tend to ignore the Honda Civic. But perhaps that shouldn’t be the case. The previous generation car is still pretty good to drive, even in regular, non-hot-hatchback form.
It has some excellent engines, for a start. You can choose from two turbocharged petrol engines, including a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder. From 2018 to 2020, Honda also offered a frugal 1.6-litre diesel.
With 124bhp, the 1.0-litre engine is very impressive, delivering perfectly adequate acceleration – 0-60mph is dispatched in a reasonable 10.7sec. The 1.6-litre diesel has 118bhp and isn’t quite as strong. It’s economical, though, with an average fuel consumption figure of 64.2mpg.
The 1.5-litre has 180bhp and, compared with the two units above, is noticeably punchier. This is particularly evident lower down in the rev range, where it has considerably more get-up-and-go.
For the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre units, you can have a manual or CVT transmission. If you can, opt for the manual, because the CVT tends to hold the engine at high revs even when you aren’t accelerating particularly hard. The diesel has the option of a nine-speed automatic gearbox, or you can go for a manual transmission instead.
The diesel or the smaller petrol will cost around £12,000 for a sub-50,000-mile example, while an equivalent-mileage 1.5-litre car will set you back around £15,000. Examples from this generation’s last two model years, 2021 and 2022, will cost from around £20,000.
Then there’s the matter of trims. The range kicks off with the entry-level S version, which really is very basic – so basic, in fact, that it was dropped soon after it was launched due to slow sales, which means there aren’t too many for sale on the used market. SE trim is much more appealing, with DAB radio, air conditioning and front and rear parking sensors.