The sporting looks of this limited-edition Honda Civic 1.8 Ti appeal, but the ride and performance both disappoint

What is it?

This limited-edition Honda Civic Ti seeks to capitalise on customer thirst for a hugely popular combination, namely desirable, stand-out looks matched to real-world running costs and usability. To achieve this, the Japanese manufacturer has chosen to add sporting presence to its everyday Civic model.

What is it like?

Tested here with a 138bhp 1.8-litre petrol engine (a 1.4-litre petrol is also available), the Ti gets a body kit inspired by Honda’s British Touring Car Championship car, unique 17in alloy wheels and a Pioneer sat-nav and media unit, but it retains the same running gear as a standard 1.8-litre petrol model.

And therein lies the problem, because although there is a lot to like about the Honda Civic Ti, the model feels very old now. Yes, it’s well equipped, looks special and costs thousands less, spec-for-spec, than the obvious class leaders, but any merit in these factors and the appealingly modern-looking (if ergonomically disastrous) interior is hard to appreciate when the car is so dominated by its lacklustre motor.

The performance figures are perfectly adequate, but the engine is strained and noisy, making it fairly unpleasant to use either vigorously or normally. The ride is also not brilliant, picking up many of the road’s bumps and ruts and feeling generally firmer than you would expect. To add to the list of flaws, the emissions and economy fall some way behind those of the best.

Should I buy one?

The low list price could well make up for the car's shortcomings. If you’re sold on the Honda Civic’s looks, it’s easy to see why this might be on your shortlist. But by any objective measure beyond initial buying costs, the Civic Ti is left lagging. We’d certainly recommend you spend your money elsewhere – even if it involves spending more of it.

Honda Civic Ti

Price: £16,995 Top speed: 127mph 0-62mph: 8.9sec Economy: 42.8mpg (combined) CO2: 152g/km Kerb weight: 1321kg Engine: four-cylinder, 1799cc, petrol Power: 138bhp at 6300rpm Torque: 128lb ft at 4300rpm Gearbox: six-speed manual

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Add a comment…
J400uk 28 June 2011

Re: Honda Civic 1.8 Ti wrote:
Why did Honda fit it with a god awful aftermarket satnav unit when they have a fully intergrated version available on the high spec models?
My thoughts exactly, the integrated nav on the Civic looks smart so why has this got some Halfords special aftermarket thing fitted? 28 June 2011

Re: Honda Civic 1.8 Ti

Why did Honda fit it with a god awful aftermarket satnav unit when they have a fully intergrated version available on the high spec models?

I spose it's so the 'yoof' this is aimed at could swap it out easily when the time comes - you can't do that with the integrated one.

julianphillips 27 June 2011

Re: Honda Civic 1.8 Ti

TegTypeR wrote:

Honda are trying to give people the perception of a sporting car (BTCC inspired.....). The body addenda alone is going to mean that is how people are going to see it. It has a manual box, and a punchy, if not a little out dated NA 1.8 engine. The price tag is the stinger though.

Take the sporting flavour away, there are still many more cars out there that I would choose over this one.

From an enthusiast's point of view, I probably agree with you; but for 99.9% of the market this is a fantastic value car, looks good, is well equipped and is good to drive. An enthusiast with a sporting agenda would know straight away the differences between this and, say, a Clio. Do they care what people are going to see it as? Recognition of BTCC is minimal-to-non-existent at the moment (bring back the Volvo estates!!) and most will see it as a sporty looking Civic, nothing else, just like all those S-Line A3/4's, M-Sport beemers, etc