What is it?
Honda says this new Civic Black Edition is for Civic owners who “insist on more”. More of what, you ask? “More individuality, more style and more sophistication” is what Honda says you get here.
For more individuality, style and sophistication, read a ‘Crystal Black Pearl’ paintjob, a gloss black finish for the front and side skirts, roof spoiler and rear bumper trim, a set of black 17in alloys and, to top it all off (or to “show the car is really something special”, according to Honda), a Black Edition badge on the tailgate.
What's it like?
In truth, then, this is a special edition in the loosest sense, the parts bin having been raided and anything that was painted black pulled out. The Black Edition is offered on the hatchback and the Tourer tested here, and with the 1.8 i-VTEC petrol engine (both manual and automatic) or the manual-only 1.6 i-DTEC we’ve tested.
So while there’s not a lot to say about the Black Edition other than that it looks smart and interesting enough, particularly from the rear quarter view, it does give us a chance to reappraise the Civic Tourer a year after its UK launch.
Most notable on the Civic Tourer is the sheer amount of space it offers. On the Civic, the fuel tank is mounted under the front seats, allowing the ‘magic’ rear seats to fold flat and forwards to reveal a vast, deep load space. The fuel tank’s mounting place, coupled with a clever rear suspension design, means the 624-litre seats-up load capacity is class-leading, and the 1668 litres with the seats down is just shy of the Skoda Octavia's maximum.
To drive, the Civic Tourer is a competent tool. The steering is light and responsive, the ride supple enough and body control decent. It’s not an involving drive; instead, the Civic Tourer is the kind of car you’d happily take on a long motorway route, particularly with that diesel engine.
That engine is another strong point in the Civic Tourer. It’s got a strong bottom end, so you’re not left wanting for acceleration. It can be noisy when really pushed, but aside from that it rarely breaks from its refined nature. In addition, fuel economy never drops below 50mpg, and more than 60mpg is comfortably achievable. Sub-100g/km CO2 emissions are also a bonus for company car drivers.
Should I buy one?
If you like the Civic Tourer and like your cars painted black, Honda has made the car for you. The Black Edition, marketing gimmick that it is, looks nice, is very practical and is pleasing enough to drive.
However, it doesn’t address the fact that next to its rivals, the Civic Tourer remains overpriced; our preferred Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI estate can be had from just over £19,000.
Honda Civic Tourer Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC
Price £22,995; Engine 4 cyls, 1597cc, turbodiesel; Power 118bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 221lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerb weight 1337kg; Top speed 121mph; 0-62mph 10.1sec; Economy 74.3mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 99g/km, 15%