Special edition adds a touch of extra style to Honda's practical Civic estate, but it remains too expensive next to rivals

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%

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, autocar.co.uk website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
scotty5 31 January 2015

I can't handle it.

No wonder I haven't spent a total of more than 5 mins inside a Honda dealership this century... and this is coming from someone who once bought a brand new Accord and brand new Civic estate. And given the number of Civic estates on the road, I'm obviously not alone in abandoning the mark. One thing to note on these pictures - I see the idea of the hidden rear door handle has been adapted on the Civic, presumable to make their 5 door hatch look like a coupe. What on earth is it doing on an estate then? The whole car looks terrible IMO.
Bolida 30 January 2015

Black paint won't help

The Civic is not a looker and the estate just adds insult to injury. Better choices around styling and price wise
A34 29 January 2015

End of model year special?

Presumably this is to shift a few more Civics until they get the perkier engine later this year (assuming that's the plan). 158bhp should help justify the price a bit more. And talking price, what's the depreciation of this versus the Octavia? Not as bad? That helps!