A starting price just a fiver shy of £30,000 puts the Civic worryingly close to the four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Golf R, a very accomplished machine whose residuals – according to our market experts – set a standard the Honda can’t really approach.
Suffice it to say that Honda has some work to do before those market commentators are willing to accept that this car can justify and sustain its positioning.
Cost of insurance won’t come as particularly good news for private buyers, either. The aforementioned Golf ranks four groups lower on that front, while the Seat is lighter on the pocket, too. But standard spec is quite generous, with entry-level cars getting 19in wheels, adaptive dampers, a multimedia system with a 7.0in screen, cruise control, LED headlights and a parking camera.
We'd avoid the GT spec and keep the outlay sensible; our sources say residual values will be better on the cheaper cars. We'd also jazz up the interior with the optional carbonfibre pack (£495), which slightly lifts the cabin ambience with real carbon bits to the air vents, centre console and glove box.