What is it?
The old Honda Civic - that is to say, the current one - was classic Honda. Conceived the other side of the 2008 global crash and then torn up in the aftermath, the five-door model arrived in Europe virtually pre-wrapped in also-ran status thanks to, in no particular order, its oddball looks, mediocre interior and an engine line-up which relegated petrol buyers to a naturally aspirated motor that dated like cottage cheese.
A big state-of-play fix was required, so Honda returned to the drawing board with the kind of relish that has resulted in something wholly new and enhanced. Thus the old regimen of gently reshaping the Civic for the peculiarities of a different region has been wisely swept aside, and instead Honda has pooled its global resources and enacted what it calls the single largest development programme in the firm’s 70-year history.
Many things have happened, then, but at the crux of them lie some takeaway facts. Firstly, that the Civic has a more sophisticated multi-link rear axle where a humble twist beam previously lived. Second, there’s a new range of petrol engines, which are turbocharged for your pleasure and include the kind of cutting-edge, tiny-capacity three-pot that’s about to take the diesel-unfriendly world by storm, and third, there’s a new look and an overhauled cabin.