What is it?
It's what has been missing from the Honda Civic line up for much too long, but the good news is that the new 118bhp, 221lb ft 1.6-litre turbodiesel will arrive in the UK at the end of 2012.
The all-new alloy unit is the lightest diesel plant in the world according to Honda, weighing roughly the same or less as an equivalent petrol motor. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, the new Civic will sit beneath the 2.2-litre diesel model and will compete with the likes of the VW Golf Bluemotion, offering sub-100g/km CO2.
What's it like?
Extremely competitive and recommendable, if not outstanding. Power delivery is a little uneven, with the majority of the grunt arriving in a short burst, but there’s enough of a spread elsewhere that it will run at sub-1500rpm in a high gear around town comfortably, even if you’ll need to change down for any worthwhile acceleration.
At higher speeds it copes well, with the slick gearbox and tall ratios keeping the revs low even at higher cruising pace, though the Japanese-spec car that we tested wasn’t as refined at any speed as the best rivals, with a noticeable if subdued low-end dirge from the motor entering the cabin even when the engine wasn’t under much load.