118bhp, 221lb ft 1.6-litre turbodiesel will arrive in the UK at the end of 2012

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.

Work it harder and it responds well, revving more freely than the 1.6 TDI unit regularly used across the Volkswagen group and generally feeling a little less strained under hard acceleration. The slick six-speed ‘box is a noticeable step-up, too.

Should I buy one?

We’d like to try a proper UK-spec car and see confirmed figures before giving it a definite thumbs up, but given that we know the Civic is now a more rounded and better-riding package it’s likely that this engine will finally make it really competitive across the board.

The refinement is our biggest concern, but it’s a niggling one that may improve by the time this model gets to our shores. If the prices are competitive this could easily be the pick of the range.

Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC

Price: £19,000 (est); Top speed: 120mph (est); 0-62mph: 10.5sec (est); Economy: 75mpg (est); Co2: 99gkm (est); Kerb weight: 1300kg (est); Engine type: 4cyl, 1600cc, turbodiesel; Power: 118bhp; Torque: 221lb ft; Gearbox: 6spd manual.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
jamesf1 6 December 2011

Re: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC

This car bit of a slow burner for me. First pics I saw didnt like it. But now I do - inside and out. Saw one on the road last week - looked better in the metal.

Drove a 1.4 petrol of the outgoing car for 24 hours as a courtest car. Took it down some twisties just out of intrest and found it better than I was expecting for both ride and handling.

TegTypeR 6 December 2011

Re: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC

I assume the years wait is so the installation and NHV levels can be sorted and tested?

Looks an interesting prospect and I agree with theonlydt that it should find it's way in to the Jazz.

Maxycat 6 December 2011

Re: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC

ej03 wrote:
I bought two Civics of 2009 vintage with the 2.2 diesel and EX spec.
ej03 wrote:
How do you find using the dash day to day, on my test drive I found it quite difficult because it was fiddly and it was little bits here and there rather than ordered like it is in the golf.

I agree the Civic dashboard has a huge number of buttons and switches on the dashboard plus about ten on the steering wheel and whilst that may be intimidating to an occasional driver of a civic an owner soon finds that the vast majority of buttons are rarely ever touched. I leave the dual climate control set in auto and just need to press the demist button on a winter morning. The wipers and lights I just leave on auto setting and rarely have a need to touch them. In these days of ever changing speed limits I find the high position of the speedo on the civic very good. Some people hate digital instruments but my last car, a Picasso, and current motorcycle are digital and I find them OK.

My own view on cars is that there is no such thing as a poor car sold in the UK nowadays just a huge choice to suit personal preferences, long may it continue.