What is it?
Welcome to the oil-burning version of the 10th-generation Honda Civic. This new 1.6-litre, four-cylinder diesel joins the petrol-powered 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre variants that were launched last year, as well as the barnstorming Type R - all of which we’re already particularly fond of.
The new diesel, which we’ve been driving on the shockingly battered streets of Rome, gains the same extensive updates that were introduced on the petrol models. Honda pulled out all the stops when it came to designing this car, dedicating a third of its research and development resources to the project. In fact, it’s the product of the single largest development programme in the company’s history.
There’s a new platform, a revised suspension set-up that comprises MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link rear axle at the back, as well as a stiffened unibody and a lowered centre of gravity. All of these changes, Honda says, have been implemented to lend the Civic a more agile and engaging driving experience.
The 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine has also been revised. New forged steel pistons replace the aluminium jobbies found in earlier incarnations of this power plant and help to reduce friction and cooling loss within the block. A new turbocharger offers reduced lag as well as improved low- to mid-range pull.
Its 221lb ft of torque is available from 2000rpm, while peak power - all 118bhp of it - is reached at 4000rpm. The key stats for this car, however, are its economy figures. Honda claims that the Civic diesel will manage 80.1mpg on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions from 93g/km.