From £18,4758
Saloon bodystyle gives the Civic a more upmarket feel, without compromising its moderately engaging drive. Is that enough to make it more than a niche proposition?

Our Verdict

Honda Civic review hero front

Honda’s 10th-generation Civic hatchback goes global — but is that good news?

Tom Morgan, Online Reviews Editor
12 September 2018

What is it?

After three years without a single saloon in its UK line-up, Honda has bolstered the Civic range with a new four-door bodystyle.

Customers see the Civic as synonymous with the brand, Honda says, and a saloon should help broaden its appeal. It also has to tempt Accord customers, who have been without a direct replacement since that model went off sale in 2015.

The elongated, coupé-like styling is certainly more restrained than the polarising hatchback, with a more discreet rear bumper and a roofline that slopes smoothly into the C-pillars. Overall length has grown 125mm to 4644mm, with the extra dimensions increasing boot space to 519 litres, versus 478 litres in the five-door.

The launch line-up is limited to two engines: a 127bhp, 1.0-litre i-VTEC three-cylinder turbo petrol in six-speed manual or CVT automatic guises, and the 118bhp, 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel, tested here with manual transmission but also available with a nine-speed automatic - a first for any diesel Civic. For the time being, the more potent 1.5-litre petrol is staying exclusive to the hatchback.

The diesel is expected to outsell the petrol 3:2, with an even split between manual and automatic transmissions. And even then, Honda expects the hatchback to continue to make up the majority of Civic sales.

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What's it like?

Front and rear passengers will find little difference between this car and the regular Civic, with plenty of leg room and the same low-slung driving position.

As big as the newly separated boot may be, though, actually using the space is made trickier by the smaller opening. It may be wide, but the boot opening isn’t as tall as the hatchback, and it can be harder to store bulkier items.

The mid-spec SR trim of our test car includes a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system as standard but, compared with rivals, the Garmin-supplied navigation graphics feel outdated and cumbersome. Thankfully, both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available for an improved sat-nav experience using your smartphone.

Overall interior quality still isn’t quite up to the same standard as Volkswagen or Mazda, but the soft-touch plastics and sensibly laid-out dashboard continue to make a good impression here. The digital instrument cluster is particularly slick compared with similarly priced rivals'.

On the road, the four-door Civic is just as engaging as the hatchback, with direct and nicely weighted steering, and a chassis that’s responsive to your inputs. The saloon uses a version of the dual-pinion power-assisted steering found on the Civic Type R, specifically tuned for the four-door model with a focus on secure handling.

There’s no disguising the car’s size but, whereas saloon-like handling was a detriment to the hatchback, it makes more sense here. Grip is sufficient enough to carry plenty of speed through corners, and the whole car feels reassuringly planted on the road.

The firm suspension doesn’t lean too far towards sporty, managing to soak most bumps without ever becoming crashy or transferring shocks to the passenger compartment.

There’s plenty of pull from the 1.6-litre engine, although it lacks the same burst of torque you’d get from some of its rivals. The six-speed manual gearbox may provide a satisfyingly precise shift, but the engine isn’t particularly rewarding when pushed.

It begins to sound harsh early, with little extra shove to show for it at higher RPMs. Things become more refined at cruising speeds - even if road noise still makes its way into the cabin.

Should I buy one?

The saloon may have all of the regular Civic’s strengths, but also has less mainstream appeal - at least here in the UK, where hatchbacks are still the bigger seller.

Improvements in luggage space and interior leg room are only minor, with practicality taking a small hit in the process. Starting prices are some £500 higher than the five-door, which was already more expensive than its main rivals.

Still, with an equally engaging drive and slightly more grown-up looks, the four-door isn’t without its charms, and this diesel variant can achieve excellent real-world economy.

It takes what was already one of our favourite hatchbacks and merely tweaks the formula. As such, if you’ve already decided on a Civic, which to opt for will largely depend on which you prefer the look of.

Honda Civic 4 Door 1.6i-DTEC SR specification

Where Worcestershire Price £23,115 On sale Now Engine 4 cyls, 1597cc, turbo, diesel Power 118bhp at 4000rpm Torque 221lb ft at 2000rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual Kerb weight 1314kg Top speed 125mph 0-62mph 9.9sec Fuel economy 83.1mpg CO2 91g/km Rivals Ford Focus, Mazda 3 fastback, Audi A3 saloon

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Comments
20

12 September 2018

They expect the diesel to outsell the petrol by 3:2 ?  They may well be right but just can't see it myself.

12 September 2018

As big because the newly separated boot may be even though really using the gap is made trickier by the smaller commencing. it can be wide however the boot opening isn’t as tall because the hatchback and Buy Custom Coursework it is able to be tougher to keep bulkier objects. The firm suspension doesn’t lean too far toward sporty handling to soak maximum bumps with out ever turning into crashy or transferring shocks to the passenger compartment.

12 September 2018

Brave Honda, small saloons are an incredibly niche market in crossover world. It looks too similar to the hatch though, to tempt ex-Accord buyers.

Mazda 3 is the only competitor I can think of, though I read Mazda were pleasantly surprised at the saloon's popularity.

Hyundai took a different route and gave the i30 a long fastback hatch.

12 September 2018
WallMeerkat wrote:

Brave Honda, small saloons are an incredibly niche market in crossover world. It looks too similar to the hatch though, to tempt ex-Accord buyers.

Mazda 3 is the only competitor I can think of, though I read Mazda were pleasantly surprised at the saloon's popularity.

Hyundai took a different route and gave the i30 a long fastback hatch.

 

That depends on the market. Here in the US, small sedans are exceptionally popular still despite the onset of crossovers. The Civic sedan was the first such bodystyle here in the present line-up, followed by the two-door coupe and then the five-door hatchback.

12 September 2018
aatbloke wrote:

WallMeerkat wrote:

Brave Honda, small saloons are an incredibly niche market in crossover world. It looks too similar to the hatch though, to tempt ex-Accord buyers.

Mazda 3 is the only competitor I can think of, though I read Mazda were pleasantly surprised at the saloon's popularity.

Hyundai took a different route and gave the i30 a long fastback hatch.

Exactly, elsewhere in Europe small old man wagons, sorry I mean saloons, are still very popular.

 

That depends on the market. Here in the US, small sedans are exceptionally popular still despite the onset of crossovers. The Civic sedan was the first such bodystyle here in the present line-up, followed by the two-door coupe and then the five-door hatchback.

XXXX just went POP.

FMS

14 September 2018
WallMeerkat wrote:

Brave Honda, small saloons are an incredibly niche market in crossover world. It looks too similar to the hatch though, to tempt ex-Accord buyers.

Mazda 3 is the only competitor I can think of, though I read Mazda were pleasantly surprised at the saloon's popularity.

Hyundai took a different route and gave the i30 a long fastback hatch.

 

A Class saloon/A3 saloon?.

12 September 2018

Not sure how you can describe this car as small.

The rear end is considerably better looking than the hatch, which isnt difficult.

 

12 September 2018
Granturismo wrote:

Not sure how you can describe this car as small.

The rear end is considerably better looking than the hatch, which isnt difficult.

 

That is because it was designed as a 4 door and a 2 door coupe. They then smashed into the back of the 4 door to create the hatch, hence why it looks awful. Remember the Ford Orion? That did it the other way round, take the pleasant looking Escort and weld some metal on the back to make a saloon which looked like an Escort wearing a nappy full of sh*t.

13 September 2018
Cheltenhamshire wrote:

Remember the Ford Orion? That did it the other way round, take the pleasant looking Escort and weld some metal on the back to make a saloon which looked like an Escort wearing a nappy full of sh*t.

Funny you should mention the Orion. This Civic has for me similarly unfortunate proportions, with a very heavy looking rear end, very obvious in the side view. Mazda and Audi have done a much more acomplished job.

12 September 2018

"Front and rear passengers will find little difference " but I suppose you luggage will have more room.

As to being a small saloon, it's over half a foot bigger than an A3.

Crazy, expect low sales and axing in a few years.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

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