From £22,655
Over 5678 miles, this humble family hatchback demonstrated what other cars, and other drivers, are missing

Why we ran it: To see if the Honda Civic could save the everyday family hatchback 

Month 3 Month 2Month 1 - Specs

Civic type r side by side

Life with a Honda Civic: Month 4

Over 5678 miles, this humble family hatchback demonstrated what other cars, and other drivers, are missing - 6 February 2023

We started this series of long-term reports by asking if the Honda Civic can save the hatchback. Well, the short answer is that it bloody well deserves to.

Rarely has a car as ‘ordinary’ as this elicited so much support and fondness in the office. I have a sneaking suspicion part of that is because it’s a hatchback and not an SUV. We all know which way the wind is blowing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally walk into the headwind.

But I also know we wouldn’t be so effusive about the Civic if it also wasn’t a great car. Normally, during a long-term loan, ‘your’ car gets driven by others and, because they haven’t lived with it, they can come back with negative comments. Foibles the owner has learned to ignore. But that has never been the case here. Even Jeremy Clarkson, he of the anti-Prius and hybrid brigade, raved about the car in his Sunday Times column. Rare praise.

Piers lt civic hello 23

It’s the effortless nature of the Civic that I’ll remember most. We covered just over 5500 miles and it never caught me unawares – jump in, stab the start button and press ‘D’. Such ease is maybe nothing new in modern cars. Heck, in an EV you often don’t even need to hit ‘start’.

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But where the Honda excelled was the immediate process after this. Apple CarPlay connected faultlessly and rapidly, and the whole infotainment system was quick to react and easy to navigate. The seats were comfy and the car just got on with the job at hand.

What Honda has done is cleverly think about the whole package. So even though there’s a touchscreen, there are also controls on the steering wheel that let you hang up from a phone call, or accept one, without taking your hands off the wheel. And there’s a physical home button and volume control, as well as the same for heating controls.

There was even – and this really does deserve a moment of praise if you’ve ever driven one of the Volkswagen Group’s confounded cars – a physical button to turnoff lane keeping assistance.

Sorry to harp on about it, but this stuff matters. It meant I was never frustrated in the Civic. When the powers that be are doing their darnedest to make a mess of things, it’s nice to know some firms are trying to make people’s lives easier.

It also meant you could get on with the simple pleasure of driving the thing. My commute is 120 miles and it made this effortless – quiet, refined, comfortable and everything you need in a car as you crawl around the M25.

Piers lt civic hello 26

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Weirdly, where the chassis really excelled was over a classic back road. There was a sport mode, which made the engine sound like a touring car (kind of), but I rarely used it because the Civic was reactive enough without. The rebound in the suspension was very impressive, controlling the wheel as the weight dropped out of it, and giving you the confidence that there was some proper engineering going on underneath. The ride quality was brilliant, helped in no small part because the suspension wasn’t trying to control too much weight.

It turned in keenly and didn’t feel bloated, with the sort of neutral handling balance that ticks a lot of my commuting boxes. It’s no hot hatch-lite because it doesn’t have as much adjustability, instead preferring the foible-free routethat marks out the rest of the car.

One small fly in the ointment was the size of the fuel tank. At only 40 litres, it meant I needed to stop for petrol at the end of every return trip to the office if I didn’t want to play roulette with the fuel gaugethe following day.

I thought the Civic might return better fuel economy over its life with us. We started off with high hopes, getting 57.2mpg in our second fill, but then it settled around the low-50s, sometimes even dipping into the 40s. Not bad, but I was hoping it would be high 50s and closer to the WLTP claims, especially as we rarely extended the engine with lots of hard miles over a B-road.

A pity, because the engine is clever. We’ve written lots about the fact the four-pot is there mainly just to power the electric motor, so I won’t go into it too much here, suffice to say that I never really thought about it. That’s not meant to sound disinterested, but on the daily grind, all I needed to know was that it was working and running in EV mode as often as possible.

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There’s an indicator on the dash to show when it’s doing this and I did find myself coaxing it along to see how long and fast we could run before the engine kicked back in, but because the ICE element did this so smoothly, I rarely felt the cut-in point. Again, it comes back to that word – effortless.

The Civic isn’t radical. What it does do is to take elements from rivals and polish them, refine them and make them work. It’s a very Japanese car, both spiritually and physically, and it deserves to sell in its hundreds of thousands.

Second Opinion

There’s nothing I like more than discovering a normal car that excites. That’s exactly what the Civic did when I drove it on the launch last year. Respectable cars are (mostly) the norm these days, but a trusty hatchback that is also a good driver’s car? Not so much. Lets hope this is the way of future Hondas 

Rachel Burgess

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Love it:

Hidden beauty The sliding parcel shelf that never gets in the way. Why no one else has copied this is beyond me

Practically perfect Simple things done well, like the buttons for the gearbox that fall so easily to hand.

Top dog Plastic boot mat liner was a bonus when it came to cleaning the car after our dogs had been in it. 

Loathe it:

Warning sticker Located on the wireless charging mat, it looks cheap and can’t even be removed.

Bulky styling I was never quite convinced about the bulky rear styling. It looked a bit ungainly. 

Final mileage: 8,428

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Some things never change, as these two Hondas prove - 11 January

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Remember when Honda’s ad agency was on a roll? ‘Cog’ remains one of my favourite ads (give yourself a two-minute pick-me-up by watching it again), but the one that really struck home at the time was ‘Impossible Dream’. That was the one where the chap rode/flew/drove/piloted most of Honda’s machinery across a series of landscapes. I’ve loved Japanese car brands for as long as I can remember but, boy, what a way to reinforce why.

It’s their sheer breadth of capability, their never-ending ability to always offer something slightly daft or different. Honda, Toyota, Suzuki, Subaru, Nissan, Mazda – they’ve all got form. 

So to my current wheels. And also my 37-year-old wheels. They both neatly sum up why it’s difficult to not get excited about Honda. Here is a company that claims to build more engines than any other, from a hybrid that’s actually enjoyable to drive right through to Max Verstappen’s Formula 1 powerplant and countless outboard motors.

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And, in the 1970s and 1980s, it created this: the Honda trike or, more correctly, the All Terrain Cycle (ATC). Honda was so good at making ATCs that it had a 69% market share in 1984. My dad’s farm had a Honda quad bike, Honda mowers and Honda generators, so it was probably inevitable that when the ever so slightly younger me received the best present ever, it had a winged badge on the tank.

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It’s a 72cc four-stroke, single-cylinder air-cooled overhead-valve engine, producing 3.4bhp and transferring that to the rear wheels via a four-speed centrifugal-clutch transmission and chain drive. It is brilliant fun.

And lethal. Trikes were involved in so many accidents in the 1980s that manufacturers effectively pulled them from sale. I’ve never had a shunt on mine (touch wood), because my dad always told me to treat it with respect. Be a lunatic and it’ll tip you off, but by using your weight and being careful with the throttle, you can really lean on it through corners, despite the lack of diff. I used to pretend I was Nigel Mansell on the gravel farm roads, sideways everywhere.

The gearbox is effortless and operated via a left-foot pedal. First is quite low, but once you’re into third and fourth, it soon gets plenty quick enough. It’s difficult to judge speed when you’re this low and wind-beaten, but I suppose it’s probably about 25mph flat out. 

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But here’s the thing. Despite the trike’s iffy stability, the engineering integrity is second to none. Leave it for six months in a cold shed and it’ll start first pull. It is well looked after – I take it for a service about once every two years at a local motorbike dealer, hence getting the towbar fitted to the Civic (Autocar, 30 November 2022) – and it rarely lets me down. There’s the odd sooted-up spark plug if I don’t get the manual choke balance right, but I keep a couple spare so it’s never an issue. And you have to drain the carb after each use because modern fuel just gums it up if it sits for a week without being used. But it is 37 years old so a few quirks are to be expected. Take care of them and it runs effortlessly. 

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Much like the Civic. It’s going back to Honda soon and I’m already dreading the day. It’s the effortless engineering that I’ll remember: Honda has the hybrid system licked now so that minimal brain power is required when driving. There’s no need to plan ahead, unlike in an EV, and there’s nothing that graunches on the daily grind.

Some might call that boring. But when a brand makes as much brilliantly varied stuff as Honda does, it can do exciting elsewhere.

Mileage: 7754 

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Life with a Honda Civic: Month 3

Has any of Honda’s Type R magic found its way into the latest hybrid hatch? - 21 December

Let’s make this baby fly!” There are two things you can learn from this neat summary from my six-year-old. The first is that his parents are clearly terrible at their roles, letting him watch too many American cartoons.

The second is that nothing gets a child excited quite as much as a massive rear wing on a car, helped in this case by the three “rocket boosters” (aka exhausts) at the back.

The vehicle in question is the previous-generation Honda Civic Type R, one of the finest hot hatches ever built and a high-water mark for Honda, even among all the brilliant machinery that the company has produced over the decades. But why look at it now?

Well, we’ve been pretty evangelical in these pages about the excellence of the current Civic, particularly with regard to the way it drives, so I wanted to see how it compares to its ancestral forebear: has some of the previous Type R’s fairy dust made its way into my car?

Civic type r engine

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It’s worth pointing out the vagaries of magazine deadlines, particularly at this time of year. I would have loved to have tested the all-new Type R against my Civic, but sadly that wasn’t possible within the time frames we had because the latest version had yet to arrive on these shores.

We should start out by praising Honda for even building this Type R in the first place. Granted, when the FK8-generation Type R was launched in 2017, there were still some rivals kicking around – the

Ford Focus RS and Renault Megane RS to name but two. But a lot of manufacturers have since deserted the hot hatch arena, instead concentrating on SUV sales and electrification. Only a few remain to mercifully buck the trend.

That really is a shame, as demonstrated by just a 10-minute drive in this car. Short of an Ariel Atom, the hot hatch is probably the finest way to feel alive in a car: with a manual gearbox, short wheelbase and sharp suspension, the vagueness of modern cars remains delightfully absent.

Middle-ground Sport mode is the best way to drive this Type R, because it tightens up the throttle response but leaves the damping on the acceptable side of firm. I’ve got a great test route near me with some wicked off-camber bends and the kind of lumps and bumps that sort good suspension from average.

Civic type r rear

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I tried this in Type R mode but it was too much. Maybe it’s my age, but the car felt skittish and flighty; Sport just rounded the edges off a bit and made the car more drivable.

There are also a couple of evil crests along this road that poorly damped cars really struggle with. But the rebound on both Civics over these is superb: in both the Type R and the later hybrid, you can feel the weight come out of the tyre as the asphalt drops away, but the control in that drop is incredible. It makes for a smooth, confidence-inspiring experience.

Some cars bang horribly over these crests, with noisy suspension upsetting the body and occupants. But not in either of these Hondas. Instead, they get on with flowing down the road with a composure that surprises and, in the case of the Type R, belies the looks.

Both cars get under your skin: the Type R simply because it’s a bloody good hot hatch that demands to be driven, the hybrid because it’s just effortless. I haven’t yet decided why I like driving the hybrid so much: whether it’s because it’s a good car in its own right, or because it’s not an SUV, or an EV that weighs 600kg more than it otherwise would.

Civic type r interior

But enjoyable it remains, even on the commute down the M1 and M25. Weirdly, doing that same journey in the Type R really surprised me. Years ago, I ran a Mégane RS and, brilliant though it was, it did get a fraction fractious on a boring road.

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The FK8 Type R manages to avoid this, partly thanks to its adaptive dampers (Comfort mode is at least an attempt at getting some maturity into the suspension), but it’s also because the exhaust and road noise don’t ‘boom’ like some hot hatches can. I did 480 miles of motorway driving over two days, and for the latter of those two I could easily have taken the hybrid Civic. The fact I didn’t tells you what you need to know about the FK8.

It’s heartening to see. Not only can Honda build a hot hatch that remains brilliant five years after its launch, but it can also sprinkle some of that engineering integrity onto its normal cars. The Japanese firm has always been capable of brilliance, but it’s been sporadic at times. Here’s hoping these two Civics show there’s some consistency developing.

Love it 

Too cool for school

On a grey day, the Honda’s Crystal Blue metallic paint helps to lift the school car park.

Loathe it

Bar humbug

The recently fitted towbar is already proving useful, but the electric socket is tricky to plug into

Mileage: 6710

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Life with a Honda Civic: Month 2

Three hours for a dealer to fit a towbar? You’d better believe it - 30 November

Don’t be misled by the image below: our car isn’t broken. In fact, it's in robust health. But for reasons that will become clear in an upcoming report, we’ve been to Marshall Honda in Peterborough to get a towbar fitted. This item is a dealer-fit accessory on a Civic, so we had to book the car in once it had arrived on the Autocar fleet.

One phone call later and it was all arranged. The receptionist asked if I’d be waiting and then explained it can take three hours to complete the work. Three hours? Goodness me, are they fitting a new chassis? Given the cost (£1245 fitted), I did begin to wonder.

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However, a visit backstage to Marshalls’ workshop soon made it clear that this was not a small job.

The mechanic told me he’d never fitted one before on this particular generation of Civic but he didn’t seem overly concerned because the dealer manual was so detailed about what was required. His laptop was resting on top of a Snap-on tool set (kudos) and contained a stepby-step guide to exactly what was needed, with the sort of clarity that meant even I could have followed it.

Civic 0

The rear bumper is removed, followed by the rear crash structure. There’s a replacement for this part that incorporates the new towbar and includes two new metal inserts that slide into the rear subframe, giving it the anchoring power needed for the 750kg capacity of the towbar (not massive, but then the car weighs only 1533kg).

Then it’s into the Civic’s cabin, where it starts to get really complicated because all of the extra wiring has to be fed from the rear up to the dashboard. A new relay has to go behind the boot lining and even the back seat airbags are involved because the trim is removed from around them as well.

What’s most impressive about all this are the number of new clips and bolts that are used. Even the headlining clips are replaced with fresh ones – the reason it ’s as rattle-free now as it was before Marshalls did the work.

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There’s often a worry about the service you’re going to receive from a dealership but Marshalls were superb. Courteous at every step and with staff who were always happy to chat and offer help, they even washed and vacuumed the Civic.

Favouritism because they knew I was from Autocar? Possibly, but it all seemed pretty genuine to me. Now to put the towbar to the test… 

Love it

Solid Feel 

The Civic’s robustness is impressive. It feels as tight now as when it arrived.

Loathe it

Cheap-looking detail

The little yellow sticker on the wireless charging mat looks cheap. 

Mileage: 6272 

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Son's the word - 23 November 

One recent lesson: trust your kids. Here’s my son, perched proudly in the Firefly Sport EV (a car designed to get youngsters used to driving). It was amazing how little direction he needed for the action shots. We drove alongside in the Civic, where its decent electric running helped: it being silent, my boy could easily hear the photographer’s instructions 

Piers lt with tiny car

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Mileage: 5891

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This type of hybrid has real benefits, but what about economy? - 16 Nov

The Civic is an extremely clever self-charging hybrid – one of the newfangled generation where the engine is mainly there to power the electric motor, rather than drive the wheels.

It’s not unique – the Jazz and HR-V use a similar set-up, as does the Nissan Qashqai – but it works well and, because the petrol engine only clutches onto the front wheels at higher speeds, it means there’s more silent running than there is in hybrids like the Toyota Prius.

This is a good thing because anything that avoids the wheeze and whine of a more normal hybrid with its continuously variable transmission (CVT) can only be a bonus in my book.

We’ve now done just over 2500 miles in our Civic, so have filled up enough times to get a pretty good indication of how it’s doing from an economy point of view. It’s all well and good having a hybrid that’s interesting to drive and doesn’t drone on, but ultimately a major factor in the decision to buy a car like this is running costs.

The Civic’s claimed figure is 56.5mpg and, unlike the fantasies around a PHEV’s economy, that has proved to be realistic. The best we’ve seen is an impressive 57.2mpg and the worst is 46.1mpg, with an average of 52.2mpg. This is across a real mix of driving, from blatting up and down to London from Lincolnshire entirely on motorways, to the school run over a quite brilliant back road, to nipping into our local town.

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It’s interesting to see where the Civic is stronger: it prefers more local running, where the petrol engine isn’t being asked to work as hard. That high figure of 57.2mpg was thanks to much shorter journeys, where the average speed was probably no more than low 40s.

But we’ve recorded a couple of low points on long motorway journeys. This might be happy hunting territory for a big diesel, where you can keep the revs low and ride the torque, but it’s a different story in the Civic. Its petrol/electric combination has to work hard to sustain the oomph over longer stretches. Not that it gets noisy or unpleasant in terms of cabin ambience. The radio works well at all speeds and it’s a relaxing place in which to trawl from Lincolnshire to London.

Your speed makes a huge difference, though. Sustained high-speed running at motorway pace, traffic-free and sitting at an average of over 60mph has yielded our two low scores: 46.1mpg and 48.3mpg. But if it’s a more clogged journey, with traffic jams and those cursed variable speed limits, then we’re back up to the mid-50s. It’s not an altogether pleasant paradox: better journey, more expensive fuel costs; rubbish trip, greener running. It could be a metaphor for 2022. 

Love it 

My wife has said she likes the Civic and it’s not even an SUV. Praise doesn’t get much higher.

Loathe it 

The fuel economy can suffer if you ‘press on’ a bit too much, especially on motorways. 

Mileage: 5305

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Life with a Honda Civic: Month 1

The Civic is as well packaged as ever - 27 October

The rear parcel shelf in the Honda Civic (bear with me, this does get interesting) is a work of genius. Why on earth has no one else thought of it? Because it’s tiny and slides left to right, you don’t need to faff around storing the redundant parcel shelf in the garage when you want maximum space and need to fold down the rear seats. Simple stuff done brilliantly. 

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Mileage: 5284

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Cast aside your hybrid preconceptions: this one’s a blast - 19 October

If nothing else shows where the needle has moved in the car world recently, it’s the fact that we’re about to dedicate 450 words to how a hybrid drives – and, what’s more, be enthusiastic about it.

Sorry for the spoiler right at the start, but the way the new Civic handles is genuinely a reason to get excited about it. There’s a little toggle switch by the gear selector buttons that allows you to flick between Eco, Normal, Individual and Sport driving modes. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t scoff at ‘Sport’ quite yet, because this is a hybrid that’s enjoyable to drive.

Grip levels are impressive and the steering is accurate, if numb, but the thing that impresses me most is the way it combines a little bit of body roll with cracking suspension control. 

The rebound is the headline for me. There are some nasty bumps on my daily route, but the Civic tackles them really well, with no sudden weight dropping out of the tyre or spring as it crests them. There are plenty of other so-called sporty cars that don’t get that balance right, so the kids are just being tossed about like rag dolls in their seats. Here it feels really well controlled, to the point that the children actively ask me to keep pushing on.

Piers lt civic hello 25

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With Sport engaged, all the dials turn to red, the throttle gets more responsive and the engine note takes on an extra dose of aggression. I’ve enjoyed trying to convince myself I’m Gordon Shedden in his BTCC race car, and there is a slight hint of the road-going Honda screamers of old. The manic rev range is obviously missing, but there’s a hard edge to the engine note that doesn’t get boomy as the revs climb. This is no CVT drone, that’s for sure. 

Sport also turns on Winding Road Detection (an excellent Japanese expression), which keeps the engine engaged to reduce lag and increase deceleration.

Despite all this, the new Civic is heavier than the old one. It’s still only 1517kg (or 1533kg in this top spec), but it’s nevertheless annoying that the weight curve is going up, not down. To be fair, Honda has tried, giving this car an aluminium bonnet that’s 43% lighter than the old one and a resin tailgate that shaves some weight, but excess kilos will always be an enemy of enthusiasts.

Overall, though, things are looking encouraging, as the Civic is already making a strong impression. I think it’s the general ease of use: nothing flusters it and there are few annoying flaws. 

It’s the little things that count, like the seat heater that remembers how your last journey ended and comes on again automatically the following cold morning. A car that functions as nature intended: who would’ve thought that would be such a revelation in 2022?

Love it 

Seat comfort

After a day spent in a Citroën Ami recently, driving the Civic again felt like reclining in a La-Z-Boy.

Loathe it

Plump rump

The rear quarter view looks a bit flabby to me. Even the 18in wheels can’t hide the post-C-pillar bulk 

Mileage: 4744

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Welcoming the Civic to the fleet - 5 October 2022

A few weeks ago, my far more learned colleague Matt Prior summed up the new Civic thus: “In a class being neglected, Honda arrives with a car that’s one of the most compelling and best to drive.”

In a stroke, Matt neatly summed up why this car excites us at Autocar. Finally, an everyday hatchback that we can all actually look forward to driving. It’s not only Matt: Kris Culmer borrowed it for a few days and thoroughly enjoyed every minute, while Rachel Burgess came back off the international launch raving about the car. I’ve only had it a week and already I can see where they’re all coming from.

It’s not just that there are encouraging signs about how well it drives and commutes – although it effortlessly absorbed a 480-mile series of commutes in my first three days with the car – but also what it represents. Twenty years ago, I would never have thought that I would one day be waxing lyrical about a family hatchback, but the contrast in SUV land is a welcome one. Here’s hoping that the initial love-in for the Civic continues for the duration of our loan.

So to the actual Civic that we have. There’s only one powertrain, so we very wisely stuck to that option. It’s a hybrid system, with a 181bhp electric motor doing most of the motive work while a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine powers the generator that charges up the battery. It’s clever stuff, and it has so far yielded an average of 55.2mpg – impressively close to the official economy figure of 56.5mpg.

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If you have nervously glanced at the specification panel on the right where it says ‘e-CVT’ and are therefore thinking there’s about to come an almighty ‘but’, don’t fret. Actually, there is no gearbox: the engine only clutches onto the wheels at high speeds, and even then only at one fixed ratio – and therefore there’sno awful CVT drone to get used to. More on that in a later update.

There are three trims available: Elegance, Sport and Advance. Prices start at £29,595 (when was the last time we had a figure under £30,000 for a car this size?), rising to £30,595 and then £32,995 for our model. One advantage of a world short of semiconductors is that options on cars are gloriously simplified. 

Gone are the days when there were thousands of options on even ordinary motors. Here, save for a bit of additional plastic on bumpers and a different interior illumination, you simply choose your trim level, pick a paint colour and that’s it.

For the record, the punchy Premium Crystal Blue metallic paint you see here is £825. I like it; from certain angles, there’s almost a little bit of Subaru BRZ about it.

At this early stage of our time together, I feel that I would go for Advance even if it were my own money, despite the extra cost. The top trim gets the larger, 10.2in touchscreen (the lower two have a 9.0in one) for displaying Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, plus it comes with adaptive headlights and a heated steering wheel (it will be interesting to see how useful those two are as the nights draw in).

Piers lt civic hello 29

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It also has a panoramic roof, a Bose stereo and electrically adjustable front seats. The latter are proving comfy so far, helped by a driving position that is absolutely spot on.

One thing that’s already a welcome characteristic is that there are actual dials for changing the temperature – and they’re so functionally laid out. The matching of touch and physical works well and reminds me of my last long-termer, a Mazda CX-5. Are the Japanese showing the Germans the way with how to integrate all this modern technology seamlessly? It seems so.

One less welcome element of the modern is the lane keeping assistance, which is standard fit and re-engages every time you start the engine. So far, though, it’s not proving overly intrusive, plus it’s easy to turn off. Consider judgement reserved until I’ve spent more time on narrow back roads, which usually confuse these systems.

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In a way, the encouraging early omens for the Civic are typically Honda. Just as it has twice done a quite stellar job of paying for and engineering a brilliant Formula 1 engine or chassis only to withdraw and receive none of the marketing credit, so the company has now launched what seems like a cracking hatchback when all the world is looking the other way at SUVs.

But if ever there were an argument for the yin and the yang of the Japanese car industry, it’s this Civic. Here’s hoping the early promise delivers.

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Second Opinion

I thought running an HR-V had softened my disdain for crossovers, but my first thought on stepping into the Civic was: “Ah, yes – hatchbacks!” It just looks so much better, and it feels so much tighter and more agile, making it very enjoyable to drive, despite not being a sporty model. Honda has made its e:HEV powertrain even better too, more biased towards its electric side. And best of all? Still no touchscreen air-con controls. 

Kris Culmer

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Honda Civic 2.0 i-MMD E:HEV Advance specification

Specs: Price New £32,995 Price as tested £33,820 Options

Test Data: Engine 4 cyls in line, 1993cc, petrol, plus 181bhp electric motor Power 181bhp Torque 232lb ft Kerb weight 1533kg Top speed 112mph 0-62mph 8.1sec Fuel economy 56.5mpg CO2 114g/km Faults None Expenses None

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LibertyLeslie 7 February 2023

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scotty5 7 February 2023

After two excellent Hondas, not only did the 4th proved to be the most unreliable car I ever owned but I found both the dealer and manufacture's attitude poor.

The reason I reply though is at the above comment about all you have to do is press the start button, select D and off you go. They may well have changed things now but my experience of that last Honda was something like a pilot having to go thru a pre-flight checklist before driving off. The problem was the car would not retain it's previous settings so if you wanted say auto-hold, you had to press it every time. The infotainment screen required two confirmation warning before it'd spring in to action. The cruise system would always have to be switched on before being able to engage it etc.

As I say things may well have changed over the past few years but each time I started the engine, my Honda required much button pushing before it'd work the way I wanted it to work.

Overdrive 7 February 2023

Did a test drive of the new Civic. It is a very nice car. Roomy, well built, with decent ergonomics (including proper buttons for climate controls etc), good performance too. The only relative downsides were slightly firmish ride and - the main downside - fair bit of road noise (more than comparable cars) in an otherwise refined car.