Building the Civic in Swindon is to Honda’s advantage when it comes to the UK market, but that hasn’t meant customers here have enjoyed rock-bottom prices – mostly because the brand is famously adamant about the model’s positioning, and such a policy generally negates the kind of bargain basement options that Kia and Vauxhall typically offer.
As a result, the Civic line-up starts beyond £18k for a 1.0 SE and stops (excluding the fifth-generation Type R) at just shy of £28k for a 1.5-litre Prestige with CVT.
In between the two are SR, EX, Sport and Sport Plus, the last of which, after paint, costs £25,930.
In Golf terms (very much Honda’s benchmark), that amount would until recently have seen you into a similarly high-spec GT Edition with a 148bhp 1.4 TSI engine, or else a Ford Focus Titanium X with a 180bhp 1.5-litre petrol unit.
In other words, the Civic is equipped and priced to compete with the best of its competitors, not the cheapest.
Honda does, at least, simplify the ordering process by bundling plenty of kit into the quietly ambitious price. The entry-level SE gets 16in alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights, but makes do with manual air conditioning inside the cabin. The step-up SE model comes with climate control, front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio with USB and bluetooth.
The SR variant adds 17in alloys, privacy glass, and body coloured door mirrors outside, along with a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, dual-zone climate control and a rear parking camera. EX trim gains adaptive dampers, leather interior with heated front seats, an uprated stereo system and sunroof. The optional Technology pack adds wireless charging for your smarthphone, LED headlights and rear heated seats.
Our advice would be to avoid the Sport Plus trim, despite the generous equipment list, and opt for the slightly cheaper Sport trim at £22,540, which adds more aggressive front and rear sills, a central dual exhaust, and paddle shifters (if you opt for the CVT automatic).
A C-segment hatch with a touchscreen infotainment and sat-nav, adaptive dampers, premium audio, LED headlights, a full suite of active safety kit and 180bhp isn’t a bad deal for £25k, after all, and a 133g/km CO2 output makes it broadly competitive with its rivals.