Now some slightly less encouraging news.
All Honda’s talk of added handling dynamism for the new Civic was to be swallowed with a big pinch of salt, it turns out.
Much as the firm is keen to grow and subtly change the Civic’s customer base, it plainly couldn’t afford to alienate the more traditional core who like a pleasant, comfortable and easy-to-drive hatchback – and they will find a lot to like about this new one.
Driven at everyday speeds on most UK roads, the Civic feels solid, planted, settled and reassuring. To point out that it has ‘big-car’ feel hardly seems necessary, given that it’s plainly a relatively large car among its rivals.
And yet the meaty weight and moderate pace of its steering, the excellent ‘bump-thump’ isolation of its generally smooth ride and the stability-first bias of its handling all show how the impression of a bigger saloon has been engineered in here.
First-rate suppression of wind noise would make the Civic remarkably quiet if not for the fact that a slightly intrusive amount of road roar finds its way into the cabin.
It’s only a problem over particularly coarse surfaces but is at odds with the Civic’s general demeanour as a hatchback so comfortable, refined, spacious and mature-feeling that it could otherwise almost pass for a more expensive saloon.