The 10th-generation Civic has been subjected to an awful lot of change – only to feel, to our eyes, as if it hasn’t quite changed enough.

After the hard-riding eighth-generation car was roundly criticised for not being comfortable enough, it isn’t surprising that Honda wasn’t bolder with this Civic’s dynamic tuning.

Radically altered Civic isn’t really so different to drive after all

Considering the new car’s size and bulk, and the need for it to appeal to buyers in the US and elsewhere as well as here, this may well be as far as Honda could have taken the car on driver appeal.

This is progress, after all. The Civic’s new turbocharged engine gives it an energetic flavour and a turn of pace that no version of the previous car enjoyed, and there’s some dynamic composure and sophistication here to allow keener drivers to enjoy that pace.

Driving experience aside, the new Civic is plainly a practical, generally refined, quietly upmarket, creditably economical and well-equipped car – and on all of those respects, it’s decent value, although pricey.

We regret that it isn’t a bit more fun, but we also recognise that it’s early days for this car and that there’s plenty more to come in that department. That is why overall we can only place the Civic behind the Audi A3 Sportback, Seat Leon, Ford Focus and the ever-present Volkswagen Golf.

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