If I’ve learned one thing over the last 12 months, it’s that they clearly don’t have salt-encrusted motorways in Japan. How do I know this? Because I’m the custodian of Autocar’s long-term Honda Civic Type R, and if the engineers who signed off its rear windscreen had ever sampled the aforementioned conditions, they’d have had second thoughts.

The Civic’s hatch, you see, is a mixture of glass and plastic, split by an enormous body-coloured spoiler. Which is fine, until you try to see out of it; not only does the spoiler block most traffic from your rear view mirror, but the surface picks up motorway grime like no other – and there’s no rear wash/wipe to keep it clean.

Just goes to so, I suppose, that the Japanese don’t think of everything after all. And that they should send their design bods to spend a week on the M1 every December.

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