Honda Civic - a family hatchback with flair
The Honda Civic is a popular family hatchback with a visually striking body design, which makes it stand out from the crowd. The Honda craftsmanship and design flair doesn't stop with the outside; the interior is just as impressively futuristic.
The Honda Civic has been around for nearly 50 years with production starting back in 1972. In fact, the Honda Civic has been in production longer than its main rivals the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf.
One of the main reasons why the Civic has been so successful over such an extended period is Honda's ability to continually reinvent the design styling, both inside and out, for each new generational model. The Honda Civic is now into its 10th generation and looks better than ever, with crisp, sharp lines creating a silhouette which combines sportiness and modern design flair.
The new design is not too dissimilar from the performance Civic Type R hot hatch version, which again could make it more appealing to potential buyers, especially those in the younger age bracket. We have reviewed the Civic Type R here.
The 10th generation Civic was introduced in 2015, and in late 2019 Honda decided it needed a small face-lift or Mini Model Change (MMC) as Honda calls it. The main alterations centred around the interior design and technology features to keep it up to date with only minor changes made to the exterior.
The Honda Civic is available in a choice of five trim levels, all of which include an impressive amount of equipment and features as standard. The trim levels to choose from are SE, SR, Sport, EX and EX Sport Line, so there should be a Civic to suit just about anyone. We're focusing this review on the standard Honda Civic, but if you're after a bit more performance and speed, then there is the Civic Type R also available.
Continue reading the yoauto review to help you decide if the Honda Civic is the right car for you. If the Civic does not tick all of your boxes, then don't forget to visit our Used Car Buying pages, where you will find thousands of cars available across the UK at excellent prices.
Engines, Power and Performance
There's not a huge selection of engines to choose from with the Honda Civic, but they are all economic and fuel-efficient, while still providing good levels of performance. There are two petrol engines and one diesel. The petrol engines can be selected with either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed CVT automatic. The diesel engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission only.
The single diesel offering is the 1.6-litre i-DTEC unit, which develops 120hp and 300Nm of torque. It will hit 0-62mph in 10.1secs and go on to a top speed of 126mph. The diesel engine is fuel-efficient with a claimed combined fuel consumption (WLTP) of 62.8, which should certainly appeal to those who do a lot of miles or company car drivers.
The petrol engines kick off with the 1-litre VTEC Turbo which generates 126hp and 200Nm of torque, with the manual transmission and 180Nm with the CVT. If you've opted for the manual transmission, then it will hit 0-62mph in 11.2secs and reach a top speed of 127mph. The CVT Auto will achieve 0-62mph in 10.9secs and go on to a top speed of 124mph.
The alternative petrol engine is the 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo, which increases power output to 182hp and 240Nm if mated to the manual transmission, and 220Nm mated to the CVT Auto. Using the manual transmission, the Civic will hit 0-62mph in 8.2 secs and achieve a top speed of 137mph, while the CVT will take 8.3secs to hit 0-62mph and has a top speed of 124mph.
The Civic handles and performs extremely well and is right up there challenging the class-leading Ford Focus. The Civic grips and stays balanced travelling through bends with such ease and grace that it fills you with confidence to push a little faster into the next one.
Interior Quality and Technology
The interior of the Honda Civic is well built, durable and mixes plenty of soft-touch plastics and other materials to give it a quality look and feel. All of the dials, knobs and buttons appear to sit in just the right position, so there's no need to stretch or get distracted from the road.
The steering wheel has plenty of adjustability, and the pedals line up perfectly, which allows you to find the perfect driving position within seconds. The Honda Civic is an extremely comfortable car, with roomy yet supportive seats which leave you feeling fresh even after a long journey.
All Civic models come with is digital instrument display cluster as standard, although it is not customisable as is the case with most other manufacturers. The entry-level SE trim comes with a decent list of equipment as standard such as a small 5-inch screen, DAB radio with an eight-speaker sound system and Bluetooth connectivity.
Opt for the SR trim or above and you get a 7-inch colour touchscreen to access the infotainment system, with features such as Smartphone Connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sat-nav, and a rearview parking camera, along with many other assists and features.
Space, Practicality and Safety
The Honda Civic offers a generous amount of interior space and is on a par with the majority of its rivals, such as the Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus. The one thing you'll notice, whether you're climbing into the front or the rear, is how low the Civic sits to the ground compared to its predecessor, which can take a little getting used to.
Upfront, both driver and passenger will find plenty of legroom and headroom, along with front seats which can be easily adjusted to accommodate those a bit taller and longer in the leg. One advantage is the seat power-assisted lumbar support for the driver, which comes as standard across all trim levels, perfect if you spend a lot of time driving.
In the rear, again there's a decent amount of legroom for a couple of adults, but if they're tall, they could find headroom a little restricted due to the lower coupe-styled roofline. It can be a bit of a squeeze to fit three adults in the rear, although no different to most other cars in this class.
There are various useful storage cubbies throughout the cabin including large door pockets, a generous glovebox, and a couple of cupholders and a cavernous cubby under the front central armrest.
The boot is one of the largest in its class and is shaped well for easy access for heavy shopping or luggage. There is also a useful split level floor in the boot, allowing you to store items safely, and out of sight if needed, in most models. Depending on which model Civic you choose the boot capacity can vary in size, but the majority have a capacious 478-litre capacity. This trumps just about any other car in its class. Once you fold the rear seats down, capacity climbs to a whopping 1267-litres.
The Honda Civic scored a 4-star safety rating when tested in July 2017, which was due to a rear airbag issue. Honda immediately reviewed and rectified this issue, and when the Civic was re-tested in September 2017, it scored the full 5-star rating from Euro NCAP safety testing. All Honda Civic's built after 25th September 2017 will have the 5-star rating.
No matter which trim level you have selected, the Honda Civic comes with an impressive list of safety features and assists as standard. Some of the standard features include; multiple airbags, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and Forward Collision Warning.
The Honda Civic is an excellent choice for your next family hatchback providing a soft and comfortable, yet responsive drive combined with a unique and stunning body design which teenage passengers should approve of.