Added 23rd February, 2018
By Jonathan Crouch
You need a very good reason to buy a small estate car on the used market these days, given that for the same money, dealers can offer either trendier or more practical means of family transport, sometimes both. Fortunately, this Civic Tourer offers several quite compelling draws on your attention.
First, many will find the looks stylish and different - and a welcome relief perhaps from the current fashion for rugged SUV-ness. Then there's practicality. It's not only that this car offers enough carriage space to make many other small estates seem pointless. It's also the way you can use it, with wide openings, flip-up seats and properly large under-floor storage.
The 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine is another plus. Other brands offer you 1.6-litre diesels that are frugal but feeble or 2.0-litre diesels that are pokey but pricey to buy and run. This Honda's engine offers the perfect blend of both. And marries that to a driving experience more interesting and rewarding than almost anything else in this segment. Of course, none of that is to suggest this car to be perfect. The 1.8-litre petrol option is a weaker link. Not everyone will get on with the futuristic dashboard layout. And there are certainly cheaper choices in this segment.
Ultimately though, what's important about this car is the way it showed how Honda had changed: has changed. This is now a brand able to continually develop cars people might really want to buy, as well as models they might simply find technically intriguing. A brand at the cutting edge of diesel development. And a brand able to understand the wants and needs of people beyond its home shores. With this car, this Civic Tourer and others since, it's finally clear that in all these areas, at long last, Honda has got the message. And the result in this case is one of the most appealing compact estate cars of its era.