Independent Reviews of Honda Civic New and Used Cars

The following reviews are available:

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‘CIVIC FUNCTIONS’

Added 25th February, 2020

By Jonathan Crouch

Ultimately, what's important about this tenth generation Civic is the way it showed us how Honda has changed. This is now a brand able to continually develop cars people might really want to buy, as opposed to models that many of them would merely find technically intriguing. And a company able to understand the wants and needs of people beyond its home shores. With this MK10 design, it was finally clear that in both these areas, at long last, Honda had got the message. 'Kaizen', the Japanese approach to 'continuous improvement', characterises every aspect of this model's development. Or almost every aspect anyway. What was lost along the way was the unique loading versatility for tall items that previous Civics offered thanks to their clever 'Magic Seat' set-up. We miss that and think a lot of owners loyal to previous versions of this Honda will too, especially given that for this tenth generation range, the 'Tourer' estate body style was deleted. Still, this Japanese brand had to reach out beyond these people and the pay-off with this car's fresh interior configuration - space for more sophisticated suspension delivering an exceptionally compliant standard of ride - ended up giving this interestingly-orientated family hatch a wider appeal. Not everyone is so enthusiastic about this car's styling, but if you like it, you'll probably love it. What's not in question is the huge step forward this car took beneath the bonnet. Both the mainstream VTEC Turbo petrol engines more than make the grade - and it's been a long time since we've been able to say that about a Civic. There's plenty else we were impressed with too; the huge boot, a brilliantly-slick manual gearbox and the sheer uncompromising purpose of the top Type-R hot hatch variant. True, interior quality isn't quite a match for best-in-class rivals, but the cabin's a lot easier to like and this Civic's a lot bigger inside than it used to be. Plus of course, this car was built in Britain - for what that's worth. In short, this model, at long last, came of age in this form, finally a car with sense on its side, yet one that retained at least a little of the kind of Honda charisma that every Civic ought to have. It made its segment a more interesting place.

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‘TOURER, TOURER’

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.

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