POTENTIAL family hatchback buyers looking for a British built car with a huge boot that is well priced and with quite different styling from the competition now have another model to consider following the launch of the facelifted Swindon built Honda Civic writes Bryan Longworth.
The all new Civic Type R is the current headline grabber for the Japanese manufacturer but that is aimed at the specialist hot hatch market and the latest Civic has much wider appeal especially to family motorists wanting a good quality hatchback with good residual prices.
And an added bonus which is quite unusual these days is that the latest Civic is offered with a price reduction compared to the previous model of up to £1,620 starting at £16,815 on the road.
There is also a new model in the range known as the Sport which is available with diesel and petrol engines with the diesel version described as the Civic 1.6i-DTEC Sport Manual with Sat Nav being the subject of this road test.
Costing £21,430 on the road this Sport has a CO2 rating of 98g/km which means there is no road tax to pay and the combined fuel consumption is 76.3mpg with the other statistics being a top speed of 129mph and a zero to 62mph time of 10.5 seconds.
The latest Civic has styling enhancements including new headlamps with integrated daytime running lights, new front and rear bumpers with side skirts and on the inside there are new seat fabrics and stitching on the headrests with new door trims and chrome handles and the control panel finished in metallic black.
In addition the Sport model has very cool black 17inch alloy wheels, body coloured tailgate, front lower mesh grille, alloy pedals, privacy glass, sat nav with rear view camera, front fog lights and cruise control with speed limiter.
At the rear accessed by the rather heavy hatchback is a large load area which is ideal for a family owner’s shopping and holiday baggage plus quite a lot more space under the load area floor because there is no spare wheel.
The turbodiesel engine provided plenty of power for quite lively motoring linked with good handling and steering qualities but while this model is called Sport it is not really all that sporty and that definition is for the likes of the new Type R which is arguably the daddy of them all in this respect.
There is a high quality interior with sensible controls and instruments and while I liked the digital speedometer right in front of the driver I found it rather difficult getting a good driving position with having to make sure I could see the speedo above the rim of the steering wheel which made it a bit cramped for getting in and out of the car.
And at the rear there is still that split rear window which has been improved since the model was first launched several years ago that was the subject of considerable criticism and there is also now a rear wiper which helps considerably with rear visibility in bad weather.
Overall I liked the Sport which offers family owners in particular a roomy and stylish hatchback that manages to be quite different from the competition and the subtle facelift has added to its appeal.
Verdict: A tempting family hatchback.
Model: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Sport Manual with Sat Nav.
Engine: 1.6-litre diesel.
Output: 120 PS.
Transmission: Six speed manual.
Top speed: 129mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph: 10.5 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 76.3mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 98g/km.
Price: £21,430 on the road.