Honda Civic 1.6

i-DTEC Sport Navi

Honda Civic Sport, front
Honda Civic Sport, nose
Honda Civic Sport, side, action
Honda Civic Sport, side, static
Honda Civic Sport, rear, action
Honda Civic Sport, rear, static
Honda Civic Sport, boot
Honda Civic Sport, interior

THIS is one motor that can justly claim to be a good Sport.

Super sleek with glitzy body kit and flowing lines the Honda Civic Sport certainly looks the part - and with a dynamic 1.6-litre diesel engine calling the shots it has the power to impress without breaking the bank when it comes to running costs.

Gone are the days when diesels were noisy and smelly individuals in cars with all the style and charisma of a tractor.

This oil burner, linked to a smooth-shifting six-speed manual gearbox, provides rush with hush propelling the Civic Sport to 62mph from a standing start in a shade over 10 seconds on its way to a claimed top speed of 129mph.

Average fuel consumption of 70-plus miles per gallom and tax-busting emissions are achieved with the help of stop-start technology and an ECON button which adjusts throttle response as well as the car's use of the air conditioning system to keep cash outlay to a minimum.

The lack of any discernible sound, apart from a vague rumble when pedal is pressed to metal managed to fool my dad into thinking the car we were in was a petrol model - indeed he refused to believe it was a diesel until I showed him the fuel filler cap with the legend printed in capitals.

The exterior also failed to give the old boy a decent steer as it was way too sporty for his idea of what an oil burner should be.

The Civic Sport looks glued to the road and features styling including integrated daytime running lights and neat headlamps, a natty mesh grille, an aerodynamic front bumper, beautiful black alloys plus a colour-coded rear spoiler.

The last mentioned in that illustrious list provides my one quibble with the Civic as, despite looking great from the outside, it obstructs the driver's view by cutting the tailgate window in half. However, Honda do fit a reversing camera as standard which helps to compensate - especially when it comes to backing into tight car parking spots.

The cabin continues the ultra modern theme of the exterior so the tech savvy among you will be drooling over Honda's Connect infotainment system which is specifically designed to get the best from Android smartphones while Apple users can also hook up via Bluetooth. My dad is drool-free when it comes to technology - but he and I both appreciated the Sport's black headlining, the satellite navigation and the metal capped pedals as well as the comfortable figure-hugging seats.

Despite the hunkered down sports car appearance there is a practical amount of space provided with the boot able to cope with 477 litres expanding to a maximum of 1,378 litres with the rear seats lowered.

The car catered for five adults without too much fuss and little in the way of complaints, although the clever hidden rear door handles left some attempting to access the back seats via the front doors.

The car is fitted with the usual suspects to help prevent or mitigate accidents, but my test car also featured a £600 Driver Assistance Safety Pack which includes blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, collision warning and traffic sign recognition - all useful to have around.

The driving experience is enjoyable as the suspension is firm without shaking any bones ensuring a decent ride, while the traction system helps the car's handling giving good levels of grip and little body roll when cornering.

FAST FACTS

Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Sport Navi

Price:£21,430

Mechanical:120ps, 1,597cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:129mph

0-62mph:10.5 seconds

Combined MPG:76.3

Insurance Group:15

C02 emissions:94g/km

Bik rating:16%

Warranty:3yrs/90,000 miles

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