Top of the range new

Civic

Honda Civic, 2017, head on
Honda Civic, dashboard
Honda Civic, rear seats
Honda Civic, rear static
Honda Civic, side static
Honda Civic, boot 1

WHENEVER a car manufacturer launches a new model one of the first questions people want answered is what price does the range start from.

On the other hand there's a small sector who, if they like the product, only want to know how much the most expensive version is.

So when Honda launched its new tenth generation Civic it included a version just for this niche market called the Prestige.

Close to £10,000 more than the entry level model - if you add CVT automatic transmission - the Civic Prestige has all the bells and whistles to satisfy the most demanding of customers.

Externally the Prestige is easily identifiable because - unlike the rest of the range with its dramatic black grille - its grille is in highly polished chrome.

In fact there's quite a proliferation of chrome on this model with it also used for the door handles and window surrounds rather than the body coloured versions on the rest of the range.

But perhaps it's inside the cabin where the Prestige really scores, with its all leather seats and leather panelling on the doors.

The £26,155 six-speed manual version that I tried recently even featured two-tone leather upholstery giving the car a very up-market appearance to help justify the hike in the price.

And the added bonus is that on this model those passengers sitting in the rear get heated seats as well as those in the front.

The new Civic is available with a choice of two engines - a 1.0-litre 127bhp and a 180bhp 1.5-litre - and both are petrol and both turbocharged.

Order a Prestige model, however, and you can only have the 1.5-litre engine, which - with the manual gearbox - will give you a top speed of 137mph and a 0-62 miles per hour time of a very sharp 8.4 seconds.

All the new Civics are quiet but the Prestige model definitely has the edge when it comes to decibel levels in the cabin. At the motorway limit the car is registering 2,500 revs in sixth so barely ticking over which means calm, relaxed motoring.

Drop a couple of cogs, however, and this relatively small engine gives you an impressive surge of power as the needle zips towards the red zone.

And if you want the suspension to match your sporty driving you can firm up the dampers with the touch of a button.

Other features which come as standard on this model include an electric tilt and slide glass sunroof, a reversing camera, wireless charging for mobile telephones and sporting aluminium pedals.

There's also a generous sized two tier boot with an innovative new type of luggage-hiding roller blind cover which retracts sideways to

alleviate the need for a cumbersome support bar.

Thoughtfully Honda has taken into account that some people are left handed so you have a choice of which way the blind retracts.

The new Civic in all its forms is lighter, more rigid and now comes with an all-new multi-link rear suspension.

It's also packed with a host of safety features including lane departure warning system, traffic sign recognition and automatic braking when it senses a collision is about to happen and the driver isn't reacting.

So even though the Prestige is at the top of price range you get a lot for your money, and that's exactly what a lot of people are looking for.

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