Honda Civic 1.6

i-DTEC EX

Honda Civic, front
Honda Civic, front
Honda Civic, front
Honda Civic, front
Honda Civic, front
Honda Civic, side
Honda Civic, side
Honda Civic, rear
Honda Civic, rear
Honda Civic, rear
Honda Civic, rear
Honda Civic, rear
Honda Civic, rear
Honda Civic, interior

THE Honda Civic has left me with a bit of a dilemma - I just can't decide if I love it or loathe it.

I'm hoping I can convince myself it's the former.

For example, in the car's favour is the ultra-dynamic styling that looks the business when viewed from any angle.

Another plus point is the handling and performance - absolutely no complaints there either. But it's the interior - it has everything you need to be fair, but it's so bland. It's like an old man's car without an ounce of flair.

And that's why I can't make my mind up about the Civic.

We tried the latest diesel-powered model featuring the powerful 1.6-litre 120ps engine delivering 300Nm of torque matched to a six-speed manual gearbox.

This car can complete the 0-62mph sprint in 10.2 seconds and maxes out at 125mph while achieving a combined 80.7mpg with carbon emissions of just 93g/km.

The performance is everything you could wish for, as is always the case with the Civic - it's sharp, responsive and boasts oodles of power.

The road holding is ultra-confident and body sway is non-existent as it fires through the nicely tuned six-speed gearbox, with a constant stream of power on tap. The handling is agile and this is a car that responds immediately with bursts of pace for overtaking.

The Civic eats up the motorway miles for fun and is nimble enough to weave its way through town centres without any fuss.

And it offers high levels of comfort too with room for a trio of passengers in the back. Storage options are good thanks to a deep boot capable of carrying 478 litres of kit - a limit that increases to 1,267 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

First impressions are vitally important and the Honda Civic leaves you in no doubt that this car will deliver when it comes to dynamic driving.

It is a great-looking vehicle and our range-topping EX model was fully loaded. Priced at £25,460 (£28,900 with options fitted), it included muscular styling with sharp lines, neat light clusters, tinted windows and 17-inch alloy wheels.

It certainly has the wow factor especially when viewed from behind.

Move inside though and you are brought back down to earth with a bang.

The car has all the modern techno treats with full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, heated seats, a touchscreen infotainment system and full leather upholstery.

But it all seems a little drab and the touchscreen takes far too long to respond.

Moaning aside, it's easy enough to get comfortable with ample seat and steering wheel adjustment, and I did appreciate the fact that the climate control could be accessed quickly by pressing a button.

Plus, there are lots of other features such as a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, heated rear seats, dual zone climate control, a rear parking camera and a whole lot more.

There is a wide centre console that separates the front seat occupants and the chunky gear lever is well positioned for ease of use. I also liked the deep drinks holder that makes it possible to carry a large water bottle without it getting in the way of the gear stick.

The visibility is great forwards and sideways, but the traditional split rear screen does rather impact on the view from the rearview mirror.

That aside, the Honda Civic is a very safe car and packed with innovative technology to protect occupants, passengers and help prevent accidents happening in the first instance.

On-board safety kit includes blind spot warning, a cross traffic monitor, collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, high-beam assist, intelligent adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition and plenty more besides.

FAST FACTS

Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC EX

Price:£25,460

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

Max Speed:125mph

0-62mph:10.2 seconds

Combined MPG:80.7

Insurance Group:19

C02 emissions:93g/km

Bik rating:26%

Warranty:3yrs/90,000 miles

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