Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC

Turbo EX

Honda Civic, front
Honda Civic, front
Honda Civic, front
Honda Civic, front
Honda Civic, rear
Honda Civic Sport Line, 2020, interior
Honda Civic, rear

WHEN a model range has been around for as long as the Honda Civic it's not an easy decision to start afresh and give it a new name.

But the latest, tenth generation, Civic is a long way removed from the original that hit the streets almost 50 years ago. In fact it bears little resemblance to the range from just a few years ago.

Sharp, bold, even menacing, the new Honda looks like no other family car - love it or loathe it, this is one of the most eye-catching vehicles on the road. Civic it most certainly is not.

Potential car buyers will have various models and brands slung at them in their quest to find the wheels to suit, and preconceived ideas concerning the Civic - sedate, uncool, one for the wrinklies - can see it being ruled out from an early stage.

That would be a mistake because while the Civic has catwalk curves more in keeping with a supercar than a family conveyance, it also majors on practicality, comfort and efficiency.

It may be low slung and dynamic, with a sloping rear end that's more coupe than standard hatchback, but there's plenty of cabin space plus the capacity to comfortably sit two adults in rear, three over short journeys.

The boot is also huge at 478 litres and there's also a concealed section beneath the boot floor.

Inside, the layout is stylish and modern with plenty of stowage spots like door bins, glovebox and a deep central container while our tested version also had drilled alloy pedals.

Petrol power is the only option for the latest Civic, comprising 1.0-litre, 1.5 and 2.0-litre engines, the latter reserved for the fiery Type R.

Our version, in mid-to-high range EX trim, featured the least powerful 126bhp unit with headline figures of 0-62mph in 11.0 seconds.

And if that suggests a sheep in wolf's clothing, well that's not how it feels in practise - the VTEC Turbo petrol engine delivering a spirited feel with more than enough punch to keep the average driver smiling.

I have progressively become more and more a fan of automatic gearboxes but the six-speed manual is probably the way to go with the Civic, the CVT transmission tending to rev quite high.

Out on the road the Honda has bags of mid-range torque while its handling is plenty good enough for a family car, made even more enjoyable by the sporty, low driving position.

EX and EX Sport Line models also get an adaptive suspension set-up allowing the driver to firm up or soften the ride at the touch of a button.

As for fuel economy, the official Combined figure for auto gearbox variants is 42.2mpg, though our own return - admittedly recorded in principally urban and rural conditions - was 36.6 miles per gallon.

Equipment is generous, with sat nav, a pin-sharp reversing camera, wireless smartphone charging, premium sound system, blind spot info, parking sensors, electrically adjustable lumbar support and the Honda SENSING suite of safety features all included.

Honda clearly want to attract more young drivers to enjoy the delights of its products, and has just the model range with the latest Civic.

FAST FACTS

Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC Turbo EX

Price:£27,395

Mechanical:126bhp, 998cc, 3-cyl turbo petrol engine driving front wheels via CVT auto transmission

Max Speed:124mph

0-62mph:11.0 seconds

Combined MPG:42.2

Insurance Group:15

C02 emissions:107g/km

Bik rating:25%

Warranty:3yrs/90,000 miles

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