Honda Civic e:HEV

Sport

Honda Civic, 2024, front
Honda Civic, 2024, side
Honda Civic, 2024, interior
Honda Civic, 2024, wheel

SINCE its launch in 1972, the Honda Civic has sold more than 27.5 million units across 170 countries. The word ‘best-seller' was probably invented for it.

However, the latest 11 generation - 11, that's hard to believe in itself - is, leaving aside the barnstorming Type R ‘hot hatch', the first to be supplied only with a hybrid powerplant.

There are currently three trim levels to choose from - entry level Elegance, Sport and top-of-the-range Advance - all in a single five-door body style.

It sleek and sporty looks have been achieved through lowering the bonnet line 25mm over the previous generation, while the glass area has been increased to create a light and airy interior.

The base of the windscreen-pillar has been positioned further back to align with the centre of the front wheels, giving the car a more balanced proportion in profile.

The highest point of the roofline has been placed further forward than the previous Civic, with a gentle slope to the tailgate creating a sleek, fast-back style look.

A 35mm longer wheelbase has also allowed the designers to create a more expansive and comfortable cabin than before.

In the back, passengers get 1.4 inches more legroom than was possible before and there is loads of headroom.

Naturally, the driver and front-seat passenger also get plenty of space, so even the tallest won't need to worry about head or leg room.

Pleasingly, two six-footers sitting behind similarly tall front-seat occupants won't have any complaints about rear leg room.

The boot can swallow 410 litres of luggage and comes with 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Seating flexibility is nothing special, with60/40 split-folding rear seats.

All three trims use the same 2.0-litre normally-aspirated e:HEV hybrid powerplant matched with a 1.05kWh lithium-ion battery that drives two electric motors. In total, it produces 315Nm of torque, which is more than enough for the UK's highways and byways.

A fixed gear transmission shifts seamlessly between EV, Hybrid and Engine drive phases as you move along.

It's decently quick and thanks to a stiffer chassis, a wider rear track and revisions to Honda's torque vectoring system, is surprisingly agile with plenty of grip should you need it. It goes where you point it so it's properly enjoyable behind the wheel.

A much lower driving position also adds to the sporting feel and the driver's seat is not only comfortable but highly adjustable.

Handling is excellent, steering is responsive, and the drive on twisting B-roads is engaging. On motorways, it's quiet when cruising and very comfortable - just what you want from the family hatchback.

It officially returns 56.5mpg and I managed a respectable 47.6.

The entry-level Elegance trim features 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors and rear camera, a 10.2-inch multi-info display binnacle, and a nine-inch Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto compatible centre touchscreen with satnav as standard.

All Civic grades are equipped with Honda SENSING, the brand's excellent suite of safety technologies and driver aids including Lane Keeping Assistant System, and the new Traffic Jam Assist function.It also gives you a 100-degree front wide view camera, blind spot information, low speed braking control and intelligent cruise control.

There's 11 airbags including side airbags for the rear seats; knee airbags for the front seats to reduce occupant injury during front impact; and a front centre airbag for the driver seat to prevent a collision between the driver and front passenger during side impact. So, you won't be surprised to hear it has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

FAST FACTS

Honda Civic e:HEV Sport

Price: £37,470

Mechanical: 181bhp, 1,993cc, petrol-electric engine driving front wheels via a single-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:111mph

0-62mph: 7.9seconds

Combined MPG:56.5mpg

Insurance Group:28

C02 emissions:99g/km

Bik rating:24%

Warranty:3yrs/90,000 miles

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