Honda's all new Civic saloon

Subject

Honda's all new Civic saloon

Honda’s press blurb claims that this Civic saloon is ‘newly engineered from the ground up and is the most sophisticated Civic sports sedan ever”

That however is just part of the story as one of the most important innovations is a new 1.0 litre petrol turbo.

So I spent a week behind the wheel of this all-new Civic saloon to see if it lives up to the bold claims made of it? Im driving the 1.0 litre VTEC petrol turbo in Smart Plus specification with a 6-speed manual gearbox.

So Has it got street cred?

You bet! I actually prefer the style of this new saloon over its hatchback stablemate. Its long, low and wide stance gives it a purposeful style. I really like it.

What is it like inside?

There is a newly designed cabin, and It all feels well put together. The new digital instrumentation is clear and easy to read and the centrally mounted multifunction Honda Connect 7” touchscreen works well.

I was disappointed to see a few areas such as the rear door panels where hard touch plastics are still in use letting down the interior feel a bit. That said though it is all good quality inside.

The list of standard equipment is too numerous to include here and varies from base to top model, however the big news is the inclusion of Honda’s Safety sensing across the range.

This technology includes, Collision Mitigation Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keep assist, Land Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Intelligent Speed Limiter, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign recognition. Honda deserve great praise for including these superb preventative safety measures as standard.

Of course the new Civic boasts, bluetooth, remote locking, Auto lights and wipers and so on too.

Accomadation is simply excellent with a big roomy cabin and decent boot.

So what’s under the bonnet?

There are two engine options, a 1.0 litre i-VTEC turbo petrol (as tested here) and a 1.6 litre i-DTEC diesel.

The 1.0 petrol turbo on test is a new engine, transmitting power to the front wheels via a very nice 6-speed manual gearbox this newest Civic saloon aquits itself very well indeed. I found performance to be very good, its a quiet and refined power plant and its frugal too burning just 5.8 litres of diesel over very mixed real world driving conditions. Road tax is just €190.00 for he year.

Will I enjoy driving it?

I have many hours behind the wheel of the Civic 5-door. It drives well but I would not desire it.

However the new Civic saloon is somewhat surprisingly quite different in character. It is truly rewarding to drive and offers a really involving sporty driving character without compromising on comfort.

The Civic saloon handles beautifully in all conditions, the steering is nicely weighted and the ride is excellent. The only negative comment I have is regarding quite a bit of road noise.

So What is the Verdict?

Where the hatchback somewhat missed the “rewarding to drive” tag for me the saloon scores a bulls eye.

This new Civic saloon is a very well engineered car and it shows. I like the style, the list of equipment is very good throughout the range, but most of all its a dream to drive delivering unparalleled driving dynamics for this class. The Civic 1.0 litre i-VTEC Turbo Smart Plus costs €27,750 and in my opinion offers a very well rounded package.

Hugh Maguire