Whether you’re in the market for a compact car or a substantial hatchback, the ever-reliable mainstay that is the Honda Civic continues to shine as a front-running option. Its practicality suits families, while its stylish looks appeal to a younger crowd of drivers. After nearly 50 years, this Honda continues to fulfil its Civic Duty.
The Honda Civic – which has been on the road since 1972 - is the chameleon of hatchbacks, changing size, shape and style countless times. The 9th and 10th generations, the kind you’ll find here with us at cinch, are easily the most radical and memorable kind.
They’re now much longer and lower with a more classic coupe look to them, which really makes the Civic stand out. The unmistakable combination of slants and lines aren’t to everyone’s tastes. If you like being distinctive, you’ll love getting behind the wheel of this car.
There are also smaller alternatives out there. Few of the model’s rivals offer such design idiosyncrasies. Like angles? You’re in luck. The Honda Civic has more angles than a trigonometry exam.
Like angles? You’re in luck. The Honda Civic has more angles than a trigonometry exam.
What’s it like to drive?
Regardless of engine size, you’ll have more than enough poke to be able to get up to speed, making town and city driving a cinch, so to speak. You’ll have no issues on the motorway or in the countryside, either. Plus with a range of engine sizes on offer – from economic 1.0l models to nippy 1.6l engines – there’s an option for every type of driver.
Compared to others in its class, the Civic has a noticeably lower and slightly more sporty-feeling driving position. So even if you’ve not got a huge engine in front of you, the drive can feel a tad more exciting than perhaps it might in similarly spec’d rivals.
You’ll have no issues on the motorway or in the countryside.
It might not have made headline news in any of the major national papers but the Honda Civic is well known for offering one of the most spacious cabins going. Not only do all generations, years and specs of this model afford everyone inside plenty of headroom, but there’s also ample leg space as well. Albeit passengers nestled in one of the back seats aren’t treated to quite the same amount of room for their noggins as those in front of them.
There’s a sturdiness and quality finish to the interior that looks slick and feels robust and well put together. Civic owners have no complaints over the look or feel of any of the surfaces, knobs or buttons, either.
The quality and user-friendliness of the navigation/infotainment system will, of course, depend on the age, model and specification of the Civic you choose. At least, you’re likely to get Honda’s Connect system. The screen is a little on the small side, isn’t super responsive to touch and the graphics aren’t amazing. However, it’s intuitive and also features a quality sat-nav, decent DAB radio and useful Bluetooth function.
As you might expect from a car with heaps of cabin space, there’s plenty of boot to a Honda Civic. Later models can have a rather annoying step inside, a side effect of the car’s sporty look. Day-to-day it’s no issue, though you may curse it a little whenever transporting larger, flatter items.
Footwells are spacious too, giving you extra storage space, as well as comfort. Newer Civics have slightly odd and not reassuringly sturdy parcel shelves made of fabric that you pull across and clip in. These are referred to as ‘tonneau covers’, if you want to get technical.
Those niggles aside, the centre console box and door bins are big and the glovebox is large enough to fit every glove your family owns inside. Altogether, there’s a lot of room in this compact car. It’s something of a Tardis. Although you can’t travel through time in one. You can travel through the Dartford Tunnel, though.
Running costs and reliability
We touched on its unique design, performance and acres of space. What else do you want from a Honda Civic review? Well, it’s time for the boring bit. Let’s talk turkey.
If fuel economy is your primary motivator, you may want to look elsewhere. Owning a Civic isn’t going to earn you an Esso Gold Card, if such a thing still exists. Nor will it save you lots of money at the pumps. No models are gas guzzlers per se. Many of its rivals can squeeze a few extra miles out of a tank. Opt for a basic 1.0-litre model, however and you’ll get more than 45 miles per gallon.
What we love
There’s plenty we love about the Honda Civic here at cinch. Lively performance,eccentric, jagged lines and lots of space inside all instantly spring to mind. Compact cars are easy to make boring, yet Honda have always refused to fall into the dull trap. That’s something to salute them for. Although not literally, that’d just be weird.
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Town and country drivers
The Honda Civics Marmite-like design may split motorists. If you happen to like its sleek spikiness and brave chassis design, there’s plenty more to dig once you’re behind the wheel. The interiors aren’t exactly top of their class, but Civics are spacious, drive well and are more than reliable. You can’t ask for much more than that.
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