The Honda Civic has been in production for close on 50 years, first introduced in 1972 and still going strong with latest versions offering sleek sporty styling, enhanced equipment and outstanding fuel economy.
Priced from €21,467 (£19,395), the Civic range offers petrol and diesel engines and several trim levels and my test model was a mid-range SR model with a 1.5 litre 118 hp diesel engine with six-speed manual gearbox. This model costs €25,004 (£22,590).
The engine is quiet and responsive and the gearshift is very slick, so the car has a smooth effortless driving feel, and upgraded suspension is well balanced, providing excellent ride comfort and poised cornering.
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Top speed is 209 kph (130 mph), the 0-100 kph time 10.0 seconds. Emissions are low at 110 g/km and the fuel economy of 20.8 kpl (58.9 mpg) is impressive.
The Civic has a slightly lower driving position than most rivals and being longer, lower and wider than previous models, exudes a bolder and more sporty profile which help it stand out in the hatchback class.
The spacious cabin has good head and leg room in the rear and the boot has a substantial 519-litre capacity which can be expanded by dropping the rear seats, which fold flat for easy loading. Trim materials have been upgraded and along with neat design accents deliver a quality appearance.
The dashboard is well designed with clear instrumentation and while the touch-screen infotainment system is a little slower to react than some, it does the job and you quickly get used to it.
Standard kit on the SR is generous and includes front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, dual-zone climate control, digital radio, Bluetooth, smartphone integration, connectivity and sat-nav. Safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, auto emergency braking, agile handling assist and traffic sign recognition.
In a sector which includes the VW Golf and Ford Focus, the latest Civic has an appealing presence. Its new styling is less quirky than previous versions and has a more upmarket image, under-pinned by Honda’s well-established record for reliability.
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.
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