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Honda Civic

The Honda Civic has been around forever. It’s one of those Japanese brands that has never faded away or changed into anything else, and it’s remarkable to think it’s been on our roads since 1972.

The 2017 Civic is the 10th generation of the model, and Honda claims it wanted to bring back the essence of a practical, yet entertaining vehicle to drive. To do this, the firm has spent time reengineering this fresh Civic from top to toe.

The all-new Honda Civic marks the introduction of two petrol units – a 1.0-litre three-cylinder ‘VTEC Turbo’ and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder power plant. The 1.0-litre yields 129PS, and will do 55mpg, while the 1.5-litre produces 182PS and 48mpg of fuel economy.

the new power units – of which we drove the 1.5-litre variant – are first-rate, with lots of keen delivery,
Undoubtedly, the tenth incarnation of the Civic is an improvement over the last model, handling well on the test route that we took it out on around Barcelona in Spain. And the new power units – of which we drove the 1.5-litre variant – are first-rate, with lots of keen delivery, although the 1.5 i-VTEC Turbo Sport is not as potent as its athletic body suggests.

The new ‘VTEC Turbo’ engine can be joined to a CVT automatic gearbox, but we’d recommend trying the six-speed manual gearbox as it feels excellent in the hand and gratifying to work with. It’s also to the Civic’s credit that it stays hushed and refined, regardless of the flashy undercurrent.

The design of the all-new Honda Civic has changed. The exiting model is rounder, but the new Civic is like a compact saloon. It looks wider and smoother around the nose area, and the rear has an angular, level shape. Inside, the split-dash has been replaced by a smarter design – reminiscent of the lovely 90’s Honda dashboard layouts. This is a nod to an age when the Japanese automaker made some of its best cars.

The 2017 Honda Civic will be made in Swindon, a factory that has turned out well-built cars for some time now. The British plant will be constructing the model not just for the UK, but for the whole world. This is the inaugural ‘global’ Civic, meaning it’s being made with no specific changes for regions, other than the obvious adaptations for left and right-hand drive markets.

Topping the features of the new Civic is Honda’s ‘Connect’ infotainment unit, which is companionable with Android Auto and Apple Car Play operating systems. The other headliner, in terms of kit, is Honda’s safety technology bundle, known as ‘Sensing’. It merges several bits of tech to keep you safe and sound. Features include lane keeping assistant, forward collision warning adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition.

Due to changes to the structure of the Civic, the ‘Magic Seats’ that made for simple loading of big objects are now absent. Despite this, the boot still holds a notable 478-litres, so it is by no means an issue.

Honda has announced the price-tag of its up to-date Civic, and it will start from £18,335 increasing to £27,295, depending on which trim level you want.

The all-new Honda Civic is a great effort from the Japanese firm, and brings it right into serious competition with hardcore rivals like Ford’s Focus and VW’s Golf. The way the tenth-generation Civic looks, feels, and goes means the opposition should be worried. Now we must wait for the diesel and the ultra-hot Type R to make their entrance.

By Tim Barnes-Clay

FAST FACTS
1.5 182PS i-VTEC Turbo Sport manual – as tested
• Max speed: 136 mph
• 0-62 mph: 8.2 secs
• Combined mpg: 48.7
• Engine layout: 1498cc 4-cylinder turbo petrol
• Max. power (PS): 182
• CO2: 133 g/km
• Price: £22,470
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