When Honda reinvented its evergreen Honda Civic it took a dull and bland-styled car and made it quirky and fresh with ground-breaking designs and innovative ideas but some of the character was lost in a later revamp. The styling isn't to everyone's taste but the Honda Civic is undoubtedly an impressive car and will outperform many of its rivals to bring years of trouble-free motoring. There's a wide range to choose from but the five door Civic 2.2 i-DTEC EX GT merits closer attention since it is reasonably priced and will return around 65 mpg on the combined cycle. It's quite nippy too and will reach 0 to 62 mph in 8.8 seconds.
When the current model was launched, Honda had put a lot of effort into making the handling more refined and the ride smoother, and the firm particularly paid attention to the suspension to help iron out the bumps from its earlier models. Honda produce some excellent petrol engines though many buyers of the Civic will probably opt for the diesel, and the new 1.6 litre turbo diesel unit is particularly impressive with economy and power in one refined unit. What will raise eyes and make an impression is that it should return around 79 mpg and is below the tax threshold with CO2 emissions of just 94g.
The interior has a premium feel with the cabin design feeling well-designed and practical. Build quality for the Honda Civic is second to none and the car always does well in reliability surveys and while it's still a great drive around town, the Civic is particularly good for long journeys and will deliver the driver and occupants in comfort and safety. There's a lot going for the Honda Civic and it's surprising that it's not a more popular marque with its radical design and above-average performance which, coupled with its reliability, is exactly what many drivers of mid-range cars are looking for.
Why not have a look at the Honda Civic on the official Honda UK company web site and get the latest news about the Honda Civic in the UK at The UK Honda Owners' club. You may also like to see what they're saying about the Honda Civic on the Top Gear web site.
In many respects it's much better than the Ford Focus, its main competitor, and it's cheap to run and insure which makes it an impressive vehicle in many respects, especially since it will not let its owner down.
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IT HAS THE LOOK: If you thought Honda would retreat to safe waters with the styling of its latest Civic, think again. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the latest car.