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Honda has just launched a new Civic model which it sees as an acceptable alternative to current favourites, SUVs and the old reliable and versatile hatchback. So it is back to the future with the answer apparently being a four-door Sedan, above, (a saloon to you and me). We do not see that many three-box models here these days mainly because the main right-hand drive market in Europe, the UK, focuses on hatchbacks, SUVs and estates.

But Universal Honda, the importers here, may well have made a good choice as many buyers, anecdotally from rural parts, still feel the saloon design makes for a sturdier, more long lasting car. Toyota has proved the point with the Corolla saloon notching up big sales. Honda’s plan is to sell 400 saloon models next year alongside 650 hatchback versions.

There are some interesting facts about the new arrival. It is just 10cm shorter than the Accord model which was always a big step up in prestige over the Civic, but has disappeared off the sales list here. But the Civic saloon now has a larger boot (52 litres extra) and a roomy cabin.

John Saunders, sales and marketing director of Universal Honda, claims, and is prepared to demonstrate, that the hatchback Civic, which in fact has a 10pc smaller boot than the saloon, can accommodate three sets of adult golf clubs, an electric caddy and a junior set of clubs.

Prices start at €24,750 for the petrol one-litre 126bhp model, rising to €32,750 for the Premium version with CVT. The diesel 1.6-litre 120bhp range starts at €26, 550.

Katie Taylor has been appointed as a brand ambassador for Honda at the local dealer in Bray, Castle Garage Honda.

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