Punchy new one-litre option gives tenth generation Honda Civic a new lease of life

“Punchy new one-litre option gives tenth generation Honda Civic a new lease of life

  • Interesting design

  • Excellent new engine options

  • Engaging to drive


Overall Rating

  • Magic seats are gone

  • Dull interior

  • Touchscreen graphics a little dated

Overall Rating


The Honda Civic is one of those cars with a truly universal appeal. The striking design and sporty image makes it attractive to the younger market, and that trusted, reliable Honda image to the more safe and sensible end.

It’s a formula that has worked quite well for Honda, and 45 years since the first one rolled off the production line, the Civic has just entered it’s tenth generation with this all new model.

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Space & Practicality

When Honda say new model, they really mean all new. Completely rebuilt from the ground up, the new Civic is now longer, lower and wider than before.

That means more space in certain areas of the cabin. The boot for example, which at 478 litres, is more than 20 per cent bigger than the market-leading Volkswagen Golf.

Legroom in the rear has also been improved considerably, although headroom back there still remains a little on the tight side for taller passengers. The middle seat is wide enough to fit a third passenger quite comfortably but a large transmission tunnel means they won’t have anywhere to put their feet. So really it’s better suited to two, but three children should be fine and there are Isofix anchors for childseats.

Equipment and Safety

The safety features don’t end there and Honda have fitted an impressive list of driver assistance systems to all Civics as standard.

This includes some pretty high-tech features like Lane departure Warning, Lane Keep assist, Traffic Sign Recognition and Active cruise control. These are things you’d quite often have to go up a trim or two for even on a premium model.

We reckon Honda should get a pat on the back for this for recognising that safety is for everyone and should never be budget-dependant. Surprisingly enough, that wasn’t enough to earn it full marks on the NCAP safety test and under the stringent new rules, the Civic earned a (still respectable) four star rating.

Other standard kit on the entry level Smart model includes 16 inch alloy wheels, Climate Control, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, parking sensors, and steering wheel mounted controls.

The popular Smart Plus adds Honda Connect with Satellite Navigation, a reversing camera, rain sensing window wipers, and a leather covered steering wheel and gearstick. Other styling upgrades include larger wheels and full LED head and fog lights.

Performance & Running Costs

Also all-new is the engine line-up, and as the shift away from diesel continues, the new Civic is at present a petrol-only model. You can choose between a 1.5l 180hp turbo, or the engine of the moment  – which is the turbo-charged 127hp one-litre. This was what was under the hood of our test car, not that you would ever guess it that’s what it was – not from how it sounds, and certainly not from how powerful it feels. Of all the small but mighty turbos we’ve had to test lately, this one was the most surprisingly gutsy of them all.
Yet it still manages to match its rivals low running costs with a claimed fuel economy of 4.8 l per 100km and an annual motortax bill of just €200.
It’s also a really fun car to drive, with a great low down sporty feel, and a slick, responsive gearshift. The stiff body gives it a great planted feel on the corners and bends, while the independent rear suspension makes sure it stays comfortable over rough surfaces. If it’s a fun and sporty drive that you’re after that still feels somehow reassuringly safe and familiar, then the Civic should absolutely be on your shortlist for a test drive.

Reliability & Residuals

The new Honda Civic has immediately become a CarsIreland.ie favourite in this segment. It manages to bring an exciting mixture of style and efficiency to the market, without  bringing with that any worries about quality or reliability.

Honda can stand over a great reputation there, which will in turn will help to preserve your resale value. Fun and funky, yet solid and sensible – the Civic proves you can sometimes be all things to all people.

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