Honda Civic (2017-present)

The new comfortable and agile Honda Civic is a big improvement on the previous model

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Most efficient petrol engine is powerful
Spacious interior
High-tech options

Weaknesses 

Some interior plastics feel cheaper than in rivals
Poor automatic option
Design won't impress everyone
Best New Discount

Honda Civic Hatchback 1.5 vtec turbo prestige 5dr cvt

Total RRP £28,585

Your quote £26,811

You Save £1,774

The brand new Honda Civic, which has just gone on sale, is being marketed with the slogan 'Dare to be different'. However, owners who are trading up from the previous model, might think that this is the most normal-looking Civic for years.

Gone is the old car's digital dashboard that showed your speed on a separate screen to your rev counter, and you now have a decent view out of the back of the car.

It all seems a bit conventional, but the most revolutionary changes have gone on underneath the metal. Stronger and lighter steel has enabled Honda to reduce the car's weight, so it feels more agile when changing direction in corners, and more sophisticated suspension means that the car will absorb bumps and smoopth out potholes much better than before.

It brings the new Civic close to the excellent Volkswagen Golf and Peugeot 308 in terms of comfort and quietness, and improves on extremely competent cars including the Vauxhall Astra and Renault Megane.

Underneath the bonnet, a new range of petrol engines bring performance and fuel economy to the Civic. Anyone used to the old Civic will find these are very different.

The older engines used technology called VTEC, which boosted power when you revved the engine. The new engines have added turbocharging, which increases power by squashing more air into the engine. It means that you no longer need to push hard on the accelerator to get a burst of speed: there's plenty of power available without having to rev them. Diesel models will arrive later this year.

Inside, the Civic is more straightforward than the previous model, with one display behind the steering wheel for crucial information. More expensive models get a large digital display in the dashboard too. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto software gives you the option of replicating part of your phone's display on the dashboard, so it can be operated legally.

However, the interior isn't as clear and simple as a Vauxhall Astra or Mazda 3, there are still a bewildering number of plastics (some rough to the touch).

In the back, the car's swooping roof affects the amount of headroom that rear passengers have.

Compared to other family hatchbacks, the Civic is among the best, but that's not the car's only competition. A starting price of £18,235 - before any discounts - is £2,000 more than the cheapest Astra, and close to the price of some crossovers, including the Renault Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai. These cars offer a similar level of comfort to hatchbacks, but also a higher driving position and extra interior space.

Last Updated 

Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 13:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
478 litres
Width: 
1799mm
Length: 
4518mm
Height: 
1434mm

Best Honda Civic for... 

Honda Civic 1.0-litre VTEC SE
The entry-level model comes well equipped and the tiny three-cylinder engine is the cheapest in the range to tax and run.
Honda Civic 1.5-litre VTEC Sport Plus CVT
The more powerful 1.5-litre engine copes better when the Civic is fully laden, while the CVT gearbox is very easy to live with day-to-day. As long as you don't require scintillating performance.
Honda Civic 1.5-litre VTEC Prestige
The larger capacity engine is naturally the more potent, while the Prestige trim adds improved suspension, so you can select driving modes to suit your mood and the road.
Honda Civic 1.0-litre VTEC EX CVT
The three-cylinder engine simply doesn't work as well with the CVT gearbox and this top-spec model gets expensive.

Honda Civic History 

  • March 2017 The latest verison of the Honda Civic goes on sale

Understanding Honda Civic car names 

  • Civic
  • Trim level
    SE
  • Engine
    1-litre VTEC
  • Gearbox
    6-speed manual
  • Trim level
    There are a perplexing seven trim variants in total, with the smaller 1.0-litre engine offered in S, SE, SR, and EX trim levels. The larger 1.5-litre petrol engine is available in Sport, Sport Plus and Prestige lines. Body style: The estate version of old has been dropped and the new Civic is currently only available in five-door hatch style.
  • Engine
    Just two turbocharged petrol engines are available at launch and these are labelled VTEC. A diesel will follow shortly after.
  • Gearbox
    6-speed shows that the car has six gears, while a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) indicates an automatic car

Honda Civic Engines 

1.0-litre and 1.5-litre

The trend for making engines smaller and turbocharging them and hasn't escaped Honda. The result is a new, small 1-litre engine that's impressively responsive - with plenty of power as soon as you press the acclerator. It also sounds sporty, with a pleasing thrum that's emitted from the tailpipes under hard acceleration.

You do have to make sure that it's in the right gear for maximum power, which can help to add to the driving fun, particularly if you like to zoom along B-roads, second-guessing the best gear for the next corner. 

The larger 1.5-litre petrol is better suited to longer journeys and those looking to transport bulky items, as the additional torque helps with acceleration and pulling power, while it tends to sit at lower revs at motorway speeds, further reducing the pesky engine noise that can leak into the cabin.

Diesel fans will have to wait for an engine to arrive after launch in March, while a ferocious Civic Type-R model is also due in December and it will boast a powerful petrol engine.

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

0 - 62mph

Top speed

1.0-litre 

Petrol

60.1mpg

127bhp

10.2s

126mph

1.5-litre

Petrol

49mpg

180bhp

8.2s

137mph

Honda Civic Trims 

S, SE, SR, EX, Sport, Sport Plus and Prestige

Seeing as new Civic doesn't actually hit showrooms until March, there will be some movement on the standard kit available across the range but we do know that even basic models come well equipped.

With regards to the 1.0-litre petrol engine models, the entry-level S grade is generously specified, and includes automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control and the Honda SENSING suite of advanced active safety technologies.

This standard Active Safety Package includes a Collision Mitigation System, which helps to bring the car to a stop if the system determines that a collision with a vehicle detected in front is unavoidable.

Plus, there is a Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition and Road Departure Mitigation, which detects if the car is leaving its lane and gently applies some steering to counteract this.

However, entry level S grade isn't likely to be the most popular model, with customers expected to plump for the slightly better equipped trim levels.

As such, SE and SR receive heated front seats, heated door mirrors, an eight-speaker audio system, 16-inch alloy wheels and air conditioning.

SR models go further still and benefit from the larger-screened Honda Connect 2 infotainment suite, 17-inch alloys, front and rear parking sensors, rear parking camera and dual-zone air conditioning.

Top spec EX models feature LED front headlamp clusters, smart keyless entry and start, power tilt panoramic sunroof, and premium audio system (11 speakers with 465 watts output). EX models are also fitted with the Dynamic Damper Control system.

There's also an EX 'Tech Pack' option, which adds LED headlights and fog lights, the wireless charging pad and rear heated seats for a price.

Trim levels for 1.5-litre petrol models differ slightly and begin with Sport models, which come generously equipped with 17-inch alloys, front and rear parking sensors, rear parking camera, the Honda Connect 2 infotainment suite, dual zone air conditioning, LED headlamp clusters, twin centre exhaust outlets and a sports body kit that includes a chin spoiler, rear bumper flourishes and side skirts.

Sport Plus models add power tilt panoramic sunroof, Dynamic Damper Control, the premium audio system, smart keyless entry and start, and a wireless charging pad in the centre console for compatible smartphones.

The Prestige grade builds on the Sport grade (excluding twin centre exhaust outlets and sports body kit), adding chrome front grille and door handle finishes, leather upholstery and heated rear seats.

Unfortunately, Honda insists on using a Garmin satellite navigation system that looks clunky and isn't as user-friendly as the more premium, in-house offerings from the likes of VW, Skoda et al.

Honda Civic Reliability and warranty 

Honda offers a fairly standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty on all of its cars but the manufacturer has traditionally performed well in terms of reliability.

The previous generation Honda Civic sat towards the top of the overall scores table in the 2016 Auto Express Driver Power survey and scored an impressive seventh place out of 200 in the reliability stakes.

Build quality of Hondas is generally good, running costs are cheap and it loses value at a slow rate, compared with rivals, which help keps the cost of owning or financing the car low.

Honda Civic Prices

Honda Civic Prestige

1.5 vtec turbo prestige 5dr cvt

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 46.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £26,811

You could save up to: £1774

Honda Civic Sport

1.5 vtec turbo sport 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 48.7mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,052

You could save up to: £1483

1.5 vtec turbo sport 5dr cvt

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 46.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £23,382

You could save up to: £1593

Honda Civic Sport Plus

1.5 vtec turbo sport plus 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 48.7mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £24,774

You could save up to: £1626

1.5 vtec turbo sport plus 5dr cvt

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 46.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £26,099

You could save up to: £1736

Other Editions