Honda Civic EX a family car that’s a standout for all the right reasons

The Civic handles extremely well.

Mention the Honda Civic and most people who know their cars will immediately start talking about the iconic Type R. For those who don’t know their Hondas, that’s the bonkers one with the mad spoiler on the back. There are a couple of other less bonkers versions, but also a very decent array of more workaday models that still offer great performance.
Most of the ‘standard’ range use a 1.0-litre four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with either manual or CVT automatic transmission. My EX mid-range Civic utilised the 1.0-litre with CVT transmission.
With six trim levels, the top two use a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol unit, prices start from €27,072/£22,590 and there’s a decent level of standard equipment even on the lead-in version. This includes climate, auto lights and wipers, powered and heated door mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise and Bluetooth.
Priced at €34,111/£28,465 my EX trim had heated front and rear seats, keyless entry and start, adaptive damping, wireless charging, leather, auto dimming mirror, panoramic opening glass roof and LED headlights.
The Civic is a bit of a marmite car on the looks front with lots of angles and an overtly muscular style. There’s plenty of space for both occupants plus their luggage and provides a very comfortable environment. Previous Civics had a rather eccentric dash with two levels, things are more ordered now, and much better for it. It’s sensibly laid out without the rather minimalist, arguably boring, look of some rivals.
The central touchscreen is a little on the small side but even so is clear and the instruments as a whole, and the driver instrument cluster with a central digital speedometer is a lesson in clarity. Try and find the phone USB socket though and you’ll struggle, it’s too well hidden behind the centre console and a bit too much of a faff to reach.
Predictably the Civic handles extremely well and the seven-speed CVT automatic transmission is a smooth and quick shifting affair, one of the better CVTs. Road noise can be quite loud on rougher surfaces and if you push the Civic it has a suitably sporting engine note.
With striking looks, decent equipment and a good drive, not to mention my test car being in a rather striking shade of blue, makes the Civic an ordinary family car that is different to the norm, a standout for all the right reasons.
Facts at a Glance

  • Model: Honda Civic EX CVT
  • Engine: 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol
  • Gears: 7-Speed CVT automatic
  • Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 11 seconds/Maximum Speed 199 kmh (124 mph)
  • Economy: 6.6l/100km (42.2 mpg) Combined driving (WLTP)
  • Emissions: 107 g/km (WLTP)

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.

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