Road test with Mark Slack: Honda Civic e:HEV Hybrid – a clean start

Road test with Mark Slack: Honda Civic e:HEV Hybrid - a clean start

Road test with Mark Slack: Honda Civic e:HEV Hybrid - a clean start. Image - Honda

HONDA’S Civic has been celebrating its 50th year and 11th generation as one of the Japanese carmaker’s most iconic models.

As with most cars, from all manufacturers, the rise of the SUV means that hatchbacks are not as popular as they once were, but the Civic remains a clever and different choice.

In its newest form, and with hybrid power, it still possesses the quality build for which Honda has become renowned. The carmaker has taken an evolutionary rather than revolutionary approach to evolving the Civic’s design.

Externally it’s a cleaner and more svelte, less fussy-looking car, while inside there is a clear and simple dash layout that involves buttons in addition to the now seemingly obligatory digitisation.

Prices start from €33,750/£29,595 and peak at €37,627/£32,995, and the entry-level model comes with a plethora of standard equipment ranging from heated front seats and keyless start and go through to intelligent cruise control and high beam headlight assist. It’s a fulsome list!

Three trim levels are all powered by a single engine choice of a 2.0‐litre petrol unit that comes with hybrid power to deliver 184PS with the benchmark 62 mph passed in under eight seconds and 60mpg, along with low emissions. The unit is mated to an e‐CVT automatic gearbox and this type of transmission has a characteristic of the engine revs rising significantly while you wait for your speed to catch up. It’s down to a certain way of driving to get a less vocal performance, but the new Civic has a clever gearbox that’s primed to drop the revs as would happen in a normal gear change. This leads to a more refined performance on the transmission front.

On the road, the aforementioned gearbox is a huge improvement on not just Honda’s previous efforts but on most other examples of this kind of gearbox. It handles well, as you might expect from a Civic, and has super smooth transitions between petrol and electric power. Being a self-charging hybrid it alleviates any range or charging worries and for this writer the best way to dip your tyres into the world of EV motoring.

If you need your motoring to offer space and practicality to ferry the family, but want something more interesting, a bit of a different and a more intelligent choice, then the Civic Hybrid could well be the transport for you.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Honda Civic e:HEV

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol/electric hybrid – 184PS

Gears: e-CVT automatic

Performance: 0-100 kph (62 mph) Petrol 7.8 secs

Maximum Speed Petrol 210 kph (111 mph)

Economy: Petrol 4.7 l/100km (60.1

mpg) WLTP

Emissions: 108g/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.