Mark Slack – Road Test

Photocredit Honda

Honda Civic e:HEV – styling substance

There are many cars that have been in the sales lists for years, even decades. Cars such as the Fiesta, Corsa and Golf. One car that is arguably overlooked though is the Honda Civic, which celebrated its 50th anniversary two years ago. When launched back in 1972 it majored on maximum economy and minimal emissions, especially with the introduction of the CVCC engine which at the time beat all comers as far as reducing emissions.

In the intervening half century the latest Civic e:HEV is still following the same theme. On a journey to the North of England my test car returned an impressive 4.76l per 100km/59.4 mpg even though I wasn’t trying to be a thrifty hypermiler. Unsurprisingly the one thing that has changed is the amount of technology, comfort and equipment that comes in every Civic.

The range starts from €41,436/£35,005 with three trim levels – Elegance, Sport and Advance – and power from a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, petrol hybrid engine. Developing 143 PS with economy, dependent upon model, ranging from 5l per 100km/56.5mpg to 4.7l per 100km/60.1mpg and CO2 at 108g/km to 113g/km. It still fulfils that original Civic aim of frugality with fuel and emissions.

Mated to two electric motors and an eCVT transmission the hybrid system shifts between pure EV, hybrid and engine without needing any input from the driver. It senses the optimum drive mode that offers zero emissions in urban environments, to performance on more open, faster roads.

On the road it’s a quiet and refined drive with nicely weighted steering and a ride that draws a near perfect line between firmness, for better body control, yet supple enough to soak up the worst of our potholed roads.

Standard fare is generous with lead-in versions having heated front seats, keyless entry and start, adaptive cruise control, Android Auto and Car Play The mid-range Sport adds such items as wireless charging and the top line Advance heated steering wheel, digital driver display and panoramic glass roof.

As one would expect from Honda the build quality is pretty near faultless and there’s a general feeling of quality throughout. Nice design touches include the honeycomb air vent across the facia.

The Civic is a car that will provide you with comfortable, reliable and well-equipped transport. It also looks the part, although styling is always subjective, and has that little bit of substance lacking in some more stylistically uniform rivals.

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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.