The new Honda Civic sedan isn’t far off – but we’ll be waiting a little longer for the new hatch.
Sales have slowed with just over 4300 Civic hatch and sedans sold last year compared to segment leader the Toyota Corolla with more than 42,000.
There’s no denying the Civic hatch is starting to show its age and needs a makeover. The new one, unveiled at the Geneva motor show looks great.
But the Civic carves its own path and still stands out compared to the relatively conservative styling of many of its competitors.
This is the entry level VTi-S the next step up is the VTi-L then the top spec VTi-LN.
It’s sporty looking thing - with that signature sharply angled bonnet – almost exactly in line with the windscreen, LED daytime running lights and halogen headlights and the integrated spoiler at the rear.
In the boot you’ve got 400-litres of space, and the rear seats are 60:40 fold, of course there’s Honda’s magic seat system which allows you to configure the space in multiple ways.
It’s quite comfortable in the back seat here but legroom isn’t great.
Up the front everything feels like it’s made with quality materials and it’s nicely finished.
It’s got a bit of a unique centre stack and instrument cluster combination. The layout is different to a lot of other cars and it takes a bit of getting used to.
It has a seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, MP4 movie player.
The Honda Civic hatch’s all get the same engine with the same outputs.
A 1.8 litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 104kW and 174Nm… you need to rev it to get anything out of it.
There’s a five-speed automatic transmission across all trim levels – which we have here. But you can only get a six-speed manual in the base model.
It can be sluggish off the line – with throttle response feeling a little doughy particularly in normal or eco mode. Pop it into sport and use the paddle shifters if you want to get something out of it.
The suspension is composed, not too soft and bouncy yet firm enough to handle little bumps and big bumps.
Watch the front end though over things like speed bumps, it is a little low.
Visibility through the front and sides is good – but that spoiler thing can hamper rear visibility as does the heavy c-pillar. With the reversing camera it’s still easy to park though – no sensors but you can add option in rear sensors if you want.
Fuel economy is a claimed 6.6-litres per 100km, you’ll get close to that if you don’t rev it to the limit all the time.
There have been some welcome additions to the Honda Civic hatch, particularly things like the standard touchscreen in this the base model.
It’s a great option for a small car, showing its age in some areas but a standout in others.