Honda Civic Hatchback (12 on) - Review

Review by Tim Bowdler on
Last Updated: 27 Mar 2014
3.5
The Honda Civic has been around for a very long time: the first generation was launched in 1972 and since then there have been all manner of iterations that Honda has pet names for. The 1983 model is known as the 'Wonder Civic', and one wonders why, and then there's the 1995 'Miracle Civic' that prompts more vigorous head scratching.

Honda Civic Hatchback (12 on)
  • Cavernous boot
  • Lever rear-seat folding system
  • Comfortable ride
  • Economical diesel
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Pricey when compared with rivals
  • Uninspiring driving experience

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Summary

Parkers Rating:

3.5 out of 5

The Honda Civic has been around for a very long time: the first generation was launched in 1972 and since then there have been all manner of iterations that Honda has pet names for. The 1983 model is known as the 'Wonder Civic', and one wonders why, and then there's the 1995 'Miracle Civic' that prompts more vigorous head scratching.

Thankfully, by the time you get to the 'Revolution Civic' launched in 2006 there's some justification because it really did represent a major departure from the previous, rather dull versions. It had triangular exhaust pipes, out-there styling and a rather annoying rear spoiler that spoiled the view out of the back, but it was undoubtedly unconventional. Yes, it's hyperbole to compare it to a major social uprising, but the moniker makes some sort of sense when you consider its stand-out exterior lines and quirky dashboard layout.

More subdued styling

So now there's the ninth generation Civic that's not quite so radical. At first glance not that much has changed. Yes, it's still got a spoiler that serves to ruin the rear view, but Honda tells us that under the spoilered skin this is, in fact, a revolution that'll take the Civic into the big league.

Excellent interior space

One of the Civic’s strong points is practicality. The boot is far bigger than its competitors’ and there’s loads of room inside thanks to what Honda calls ‘Magic Seats’. These can fold in a clever range of combinations, freeing up plenty of space for transporting large items.

The Civic has been awarded a five-star EuroNCAP rating thanks to its plethora of safety equipment including adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation – which applies the brakes if it thinks you’re about to crash.

Two petrol and two diesel engines

There’s a choice of four engines, two petrol and two diesel. Petrol options are a 1.4-litre or a 1.8-litre engine, available with either a manual or automatic gearbox.

Top diesel is a highly-refined 2.2-litre diesel engine that offers excellent efficiency figures for low running costs. A smaller and even more efficient 1.6-litre diesel is available too, with emissions well below the 100g/km mark for ultra-low tax costs.

It’s up against some accomplished rivals, including the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra, but the Civic is a capable car that offers a very real alternative. To find out more, read on for our full Honda Civic review.

Parkers Ratings

Overall

3.5 out of 5

Performance

3.5 out of 5

Handling

3.5 out of 5

Comfort

4 out of 5

Practicality

4 out of 5

Behind the wheel

3 out of 5

Safety

4 out of 5

Reliability

5 out of 5

Running costs

4.5 out of 5

Green credentials

4.5 out of 5

Buying new

3 out of 5

Buying used

3 out of 5

Selling

4 out of 5

Equipment

3.5 out of 5

What owners say...

 Adjustable rear seats, huge boot, i-DTec engine pulls like a bulldozer and sips fuel.  

5 out of 5

Jim Ahern ,   09 Jul 2014    ... read more

 The boot is cavernous for the size of vehicle and the magic seats are also clever.  

5 out of 5

Christopher Turner ,   19 May 2013    ... read more

 Has the largest boot space in its class. Easy access.  

5 out of 5

Dave McGee ,   30 Apr 2012    ... read more

See all Owners' Reviews

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