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Is the compact saloon making a comeback?

PROS

  • Same daring styling as the Civic Hatchback
  • Build quality should be excellent
  • Interior should be as roomy as the five-door’s

CONS

  • Limited engine range
  • Type R Saloon doubtful
  • Prices, kit levels to be revealed

Verdict

2018 Honda Civic Saloon - Smaller range than the hatchback, but upmarket intent and striking fastback profile has appeal

If you’re one of that seemingly small pocket of car buyers who laments the rise in SUV popularity and yearns for a more traditional motoring landscape, then rejoice: this is the Honda Civic Saloon.

Booted, four-door versions of medium-sized family hatchbacks have fallen out of favour over the past decade, meaning fewer manufacturers bother offering them to British buyers.

Highlighting the point, the Civic Saloon has few direct rivals: the Mazda 3 Fastback is the most obvious alternative, but beyond that you’ve got the more upmarket Audi A3 Saloon and Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon, the latter of which arrives in the UK in early 2019.

What exactly is the Honda Civic Saloon?

Honda has sold several generations of Civic Saloon in the UK before, the most recent iterations exclusively in fuel-efficient petrol-electric hybrid form.

This time around it’s different: gone is the more obvious separate boot shape, exchanged for a much more elegant four-door coupe profile, with more continuous line tapering from the roof down to the tail lights.

Honda Civic Saloon rear three-quarter static

The effect is that when viewed from a front three-quarter angle the new Civic Saloon is barely distinguishable from its five-door Civic Hatchback counterpart.

Which engines will the Honda Civic Saloon have?

It’s a limited range of engine and gearbox permutations for the four-door version compared with the Civic Hatchback, with one petrol powerplant offered as the alternative to the diesel.

Petrol fans are served by the 1.0-litre i-VTEC turbo, available with a manual or CVT automatic transmission, while the turbocharged 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel – with the option of a manual or nine-speed automatic gearbox – is the other choice.

Performance and efficiency figures are yet to be revealed, but we don’t expect them to stray too far from those of the similarly sized five-door Civic.

In fact, the primary difference between the Civic Saloon and the Hatchback is that the former will be imported from Turkey; the latter is built in the UK at Honda’s factory in Swindon.

Does this mean there won’t be a Honda Civic Type R Saloon?

There’s no official word on a Civic Type R Saloon being on the horizon, but although improbable, it’s certainly not impossible.

Honda Civic Saloon rear three-quarter static

Type R versions of previous-generation Civic Saloons have been sold in Japan and other selected markets, and while Audi sells the high-performance RS 3 Saloon – with Mercedes expected to add an AMG A 45 Saloon in due course – it’d be remiss of Honda to completely rule out the possibility.

How much will the Honda Civic Saloon cost?

Honda has so far been coy on both how much the Civic Saloon will cost and the trim levels it will be available with.

While prices aren’t going to significantly deviate from the Civic Hatchback’s, it could be that Honda decides to pitch the four-door version more upmarket and only offer it in the more generous specification levels.

Expect levels of equipment and build quality to be excellent, although if the Civic Hatch is anything to go by, the interior plastics won’t be a tactile delight.

Honda Civic Saloon rear three-quarter static

Prices, performance, efficiency and equipment details are expected to be confirmed in advance of the Civic Saloon making its showroom debut in August 2018, so keep checking this page for the latest information.

Parkers will be among the first to drive this more traditional take on a family car, so check back with us soon for the full Honda Civic Saloon review

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