Civic Review - An insight into the UK's family car

The Honda Civic is a trust-worthy, well-know and reliable family car. It has always been noticeable for its bold design along with an extremely practical interior. They may be slightly more expensive to run than cars like a typical Vauxhall Astra but there is no compromise with the build quality or driving experience – not to mention the track day monster Civic Type R.

The interior comes with mostly soft rubber, leather, or plastics for the touch elements alongside some harder plastic buttons and dashboard trims. This give it a slightly upmarket feel but does not completely reach into the ‘premium brand’ segment. All but basic S and SE models come with a glossy seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard. Although it may not be the outstanding leader for infotainment systems the Civic has a more than adequate unit for motoring needs; including DAB radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Sat-Nav (on selected models).

The Honda Civic’s seats are soft, supportive and come with plenty of adjustment to help you get comfy if you’re tall, but you can’t get adjustable lumbar support to help stave off back ache on long journeys on entry-level S models. The back seats are nicely padded and quality is good. Thankfully, leg and knee room are excellent and there’s almost as much space for three adults to sit abreast.

The bold design makes the Honda Civic stand out from your usual Hatchback, with its sharp lines and sleek shape there is a balance between practicality and the 'sporty' look. Somehow Honda have managed to create such a stylish looking vehicle without losing and of the day-today functions you need from a car.

The Honda Civic’s boot is pretty generous, too. With all five seats in place you can squeeze in 478 litres of luggage – 108 litres more than an most competitors and easily enough for a bulky baby buggy and some large soft bags.

Features such as the retractable boot lining shelf can be opened for room underneath for any extra luggage you may want to carry. It has been known to keep 'motoring' type kits (inflation kits/winter de-icer...etc) in here as they can be stowed without interfering with the boot space on top of the shelf.

You also get a uniquely designed parcel shelf. The parcel shelf now comes in a removable pod which can be used on either the left- hand side fitted (as shown in the photograph), on the right-hand side, or completely removed.

These design features have not only been thought out cleverly by designers but they have been engineered in a sophisticated but highly practical way. Top marks for the boot.

Flip the back seats down (which you can do in a 60:40 two-way split to carry up to two passengers and long luggage at once) and the Honda Civic’s boot grows to 1,267 litres.

Don’t let the latest Civic’s boy-racer looks fool you – this is a comfortable, practical family car that’ll be perfectly happy on the school run.

You can get the Honda Civic with two petrol engines and with either a manual or CVT automatic gearbox. The 1.0-litre petrol (that’ll return around 45mpg compared to Honda’s claimed 55.4mpg) is best suited to pottering around town while the quicker 1.5-litre model is a much better bet if you take in a mix of town and motorway driving. It will return near-identical real-world fuel economy.

The 1.5-litre Petrol (182bph) is faster than the 1.0-litre version (it can accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds compared to 10.2 seconds) but it’s smoother and can return almost identical fuel economy – go easy on the accelerator and it’ll easily manage 44mpg.

You’ll want to consider a 1.6-litre diesel Honda Civic instead if you do lots of long journeys. This 120bhp Civic will accelerate from 0-62mph in a respectable 9.8 seconds but easily outstrips the petrol's in the fuel economy stakes. Honda claims it’ll return 80.7mpg but even in normal driving conditions you can expect to see a figure in the high sixties.

All Honda Civic models are reasonably comfortable over bumps but EX cars and above come with an adaptive suspension system as standard that really helps iron out potholes. It has a good balance between being comfortable and feeling sporty to drive. The Honda Civic scored four star in the strict 2017 Euro NCAP crash tests thanks to its wide range of standard safety kit.

Even entry-level Honda Civic cars get adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and a system that’ll automatically stop the car if it senses an obstacle in the road ahead. The Honda Civic’s certainly worth considering if you’re looking for a practical family car that’s comfortable and sporty to drive but it is slightly more expensive than some other very capable alternatives.

High-spec EX models are well worth paying a little extra for. They come with heated leather front seats, an upgraded 11-speaker stereo system with DAB digital radio and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.

You also get adjustable lumbar support for the front passenger seat to reduce backache on long drives, a panoramic glass roof, wireless smartphone charging, 17-inch alloy wheels and adaptive suspension (which helps make the Civic as comfortable to drive as possible).

Overall, the Honda Civic is an excellent all-round car, whether it be for travelling up and down the country or family holidays, or just pottering around town. If you are in the market at the moment this would definitely be one to consider.