A roomy and entertaining drive fit for a family? It sounds a lot like a Honda Civic saloon…
By motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay – Instagram @tbarnesclay and Twitter @carwriteups.
With the abundance of SUVs and crossovers, the saloon car market is diminishing. But that hasn’t put Honda off ushering in a four-door Civic into Britain.
The saloon is attractive and reminiscent of the handsome Honda Accord that, sadly, was dropped from the UK due to slow sales.
The four-door Civic’s boot is usefully bigger than the more commonplace Civic hatchbacks: it has 519 litres of cargo capacity compared with the five-door hatch’s 478 litres. And inside, the saloon is virtually the same as the regular Civic, with excellent room front and back. The driving position is on the money, too, as there’s good visibility and a lot of adjustability in the seat and steering wheel.
Over here, the Honda Civic saloon is available with petrol or diesel power, accompanied by a standard six-speed manual gearbox. There is an automatic option on both models, though.
I drove the mid-level SR trim, which comes with a handy seven-inch infotainment touchscreen. The system is easy to use and supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.
Over blemished blacktop, the harshness of the Civic saloon’s suspension makes itself known. Also, it isn’t the quietest of cars, especially at motorway speed. Mind you, I drove the diesel for this review – and its engine does like to make itself heard. The oil-burner pulls well, though, and has enough low-down grunt for swift overtaking.
What’s more, the chassis is responsive and the steering is sharp. Then there’s the clear-cut and rewarding gear shift action. These characteristics position the Civic among the more ‘engaging’ group of family saloons available in the UK.
Safety-wise, Honda kits all four-door Civics with its ‘Sensing’ assemblage of driver assistance features. These include lane keep assist, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.
The Civic saloon does cost a little more than the hatchback, but it’s worth it for the looks alone. And in diesel guise, the car is extremely efficient, with enough clout to make it an entertaining drive.
Fast Facts (Honda Civic saloon 1.6 i-DTEC SR – as tested):
- Max speed: 125mph
- 0-62 mph: 10.0 seconds
- Combined mpg: 83.1
- Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder diesel
- Max. power (ps): 120
- CO2: 91g/km
- Price: £22,590