- Decent standard equipment
- Smooth engines
- Interesting styling
- Competition is strong
- Not exactly fun to drive
- Rear visibility is poor
What's the Honda Civic like?
Honda's cars have been at least good-looking and at best sharply beautiful down the years, and the most recent series of Civics were a revelation of shark-like style.
As with all Honda models, the British-built Civics have an excellent reputation for build quality and reliability, but they retain more value than some rivals when used and so are usually more expensive.
However, the extra cost is worthwhile because you get a car that drives beautifully in petrol or diesel forms, with very willing engines giving fair to excellent performance.
In the range built between 2011 and 2017, the Civic was available with 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre petrol engines, but the 1.4-litre is a tad under-powered for its weight, only managing the 0 to 60mph sprint in around 13.0 seconds and giving only slightly better economy than the 1.8-litre.
The larger unit does the 0 to 60mph sprint in a very good 8.8 seconds with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and can reach over 45mpg with careful driving.
That acceleration is as quick as some hot hatches a few years ago and if you use the engine’s excellently smooth and willing top end power, overall performance is very good.
There are also two diesels – a 1.6-litre with 120bhp and a 2.2-litre with 147bhp. Both are very economical as you'd expect but perhaps surprisingly, they're also very smooth and quiet.
The 1.6-litre averages more than 70mpg – and it still offers fairly good performance, covering the 0 to 60mph sprint in around 10.2 seconds.
The 2.2-litre can still return 60mpg, and covers the 0 to 60mph acceleration in around 8.2 seconds, making it the fastest model in the range.
Road-holding and handling in both 5-door hatch and Tourer estate are superb, with tremendous grip and excellent informative steering.
But, the ride can be unsettled at times and uncomfortable on really poor surfaces.
Equipment and Practicality
The driver has excellent seat and column adjustment and all come with climate, MP3 connection, split-fold rear seats, traction and stability control and an alarm.
The beautiful sweeping lines mean rear headroom is on the low side and the rear window spoiler compromises rearward vision for some drivers. There were no less than 15 different models over the period this model was produced, but some of them were added value special editions.
Entry level S models, which were earlier called SE, have alloy wheels, day running lights, alarm, tyre deflation warning, climate, USB and aux, electric windows and heated electric mirrors, hill start assist and stability control.
The SE Plus adds a leather covered steering wheel, cruise, retractable mirrors, and a rear parking camera with sensors front and rear.
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If you're in the market for a decent and reliable hatchback, then the Honda Civic is well worth a look. With plenty of practicality and plenty of engine choice, the Honda Civic makes a great used buy.