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Impressive one-litre Civic

Created on 07/11/2017 @ 10:45

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

It’s not easy explaining the virtues of the one-litre engine to people. The dazed looks on the faces of those I rant on endlessly to are something to behold.

The answer Is you simply have to enjoy the experience yourself to appreciate just how far technology has come and the Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC Turbo in CVT automatic format is the ideal opportunity.

This 10th generation of the Civic has been engineered from the ground up with a lightweight, and rigid bodyshell and a new suspension system contributing directly to an engaging and fun driving experience.

It’s a big step forward for Honda in the C-Segment and probably represents the largest single model development programme in the company’s history – and there’s plenty of history in this family.

The Civic is a core model for Honda in Europe and has been at the heart of the brand’s sales and manufacturing heritage. For many European customers the Civic is synonymous with the Honda brand and the development team targeted a dynamic rejuvenation of Civic.

This Civic hatchback is the first model in Europe to offer Honda’s 1.0 litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine, deigned to supply the performance to match the car’s sporty appearance – but with impressive economy figures too.

Maximum torque of 180 Nm is available with the CVT between 1,700 rpm and 4,500 rpm. Maximum power is 129 PS (95 kW) at 5,500 rpm. Yet Honda still claim combined fuel performance figures of 56.5mpg.

I managed closer to 45mpg, though that may of course be down to my heavy right foot because I loved the sound of the three-cylinder engine roaring through the cabin when asked for that little bit extra. Not refined enough for some - perhaps.

There was an impressive top speed of 124mph however, alongside 0-62mph in 11 seconds as well as C02 emission figures of just 114g/km.

Wider, longer, and lower than any of its predecessors, this Civic has short overhangs and taut lines that reference the high levels of aerodynamic efficiency. There’s a sharp and aggressive face, pronounced wheel-arches, whie sculpted front and rear intakes hint at the Civic’s sporting character.

A lightweight, yet rigid bodyshell complements the lower centre of gravity and the new suspension system in contributing directly to an engaging and fun driving experience.

There’s room for four on board but it’s a bit tight in the back and the taller ones need to keep their heads down when getting in, while there is a surprising amount of boot-space – the biggest in class in fact.

It’s also easy to access thanks to a low loading lip, wide boot-lid and a smart load cover which slides from side to side, taking up less room than the normal parcel shelf. You also won’t be disappointed by the number of storage points dotted around the cabin.

There may be changes to just about everything with this Civic but the dashboard is still unmistakeable. It’s one of the things I really like about Honda. Designers know just how to keep things simple while still incorporating a modern infotainment and connectivity system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

In front of the driver there’s a completely new instrument display layout. A seven-inch colour TFT-LCD Driver Information Interface display makes up the largest central section and includes a large digital tachometer and speedometer readout.

Integrated into the display is a large area in which the driver can switch between a variety of infotainment screens, including navigation instructions, SMS and email text display with voice activated responses, audio track information, smartphone contacts, journey trip information, and smart vehicle maintenance information.

Particularly impressive is the fact that when the driver enters the car the instrumentation illuminates progressively to give a warm welcome.

You’ll want metallic paint so the cost of the model on test is just over £25,000. That’s competitive in a sector where competition is fierce from Skoda Octavia, VW Golf, SEAT Leon and Mazda3.

And is the Civic one-litre option is not up your street there’s an impressive 1.5 option available 

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