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Honda's diesel Civic bucks the trend

Created on 01/05/2019 @ 20:12

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

Diesel has become the dirty word of the motoring industry but you would question what all the fuss is about once behind the wheel of the 10th generation Honda Civic.

What happened to the days when diesel was being championed as the solution to all our environmental problems and prices were crashing at the pumps?

Once we were encouraged by tax breaks and forecourt deals but now at every turn diesel power is being castigated as the dirty and noxious option.

We’ve been driving the 1.6 litre, four-cylinder diesel Civic which has been given the same extensive updates that were introduced to the petrol range including a new platform and revised suspension to ensure a more agile driving experience.

The 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine has been completely revised with new steel pistons reducing friction in the block and a new turbocharger. The result means impressive performance figures with Honda claiming 80.7mpg on the combined cycle – a figure we failed to match on test though.

Add a top speed of 125mph, 0-62mph in 10 seconds and all-important CO2 emission figures of just 93g/km on the manual and 109 on the automatic version and you start to wonder what all the fuss about diesel really is.

There’s a typically Honda cockpit with all the technology we’ve come to accept as normal and while there’s loads of room up front we remain unconvinced by claims of a spacious rear seat area and rear vision remains a real issue for the driver.

The Civic gets Honda Sensing as standard offering a suite of safety features using camera and radar technology such as collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and cruise control to keep all on board safe.

The 1.6 i-DTEC EX on test came with heated front and rear seats, smart entry and start, leather interior, blindspot information, cross-traffic monitor, passenger seat lumbar adjustment, all-round adaptive damping, Wireless charging, LED fogs and LED headlights with washers.

The Civic looks the part on 17-inch alloys and has dual zone climate control, a rear parking camera, rain sensing wipers, heated power folding door mirrors, leather steering wheel and gear shift, alloy pedals, privacy glass and interior alarm system.

You also get all round parking sensors, climate control, body coloured door handles and mirrors, electric parking brake, brake hold, handling assist, dusk sensing lights, Bluetooth idle stop and shift indicator lights.

Despite the diesel issues Honda still expect this model to account for 30% of Civic sales and it’s a comfortable option and at £26,620 is well matched against Ford Focus and SEAT Leon in this sector.

That 30% figure might prove too high a prediction with more and more buyers now choosing to head down the petrol route. Time will tell.


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