|Tuesday, December 11, 2018
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Honda hatches a Civic saloon 

THERE is a wide range of hatchbacks on offer in the UK and these include Honda’s impressive Civic.

And there’s probably at least a generation of drivers out there who haven’t owned anything other than a hatchback.

But if you fancy a bit of a change then Honda has just provided it – a new four-door saloon Civic.

It doesn’t just look like a Civic hatchback with a new rear stuck on it.

The new arrival is a stylish compact saloon with its sloping roofline leading to an attractive rear end.

It has a sleek, sporting stance and the Sporty Blue coloured model I sampled looks much better in real life than in pictures.

Spec levels are the same as the hatchback with SE, SR and EX trims available.

Standard items are impressive with entry level grade SE coming with Honda SENSING suite of safety features, collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.

The petrol CVT and diesel automatic both come with low speed following.

SR grade adds rain sensing auto wipers, dual climate control air conditioning, parking sensors and Honda CONNECT (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and a rear parking camera.

The EX trim adds leather seats, smart entry and start, LED headlights with washers, LED fog lights, wireless phone charging and heated rear seats.

On-the-road prices start at £19,395 and my model was a 1.6i-DTEC SR costing £23,115.

There’s also a 1.0-litre 126ps turbo petrol engine available with six-speed manual or CVT auto transmission.

I liked the 120ps diesel power unit in the saloon I sampled with a six-speed manual box and also tested out the new nine-speed auto that is also available with this engine.

The saloon moved smartly out of the blocks with a zero to 62mph time of 10 seconds and was never too noisy.

And it doesn’t let you down for mid-range power with fast acceleration when needed.

The slick manual transmission works well with this engine, moving sweetly up and down as driving speeds varied on my test route.

There is good all-round vision and the driver’s seat comfort was ideal, assisted by its lumber support.

The smart, bright interior offers lots of space up front and plenty of leg and headroom in the rear.

You gain a little room with the saloon’s boot – 519 litres compared to the hatchback’s 478 litres.

I sampled the new nine-speed auto transmission in an equally stylish Rallye Red coloured SR hatchback model priced at £23,115.

With the same engine under the bonnet, it offers the same top speed of 125mph and 10 seconds sprint to reach 62mph.

The hatch did feel a little bit sharper in cornering but both models displayed good grip and agility when tackling bends at speed.

Response from the auto box was impressive with instant power on demand and I could quite easily be tempted by this in the hatch or saloon.

Ride comfort was good in both models, going over potholes smoothly, and cruising quietly with little engine, road or wind noise at motorway speeds.

This engine also provides excellent fuel consumption figures with its manual and auto transmissions.

The manual saloon figures are 80.7mpg urban, 83.1mpg extra urban and 83.1mpg combined.

And the hatchback auto is capable of 60.1mpg urban, 74.3mpg extra urban and 68.9mpg combined.

The new Honda Civic stable is now complete and whatever you’re choice is I reckon you’ll by buying a super little saloon or hatchback.