Our cars: Honda Civic - June

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Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC ES-T

Week ending June 28
Mileage 4950
Driven this week 450 miles


Read the full Honda Civic review

Our Honda Civic is proving to be quite adept at dealing with hundreds of motorway miles each week. Its diesel engine tends to get a bit 'droney' at higher speeds, but there's plenty of torque on offer and I never have to drop out of sixth gear to keep up with traffic in the outside lane.

As with the majority of modern cars, the Civic has an engine stop-start system that cuts the motor when you come to a halt and take your foot off the clutch pedal. This typically happens at traffic lights, but will also occur if everything grinds to a standstill (as it often does in the morning) on the M3 motorway.

The thing is, such is the nature of rush-hour traffic, I'm usually sailing along quite happily at the speed limit and then 30 seconds later I'm at a standstill with the engine off. A turbocharger benefits from a period of idling if it has been worked hard, so I can't imagine being switched off while still hot is good for its long-term prospects.

Yes, I could just keep my foot on the clutch, or press the switch that deactivates the stop-start function, but that's not something I always remember at that time of the morning.

Rob.Keenan@whatcar.com

Week ending June 21
Mileage 4500
Driven this week 142 miles


I drove the Civic to Milton Keynes for one of our Reader Test Team events. The 130-mile round trip was my first long journey in the Honda and gave me the chance to get a better feel for the car.

On my previous drives I hadn't noticed that the driver's seat and driving position were as uncomfortable as they proved to be after spending more time in the car.

After a while it felt like there was something jutting into my back. At first, I thought it was the lumbar support but our car doesn't have that so I then tried to move the seat around but couldn't get comfortable. I'm not the only person to have found it difficult to get a good driving position in the Civic. I spoke to our videographer, James, and he said that he had had the same issue.

I'll try moving things around and see if I can find a driving position that works for me.

By Matthew Burrow
Matthew.Burrow@whatcar.com


Week ending June 14
Mileage 4358
Driven this week 408 miles

It always annoys me when the parts of a car that you interact with the most often are awkward to access or poorly designed.

Although refuelling your car isn't a daily activity, if I was running our Honda Civic, I'd need to fill up every week-and-a-half given the number of miles I drive.

In this car, those trips to the filling station would prove to be rather annoying. The fuel filler cap release is buried deep in the driver footwell, which makes using it a rather ungainly activity.

To access it, you need to bend all the way down and forward in the driver's seat, which essentially means that you end up with your nose resting on the steering wheel. All the while, the button to turn off the traction control is at your fingertips. I think that's bizarre.

Filling the Treasury's coffers at the filling station is already a resented task – there's no need to make it more frustrating.

By Ed Callow

Week ending June 7
Mileage 3950
Driven this week 300 miles


The Honda Civic's interior can be specified with either black or grey fabric. Mine has the darker option, and the moment I sat in it I knew we'd made the right choice.

I love cars with dark interiors. I'd have black seats, black dashboard, black carpet, black headlining and blacked-out windows if I could, which is strange because as a child I couldn't get to sleep without a night light.

There's one small hitch, though. If you've ever owned a black car you'll know that it shows the dirt like no other colour. This also applies to the interior. I can't remember owning a car that collects dust more quickly than our Civic. It's not just the top of the dashboard; the sat-nav screen, instrument bezels, gearlever gaiter and vents all collect particles at an alarming rate.

This probably won't worry most owners, but those with a touch of OCD (like me) will want to keep a can of Mr Sheen in the glovebox.

Rob.Keenan@whatcar.com

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