Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC
Week ending June 30
Driven this week 59
I've mentioned in passing how comfortable I find the Civic's driver's seat but I'm so grateful for this feature that I think it's worth a little more praise.
I suffer from chronic lower back pain, and only certain chairs are comfortable for me to sit in for more than half an hour. In particular, they need to offer genuinely firm support down the full length of my spine, with just enough padding to avoid them actually being hard. The seat base needs to be almost as firm.
I've discovered what works for me, partly because I've had a cushion made so I can sit comfortably on my sofa at home, but also because the Civic appears to tick all of these boxes (and that's with virtually no lumbar support, and without using the electrically adjustable side supports than come with XE spec).
It's even crossed my mind how much more comfortable my evenings would be if I had a the Civic's driver's seat as an armchair, but I think that would be a step too far for the home decor.
By Alex Newby
Week ending June 23
Driven this week 175
Hunger forced me to grab lunch at a motorway service station after the Civic's sat-nav threw my timetable into disarray on a recent trip.
The journey would have been easy if I'd checked on a road map before setting off but, hey, the Honda has satellite-navigation. Quite why it told me to get off the M4 at junction two, and take a scenic route for 20 minutes before putting me straight back on the M4 again, is anyone's guess.
Does the Civic have a sort of homing device, I wonder? Junction two of the M4 just happens to be Honda's HQ.
By Alex Newby
Week ending June 16
Driven this week 84
The Civic Tourer's boot has to put up with a lot of abuse from my family, from the regular loading and unloading of heavy buggies and bikes to a pile of earth that got dumped on it when the pumpkin seedling I was transporting fell over (I had thought the netting pocket at the side of the boot would hold it in place, but the thing was too tall and top-heavy and my cornering too harsh).
So how well does it stand up to this kind of treatment? Well, once dry, the earth came off pretty easily with my hand-held vacuum (though it took a while, given that a good portion had made its way down to the under-floor compartment).
Unfortunately, the carpet sports a couple of scars from having the bikes' and buggies' sharp edges dragged over it. However, the plastics are still in very good nick, with relatively few marks and scratches, and the protective metal panels on the boot lip help keep this vulnerable area looking smart.
By Alex Newby
Week ending June 10
Miles driven this week 100
The fact that the Civic Tourer's rear seatbelt gets caught in my son's Maxi Cosi Rodifix booster seat is only one of its problems.
I've also realised that the way it's fitted to the car gives it an ungainly twist in both the diagonal and lap area of the straps, no matter what seat or type of person it's securing.
It's not clear if there's a safety implication here or not, but it doesn't look very good. It looks as though the male part of the buckle clasp has been threaded on facing the wrong way, so there's a possible solution if this can be reversed. Looks like another trip to my local Honda dealer may be inevitable.
By Alex Newby
Week ending June 6
Miles driven this week 53
This week has seen my first drive of Alex Newby's Civic Tourer. The spacious estate is big on its green credentials, especially in the 1.6-litre diesel model that we have. However, fuel economy hasn't been as good as claimed, probably because the car spends all of its time in London.
To boost fuel economy, Honda has included its Eco Assist system. Press a green 'Econ' button to the right of the steering wheel and two coloured bars appear next to the digital speedometer. As you drive along they change colour letting you know how you're doing - dark blue and there's room for improvement, bright green and you're driving economically.
A lot of cars have economy boosting systems but the Honda one seems to be the least nannying of the lot. It certainly made me aware of how I was driving. Let's see if that has any positive effect on the Honda's fuel economy.
By Matthew Burrow