Our cars: Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC - June

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  • Alex suffers from back pain, so she's delighted with how comfortable the driver's seat is

    Alex suffers from back pain, so she's delighted with how comfortable the driver's seat is

  • Honda's sat-nav misbehaved on a recent motorway trip

    Honda's sat-nav misbehaved on a recent motorway trip

  • The Civic has had a hard few days

    The Civic has had a hard few days

  • Another trip to the Honda dealer is called for, to try to remedy the twisted seatbelt

    Another trip to the Honda dealer is called for, to try to remedy the twisted seatbelt

  • The Honda's eco system is helpful rather than nannying

    The Honda's eco system is helpful rather than nannying

  • Child seat fitter finds a high-backed booster seat that's compatible with the Civic Tourer's belts

    Child seat fitter finds a high-backed booster seat that's compatible with the Civic Tourer's belts

  • Civic's seat belt doesn't work with high-backed booster seat - the belt bunches up and hangs loose

    Civic's seat belt doesn't work with high-backed booster seat - the belt bunches up and hangs loose

  • A dash to rural Sussex covering deserted B-roads gave Alex a chance to enjoy driving the Civic

    A dash to rural Sussex covering deserted B-roads gave Alex a chance to enjoy driving the Civic

  • Our Civic's decent door pockets mean this beaker is kept within easy reach for Alex's eldest son

    Our Civic's decent door pockets mean this beaker is kept within easy reach for Alex's eldest son

  • Honda's fuel tank is under the driver's seat, so you can always hear the diesel sloshing about

    Honda's fuel tank is under the driver's seat, so you can always hear the diesel sloshing about

  • Civic Tourer's vast boot impressed Alex on a family trip to Norfolk

    Civic Tourer's vast boot impressed Alex on a family trip to Norfolk

  • DAB issues? Radio 4 'disappeared' for 48 hours, but has now returned to the Civic Tourer

    DAB issues? Radio 4 'disappeared' for 48 hours, but has now returned to the Civic Tourer

  • EX Plus trim's rear camera and all-round parking sensors make it easy to slot into spaces like this

    EX Plus trim's rear camera and all-round parking sensors make it easy to slot into spaces like this

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Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC

Read the full Honda Civic Tourer review

Week ending June 30
Mileage 2639
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
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Honda Civic Tourer review

Week ending June 23
Mileage 2580
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
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com


Week ending June 16

Mileage 2405
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
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com


Week ending June 10

Mileage 2321
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
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Honda Civic Tourer review

Week ending June 6
Mileage 2221
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
Matthew.Burrow@whatcar.com

Our cars: Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC - May

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