Our cars: Honda Civic - March
Week ending March 30
Driven this week: 694 miles
Honda Civic review
'Don’t you dare ruin the fuel economy', warned Leo Wilkinson as I walked off with the key to his still-new Honda Civic 2.2d.
The trip was reporting 55.5mpg as I headed down the rush-hour M3 motorway – but to my amazement, I actually added 0.3mpg to the figure on my way home. I guess the queues of 50mph traffic are good for economy.
It couldn’t last, though, and it didn’t. The following evening, I landed back at Luton airport after a long day driving the Renault Twizy, and I wanted to get home in a hurry – so the fuel economy took a hit. I won’t say what it dipped to in the space of that hour-and-a-bit of driving – but suffice it to say, I had to drive like my life depended on every sip of fuel to get it back up to 55.5mpg by the time I pulled into the office car park the next morning.
The rest of the car? It feels very like the previous Civic, but the damping’s better, and the cabin feels nicely screwed together. I was pleasantly surprised.
Week ending March 23
Driven this week: 375 miles
I had the Honda Civic for only one night, but two things struck me straight away. The first was just how easy it was to hook up my phone to the car. I have a Samsung Nexus S smartphone and sometimes it can take a while for the car to find it, or it to find the car. However with the Civic I was connected in seconds.
Secondly, I thought the diesel engine was very quiet - especially at low-speeds around town. All in all, I had good first impressions of our new Civic.
Week ending March 16
Driven this week: 125
The latest addition to our long-term fleet is a new Honda Civic; I'll be looking after it over the next twelve months.
We've gone for a 2.2 i-DTEC ES model, which has a list price of £21,095. For that, you get a 2.2-litre, 148bhp diesel engine and plenty of standard kit, including Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, a USB input and a rear-view camera.
First impressions? I'm glad we've gone for Royal Sapphire Blue pearlescent paintwork, a £490 option that I think brings out the best in the Civic's looks. Most people seem to agree that it's not a particularly pretty car, but this shade suits it well.
I've only covered a handful of miles so far, but it's clear that the Civic's engine has plenty of punch, so you don't have to work hard to achieve rapid progress.
Fuel economy seems like it could be something to look forward to. On a return trip to Brighton, the Civic's information display showed an average 53.0mpg, which isn't a match for the official 67.3mpg, but is impressive nonetheless. Once the engine is fully run in, it could get even better.
Over the next year I'll chart the ups and downs of running a Civic and whether it's a match for rivals such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. Read all the latest updates here.