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

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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 March 28
Mileage 881
Miles driven this week 71

I'm gradually getting used to locating the tiny buttons around the Civic Tourer's infotainment screen but I think it's going to take me a while to become truly adept at it. Their size, and the fact that there seems to be so many of them, can be a real problem when you're on the move and want to do something as simple as select a different audio source or see your call history.

It's all because of the sat-nav, as its main controls add to the number of buttons. If you go for a Civic Tourer SE Plus trim, which doesn't have sat-nav, there are fewer buttons and they're bigger, too, which makes them much easier to find quickly.

However, you then have to go without quite a few goodies, including some that I definitely wouldn't want to lose, particularly the keyless entry and go, leather upholstery (okay, the heated front seats aren't quite as essential) and the voice activation for the phone. You would be £4500 better off, though.

By Alex Newby
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com 

Week ending March 21
Mileage 810
Miles driven this week 98

I'm a bit disappointed with the Civic Tourer's fuel economy so far – almost half its official fuel economy, at 40.1mpg, as opposed to the impressive 72.4mpg trumpeted in Honda's adverts.

What’s more, I’ve had the fuel-saving 'Econ' button on for much of the time. Still, most of my driving has been in town and it's early days (the Tourer hasn't even done 1000 miles yet), so there should be some improvement as the engine beds in.

By Alex Newby
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

Week ending 14 March
Mileage 712
Miles driven this week 112

It's only a few weeks since the Civic Tourer arrived at What Car?, and already I've had to downsize to a Jazz courtesy car while Honda Chiswick fix the Civic's broken door mirror casing. That said, I am genuinely excited about having full working Bluetooth when the Civic returns – it's been infuriating not being heard whenever I try to phone anyone.

It's amusing how quickly absence makes the heart grow fonder. The Jazz is a super little run-around but I'm already missing the way the Civic feels to drive; I appreciate how responsive it feels to drive, and if I get the chance to break away from my usual urban routes it can feel quite fun.

It's not perfect, mind you. The suspension damps the hardest jolts from bumps in the road, but on the poor surfaces I spend my car journeys on it always feels slightly jittery and never really settles. Still, I don't expect miracles on patchwork asphalt.

As for the Civic's plus points, I'll be interested to find out how well my family copes with a much smaller boot over a weekend; fingers crossed the Civic is fixed before long.

By Alex Newby

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

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