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

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  • Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC  
  • EX Plus trim in Passion Red 
  • Run by associate editor, Alex Newby
  • Civic Tourer's falls short of the claimed figures but it may not all be down to the car.

    Civic Tourer's falls short of the claimed figures but it may not all be down to the car.

  • 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

  • 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 May 27
Mileage 2168 
Miles driven this week 104

I visited Mothercare Kew Retail park this weekend to examine the problem I've spotted with the way my son's Maxi Cosi Rodifix high-back booster seat (Group 2-3) fits in the Civic Tourer.

The in-house child seat fitter confirmed that the seat is unsafe to use, due to the way the car's seat belt can fold over and get jammed in the child seat's shoulder guides. He'll be reporting this to Maxi Cosi.

In the meantime we found that the Britax Kidfix XP seat avoids this problem in the Civic, by having more rounded slots for the seat belt, so it's impossible for it to get stuck in a folded position. That means the belt moves freely in the guide and stays close to my son's body rather than causing dangerous slack in the seat belt.

Unfortunately, we had to make an urgent departure from Mothercare without buying the seat, but in the meantime my little boy is now safer on his backless booster cushion than he was in an ill-fitting high-backed booster, which is a relief of sorts.

By Alex Newby
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

Week ending May 20
Mileage 2064 
Miles driven this week 85

My older son's high-backed booster seat seemed to fit perfectly in the back of the Civic Tourer when I took the delivery of the car. However, I've since become aware of a worrying problem - I’ve noticed that the seat belt drapes loosely over my son, even though it is buckled in.

It seems that the angle at which the rear seat belt arrives in the shoulder guide on my son's car seat causes it to bunch up against the guard that's supposed to keep the seat belt in position. This bunching can prevent the seatbelt from retracting fully after my son has leant forward or moved about in his seat.

This doesn't happen all the time, and possibly only when my five-year-old has moved about in a particular way. Now that I've noticed it, though, I've immediately swapped our Rodi seat for a cheap backless booster cushion until I'm able to get to my local child seat retailers to find a high-back seat which works with the Civic.

By Alex Newby
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Honda Civic Tourer review

Week ending May 13
Mileage 1979
Miles driven this week 285

A mad dash (sans enfants, for once) to rural Sussex for a family gathering early on Sunday morning allowed me to make the most of free-flowing motorways and deserted B-roads, and get some genuine driver enjoyment from the Civic without the usual constraints of London traffic.

The Civic's accurate steering and good body control gave me plenty of assurance – and fun – on unknown twisty B-roads, and the 1.6 diesel engine generally had enough power for confident overtaking manoeuvres.

Most usefully, the sat nav successfully got me to the remote hillside car park where I was meeting relatives for a walk – and my family's approval for being the first to arrive. Brownie points all round, then.

By Alex Newby
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Honda Civic Tourer review

Week ending May 6
Mileage 1694
Miles driven this week 101

The size of rear door pockets won't be that important to every car owner, but to those with kids it can make all the difference to the quality of your journey.

Thankfully, the Civic Tourer passes muster even with this relatively large toddler beaker I bought recently. It's a drip-proof design so what pleases me isn't so much that the thing doesn't end up rolling round on the back seat, but that it's just within reach of my older child if he leans down to reach it from his booster seat. In other words, we don't have to keep passing the thing back and forth between us on long journeys every time he wants a sip.

Unfortunately, this is still the case for my younger son who is strapped firmly into his toddler car seat and can't reach his drink. If only more cars with space for a bottle holder in the rear door pocket could position the holder within reach of shorter arms. I've seen this done once or twice and - when present - it's an ingenious piece of design that makes family car journeys easier for everyone on board.

By Alex Newby
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

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

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