We've had another Honda Civic on test at What Car? over the last week - a 1.4 SE model. As you can read in our review, this isn't the pick of the range. It's a lot cheaper than our 2.2 i-DTEC model, but performance is nowhere near as good and it's not especially frugal or low on CO2 emissions.
Our car's strong engine makes it a lot more fun to drive and demands a lot less effort on the motorway.
I prefer our car's Royal Sapphire Blue paintwork, too, although I think the White Orchid pearlescent of the 1.4 test car is the second-best of the nine available. For the record, the Yellow Topaz metallic (which looks more like lime green to me) that Honda chose to launch the car in is my least favourite.
Week ending April 20 Mileage: 2374 Driven this week: 340 miles
There are plenty of gadgets on our ES-spec Civic and most - such as the reversing camera and electrically-folding door mirrors - make my life easier.
I'm not keen on the Civic’s information display, however. You use a combination of two steering wheel-mounted buttons and the trip computer dial to flick through various menus and it’s far from intuitive.
I've spent a lot of time trying to work out how to display the remaining fuel range (yes, I consulted the handbook) but in the end I gave up and called Honda.
One of their experts talked me through the process, which is horribly long-winded and involves accessing a different menu that’s only available when the car isn’t moving but the ignition is on. It also makes you choose between displaying either the average mpg or the range on the move, but not, sadly, both.
Week ending April 13 Mileage: 2034 Driven this week: 139 miles
I haven't spent a lot of time in the Civic over the past two weeks, because it's been in strong demand from colleagues wanting to try it (or perhaps simply keen to drive something so frugal due to the recent petrol supply issues).
It's been good to get back into it, because it generally fits my lifestyle very well. This is the first chance I've had to really test its practicality so far. I gave a couple of friends a lift to football and they commented on the generous rear legroom, although headroom isn't as plentiful.
I also had to transport a bicycle and the Civic coped pretty well. I tried putting it in width-wise, in the space created when you flip up the rear seats - cinema seat-style - but it was too long. Folding the rear seats down is simply a case of flipping a handle on the backrests, however, and that gives you a deep, flat load area that the bike dropped neatly into.