For The Honda Civic has a huge boot and clever rear seats. The engines are strong, particularly the 1.6 diesel, which is also impressively clean.
Against The steering and ride are disappointing, while the refinement, headroom, visibility and dashboard layout are downright poor.
The Honda Civic has some good points, particularly the performance and economy of its small diesel engine. However, it disappoints in too many key areas to challenge the class leaders.
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The 2.2-litre diesel is the trickiest engine to recommend, being both unrefined and pricey. However, the 1.6-litre diesel boosts the Civic’s appeal thanks to strong performance and very low emissions, which make it exempt from VED tax and the London Congestion Charge. It’s also more refined and has a more compliant ride.
Four trims are available, with T grades in between that add sat-nav, but we don’t see any point in going beyond the second rung on the ladder – ES – because this gives you climate control, a USB socket, cruise control, Bluetooth and a reversing camera. Avoid the stingy entry-level SE trim.
All Civics come with a three-year/90,000-mile warranty, while a six-year unlimited mileage warranty is available as a cost option.
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The best Civic in the range, and the only model that comes close to competing with more established rivals. This well equipped mid-spec car is the one to go for.