The Honda Civic is a small family hatchback that’s a rival for cars such as the BMW 1 Series, Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.
Apart from its unconventional looks, it differs from many rivals due to its unusual rear-seat layout and comparatively limited engine range. It’s available in five-door form only; Honda also offers a voluminous Tourer estate. The Civic is on a par with most mainstream rivals for size, and price. A Sport model is available, but the only Civic that’s truly sporty is the Type R. It’s a very different proposition to other models, with bespoke chassis settings, a lairy bodykit and brutal performance that make it one of the most extreme hot hatches around.
The Civic is an undeniably leftfield choice thanks to its unusual styling and love-it-or-hate-it interior. All models have a versatile rear seat and a large boot, while the best version – the 1.6 i-DTEC SE Plus – is incredibly efficient and very well equipped. The Type R is one of the fastest and most powerful hot hatches, if not as much fun outright as some rivals.
Running costs for most models are reasonable, but higher-spec versions are pricey. Whether the Civic is right for you, however, will depend largely on how badly you’re affected by its major ergonomic failings and shortage of head room.