Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Broadly speaking, the Honda Civic is priced in line with the Volkswagen Golf. That means it's cheaper to buy than an Audi A3 but is quite a bit pricier than a Skoda Octavia or Vauxhall Astra. It won't hold onto its value quite as well as its German rivals, but depreciation isn't a big concern, either. Honda is also competitive when it comes to PCP finance deals.
Out of the petrols, the turbocharged 1.0-litre unit is the most fuel-efficient choice and emits the least CO2, so it's definitely the one to go for if you're a company car driver. That said, the equivalent A3 or Golf pumps out less CO2 and – officially, at least – is more economical.
We'd recommend the 1.0-litre petrol to most private buyers, too. The 1.5 is tempting if you're looking for something a bit nippier, but it’ll cost more to buy and run in almost every way.
The 1.6-litre diesel is one of the cleanest and most fuel-efficient oil-burners on the market and there's no doubt that the low CO2 emissions will keep company car tax bills down. It doesn’t, however, offer a compelling enough package to tempt us to change our pick of the Civic range. Our favourite 1.0-litre petrol version is cheaper, more refined and a better match for most buyers.
Equipment, options and extras
Entry-level S trim has been discontinued in the UK because it, frankly, made no real financial sense, having the most basic of basic set-ups. Starting with SE trim, then, gets you DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, air-con and front and rear parking sensors. SR trim is our pick, though, which adds the 7in infotainment system with sat-nav, plus a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearknob, driver seat lumbar adjustment, and a reversing camera for not a lot more money.
EX trim adds extra safety kit including blindspot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, along with keyless entry and start, a leather interior, passenger seat lumbar adjustment and a sunroof. If you add the Tech Pack to EX, you also get wireless smartphone charging, LED headlights and heated rear seats.
If you want the 1.5-litre petrol engine, that starts at next-level-up Sport trim, which features heated seats, a sporty bodykit, twin centre exhausts and LED headlights. Sport Plus models then add an upgraded stereo, sunroof and adaptive dampers.
Finally, range-topping Prestige gets a full leather interior, heated rear seats and some chrome interior highlights.
The latest Civic seems to have suffered a few teething issues with it proving less reliable than almost all of its competitors in our 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey. Honda as a manufacturer finished 15th out of 31; something of a disappointment given the brand's reputation for reliability.
Thankfully, the Civic comes with a three-year/90,000-mile warranty as standard – that's about par for the course time wise, but its mileage limit is higher than the 60,000-mile limit imposed by Volkswagen and Skoda.
Safety and security
Honda has included an extremely competitive amount of safety equipment as standard across the Civic range. Beyond its six airbags, every car gets automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and intelligent speed assist. Meanwhile, blindspot monitoring is standard on EX, Sport Plus and Prestige trims.
In its EuroNCAP safety tests the Civic scored five stars overall, and when it came to the adult protection category it totted up very nearly as many stars as one of the safest cars in the class, the Mercedes A-Class. However, EuroNCAP also highlighted that the Civic isn’t as good as that car at looking after kids in the rear seats, or any unfortunate pedestrians should the worst happen.
On the security side, an immobiliser is standard on all Civics, while an alarm is standard from SR trim upwards, although security experts Thatcham Research has yet to publish its scores for how well the Civic guards against thieves.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here