What's the used Honda Civic hatchback like?
It’s fair to say that Honda threw the kitchen sink at this 10th-generation Civic in 2017, having been stung by criticism that the previous model was not competitive with its rivals in a number of key areas.
Hence here is a car that is longer, lower and wider than the ninth-generation car, with more room between the front and rear wheels for passengers, as well as a range of new engines and a more sophisticated rear suspension.
The model range kicks off with the entry-level S version, which is very basic; this version was dropped soon after it was launched, though, due to slow sales. The SE is much more appealing, with a DAB radio, air conditioning and front and rear parking sensors.
SR then adds a automatic wipers and a reversing camera, while EX gives you a package of extra safety equipment, keyless go and a leather interior. Then there's the Sport version, which adds heated seats, a sportier bodykit and LED headlights, and also a Sport Plus with adaptive suspension, while top-of-the-range Prestige gives you a full leather interior and heated rear seats.
On the road, the 124bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine is very impressive; it delivers perfectly adequate acceleration from low revs and will complete the 0-60mph dash in a reasonable 10.7sec. However, despite having more power than equivalent 1.0-litre versions of the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3, the heavier Civic is actually slightly slower than those rivals.
Naturally, with 180bhp, the 1.5-litre offering is faster and has more low-down pulling power – although it doesn’t actually feel dramatically quicker on the road. Likewise, the 1.6 diesel has just 118bhp so its acceleration doesn’t feel particularly strong. All engines give you the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox that's both light and positive, but the automatic version in petrol models tends to hold the engine at high revs even when you aren't accelerating particularly hard.
The Civic rides well, with a largely settled ride comfort, and its neutral handling is safe, secure and, helped by its quick steering and slick gearchange, bordering on the positively good fun. Only in the area of refinement is it let down, with quite a lot of engine noise and some road noise making itself known at higher speeds. The former is exacerbated in the automatic version.