What's the used Honda Civic hatchback like?
It’s fair to say that Honda threw the kitchen sink at this all-new, 10th-generation Civic, having been stung by criticism that the previous model was not competitive with its rivals in a number of key areas. Hence it’s longer, lower and wider than the old car, with more room between the front and rear wheels for passengers, as well as a range of new engines and more sophisticated rear suspension.
Its looks are as striking as they are divisive, and its interior quality is much improved. It all adds up to a truly impressive car that not only cuts a dash in the family hatchback class but also meets its closest rivals head on.
You can choose from three turbocharged petrol engines: a fruity and efficient 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit, a punchy 1.5-litre four-cylinder or the super-sporty 2.0-litre engine in the Type R hot-hatch model. In 2018, Honda also introduced a frugal 1.6-litre diesel. You can match any of these engines, with the exception of the 2.0, with an automatic gearbox, should you wish to.
The model range kicks off with the entry-level S version, which is very basic (it doesn't even get a radio or air conditioning); 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 leather-trimmed steering wheel, 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, while top-of-the-range Prestige gives you a full leather interior and heated rear seats.
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, which tends to hold the engine at high revs even when you aren't accelerating particularly hard.
The interior is more than spacious enough for four or even five for occasional journeys, while the boot is a good size and has a useful false floor. The low driving position is excellent, the dashboard is clear and logically laid out and the controls are pleasingly weighted and feel high quality – as do most of the interior plastics.
Only the Civic's dated infotainment system lets it down, with old-fashioned graphics and a slothful touchscreen.
So, the Civic is now an impressive and competitive family hatchback, with most of the faults of its predecessors ironed out. Read our full review to find out how it stacks up as a used proposition.