While the styling of the previous-generation Honda Civic may not appeal to everyone, you can’t deny that it stands out.
You should also be impressed by its impeccable reputation for reliability. The Civic has featured high up in most car reliability charts for decades, and the ninth-generation model, sold from 2012 to 2017, continues that tradition.
Four engines are available: 1.4 and 1.8-litre petrols and 1.6 and 2.2-litre diesels; the diesels are more frugal and cost less in car tax.
Rivals such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra may have roomier interiors – the Civic has markedly less rear head room – but the Honda counters with a bigger boot and a clever ‘Magic’ rear seat base, which can be flipped up to accommodate tall items behind the front seats
One thing that's important to mention is that all Civic models have poor rear visibility due to the standard rear spoiler that runs across the back window.
If you want a Honda Civic but can't afford a brand new one, it's worth considering the previous-generation model. Read on to find out how much you should pay for a used Honda Civic and which model to choose.
What budget do I need?
The Civic holds on to its value better than its mainstream rivals, so you’ll have to pay around £4500 for a high-mile diesel car.
If you can stretch to another £2000 you should get an early 1.6 diesel with fewer miles and a full service history.
Petrol-engined Civics are marginally cheaper than the diesels, but if you’re after an example with an automatic gearbox, don’t expect to pay less than £7500 for a decent one.
What version should I go for?
Our preferred engine is the 1.6 diesel. It’s powerful enough in and out of town but it’s also highly fuel-efficient. You aren’t likely to achieve Honda’s official figure of 78.5mpg but you should be able to get overall fuel economy of around 65mpg.
Four trim levels are offered: SE, ES, EX and EX GT, with a sat-nav upgrade called T-Grade that can be added to all versions. We’d stick with ES trim, which provides alloys, dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera, cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity.
If your budget can stretch to a newer model, we’d recommend the post-facelift 2014 Civic, which has an improved touchscreen infotainment system and automatic emergency braking as standard.
Any problems to be aware of?
Honda’s reputation for building durable and reliable cars means there’s little to report here.
Do go for a car with full service history and check potential purchases for accident damage, but don’t worry if you’re buying a car that’s out of warranty because it should still prove to be dependable.
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