Used Honda Civic long term test: report 1

Earlier this year we named the Civic as our Family Car of the Year, but now we're seeing if it continues to impress when we put it through the toughest test of all: daily life...

Used Honda Civic 2022 long-term get in and drive

The car Honda Civic 2.0 i-MMD e-CVT Advance Run by Chris Haining, sub-editor

Why it’s here To find out if a hybrid powered family hatchback is the answer to a varied motoring regime, while keeping an eye on running costs

Needs to Soothe in motorway traffic, sip petrol, and entertain on a twisty road

Mileage 9936 List price new (2022) £36,450 Price new with options £36,5450 Value now £33,000 Test economy 49.9mpg Options fitted None Official economy 56.5mpg Options fitted None

7 April 2023 – Civic pride

Years ago, when Hadrian’s wall was still under warranty, I passed my driving test in a 1994 Honda Civic. I remember it fondly, aside from one thing; it didn’t have a rev counter, so – as a learner driver – I had to train my ears to detect when the engine revs were dropping close to the stall point when practising three-point turns. Today’s Civic, though, is a hell of a lot more sophisticated.

Not for nothing did we declare the Civic our Family Car of The Year at the 2023 What Car? Awards. We called it well equipped, economical and great to drive, and that’s pretty much a full house on my “what I want from a car” bingo card. And better still, now that it’s been around for a year, there are savings to be made if you buy a nearly-new example – especially so if you use the What Car? used car buying service

In fact, buying this way makes particular sense with a Civic; with only one engine offered and no long options list to pick from, your choice is limited to colour and trim level, so you’re just as likely to get the exact spec you’re after in ex-demo form as if it were built to order. And I’d probably order one just like the one-year old example that graces my drive right now. It’s the range topping Civic Advance in Sonic Grey Pearl – an understated colour that adds nothing to its £34,650 purchase price. It hides road dirt quite well, too.

Used Honda Civic 2022 long-term Shotley

Lets take a look at the plaudits that earned it a gong in our Awards, starting with “well equipped”. Every Civic comes with much more than just the basics; the entry-level Sport gives you a 9.0in infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity and a DAB radio, plus keyless entry and start, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and a rear view camera. There’s also a wireless phone charger and some extremely smart 18in alloy wheels.

On top of that little lot, my car's Advance trim promises to make my 240-mile daily commute safer with adaptive LED headlights that can shape their beams for maximum illumination without dazzling other road users. It also offers the comfort of a heated steering wheel and an opening panoramic glass roof, plus a 12-speaker Bose stereo that should do full justice to my preferred radio station.

Used Honda Civic 2022 long-term test Bose stereo

So what of the “economical” bit? Well, today’s Civic uses a hybrid power system that’s so clever even Professor Brian Cox would struggle to explain it, but the gist is that it uses electric motors in place of a traditional automatic gearbox – except at higher speeds, when the engine drives the wheels directly. The upshot is an official fuel consumption of 56.5mpg, and our road test team managed 49.9mpg in real-world conditions. And that’s all the more remarkable when you consider the “great to drive” accolade that sealed the Civic’s award-winning status.

This is a car that, in our tests, rocketed from 0-60 mph in just 6.8 sec (Honda claims 0-62mph in 7.9sec). That would have been considered hot hatch pace not so long ago, but this is a family car with a pronounced economical streak. And, lets not forget, the Civic’s DNA sired the Honda Civic Type-R, which, itself, holds five What Car? stars and is regarded among the cream of the hot hatch crop. I’m very much looking forward to putting the Civic through its paces on the best roads my corner of Essex has to offer.

Used Honda Civic 2022 long-term gardening

I’ve already put it through the mill in a rather more mundane way; the one dealer-fit accessory my car has is a boot liner, and this helped to assuage my guilt when I filled it up with garden waste three days into my stewardship. I say “filled it up”; I was anticipating having to make several trips to the tip, but no; seats folded, the Civic gulped down an entire overgrown pyracantha in one sitting.

Still, it’s a family car, so it has to work as hard as it plays. After all these years, the tables are turned; over the next three months, just like my driving instructor did with me, I’ll be scrutinising every aspect of the Civic’s performance. 

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