Used Honda Civic long-term test: report 3
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...
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 13,275 List price new (2022) £36,450 Price new with options £36,450 Value now £33,000 Test economy 53.5mpg Official economy 56.5mpg
16 May 2023 – Honda road again
When a car is as astonishingly economical as my used Honda Civic, I feel much more inclined to jump in and go somewhere without a moment's thought.
And when I say "astonishingly", I really mean it. Based on my brim-to-brim calculations, this 181bhp hybrid car has actually beaten Honda's official 56.5mpg figure a number of times, and it generally hovers at around 55mpg – better than I averaged in my previous plug-in hybrid Vauxhall Astra. Good news for the environment, great news for my wallet.
Taking opportunities to get out and about is good for the soul, too. Recently, I've been hunting for a replacement rear seat for my old Audi A4, and when eBay eventually came up trumps with one whose leather upholstery was a match for my car's, I was only too willing to make a trip down to Glastonbury to collect it. Truth is, I'll make any excuse for a road trip in the Civic, such is how I enjoy driving it.
Yes, it's true that trips like this are a bit of a busman's holiday given that I cover 250 miles on my regular motorway commute, but racking big distances up in the name of leisure is still a treat in the Civic. Its Bose sound system helps here; just like the set-up in my previous Honda HR-V, it has enough presence all the way through the frequency spectrum to not only overcome the background noise but also deliver enough detail to bring the music to life. That's just as well, because my biggest gripe with the Civic thus far is that the tyres kick up rather a lot of white noise at speed.
And while some may find the Civic's ride a little firm, it suits me just fine. The suspension and tyres gel together in such a way that, while you're certainly kept informed of bumps in the road, they never feel harsh. Plus, as I commented in my previous report, the suspension's firmness contributes towards terrific handling, and that was especially welcome on the glorious driving roads around Glastonbury – particularly through Cheddar Gorge.
After arriving with a broad grin on my face, the three sections of second-hand Audi rear bench fitted in just fine after folding part of the rear seat down. While Honda doesn't quote a specific range for the Civic's electric mode, much of our mooching around Glastonbury was accomplished without the petrol engine kicking in, including a pause to collect spring water from the town's famous Chalice Well. Being gentle on the environment felt apt in such sacred surroundings.
There are a couple of ironies to this story. Firstly, my purchase turned out to be in terrible condition and really not worth a 400-mile round collection trip. Secondly, it isn't lost on me that the Civic is saving me petrol on the one hand, yet I'm going out of my way to use more of it on the other. But the latter point is entirely the fault of the car. When it's this enjoyable to spend time behind the wheel, every moment it spends parked up seems a waste.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
Best family cars 2024 – top choices for you & your children
What makes the best cars for families, and which models should you be considering? Here we count down the best 10 family car models – and name the one to avoid
Used Honda Civic long-term test
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