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Our Fleet Test Drive: Honda Civic - 1st Report

Date: 10 April 2012   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

[3] Elapsed mileage trip

Proof that our recently arrived ninth-generation 2.2-litre diesel Civic is crucial to Honda's business car fortunes is provided by the firm plummeting from 12th to 18th in the manufacturers' fleet league last year due to more than 12 months without a lower-medium Euro5-compliant diesel.

The Civic ES comes with a generous standard spec and competitive £21,530 P11D price, factors which serve notice that Honda is also determined to restore the corporate fortunes of the hatchback itself.

Our 150hp six-speed model emits 110g/km and returns an official 67.3mpg. However, a shade over 200 miles of short-haul journeys with the green tree eco setting engaged [1] computes to 54.4mpg, so it will be interesting to see how far the gap between real-life motoring and laboratory testing can be narrowed. Stop/start should help the cause.

The previous Civic's radical but slightly tacky flying-wedge styling has been toned down and refined with a welcome lack of chrome insets, although the less obtrusive boomerang-shaped tail wing [2] still cuts rear vision in half. Honda's purist view that efficient aerodynamics eliminated the need for a rear wiper has been tempered, too, by the fitting of a blade that clears water and moisture in slower traffic or during early morning screen clearing.

Time, money and taste have been invested in upgrading the interior, which looks and feels a class above its predecessor's cabin, even if the ergonomics are a bit haphazard in certain areas. Release levers for the bonnet catch and fuel filler cap are buried in the depths of the driver's footwell, and the on-board computer is neither intuitive nor effective operationally. You cannot scroll seamlessly though elements such as mpg, range or the elapsed mileage trip [3], and must revert to "customise settings" each time you want to change one of those options on screen, which is distracting and best done at a standstill.

For the money, our ES-level Civic comes with a well-chosen list of kit, including rain and light sensors plus cruise control, even if I would prefer front and rear audible parking sensors to the view-and-judge rear camera.

We look forward (rather than backwards) to long-distance journeys to evaluate the born-again Civic's cruising and cross-country abilities.

Honda Civic 2.2 i-DTEC ES 5-door
Mileage1295 miles
Claimed combined
consumption
67.3mpg
Our average
consumption
55.2mpg
Forecast CPM 47.0p
Actual CPM47.4p
Long-range,
fuel-efficient
capability
Lack of lumbar adjustment
can be a pain



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