Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt First drive: Honda Civic
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

First drive: Honda Civic

Date: 22 July 2022   |   Author: Pete Tullin

Honda launches the 11th incarnation of its Civic hatchback with a new hybrid powertrain, improved quality and significant dynamic gains. Is this the Civic to tempt business users out of their default choice SUVs?
Standard equipment:
17in alloy wheels, remote central locking, air conditioning, keyless entry and start, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, front and rear powered windows, auto wipers, adaptive cruise control, wireless Apple Carplay Android Auto. Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, traffic jam assist, automatic high beam, road sign recognition and 11 airbags.
Petrol hybrid: 181hp 2.0
Equipment grades:
Advance, Sport
eCVT automatic.

If you are totally sold on the expeditionary image and the commanding driving position that most SUVs bring to the party these days, then chances are the latest Honda Civic won't even be on your radar. 

If, however, you like the idea of a low-slung driving position that places you at the heart of the action, precise and engaging control weights, responsive handling and a ride quality perfectly apportioned between comfort and control, then the latest e:Hybrid Civic may be right up your street. 

Reassuringly, any misgivings you may have about the Civic's economy-focused self-charging hybrid powertrain playing Mr Killjoy can be kicked straight into touch, because unlike the mechanically similar but ultimately underpowered 1.5-litre powerplant found in the Honda HR-V, the Civic's unit is more than man enough for the job. 

Delivering an exponentially superior driving experience by using a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a pair of electric motors, drawing their energy from a battery located under the rear seats, the Civic delivers instant thrust and strong, linear power delivery. 

Despite the e:CVT designation, the Civic is not motivated by anything remotely related to an old-style continuously variable transmission. In fact, there is no gearbox, just a clever clutch pack, which seamlessly synergises the engine and electric propulsion units. Select Sport mode and you will even feel gear shift interruptions while your ears are treated to a synthetically generated fruity exhaust note. In truth, the shifts are artificially implemented and rather than performing any kind of mechanical function are employed purely to reassure drivers they are not piloting a runaway train. 

As well as benefiting from a stiffer, stronger body, the latest Civic integrity is also supported by the whole raft of electronic drivers aids and extensive safety systems, including traffic jam assist and 11 airbags with knee bags for both the driver and front passenger.     

Those who may have toyed with the idea of Civic ownership in the past but were put off by the rather geeky styling, no longer have that as an excuse. 

With less controversial lines and significant interior revisions, the overall impression is one of sophistication and robust, high quality, meaning there's every chance this latest Civic will have a much stronger appeal to UK customers.

Honda is particularly proud of the Civic's interior including its latest infotainment system layout and its expansive honeycombed diffusing air vent, which runs almost the entire width of the dashboard. Designed to deliver a gentle breeze of cooling air, rather than a full-frontal icy smack between the eyes, even with the aircon maxed out, you will never feel like a daredevil wing-walker. 

Despite the sleeker lines, the five-door-only body shape is still a little compromised, most notably because of the steeply sloping rear roof line, which creates a rather shallow cargo hold and does its best to fashion a letterbox slot view in the rear-view mirror. Just as well that a rear-facing camera is fitted as standard to help you avoid any expensive bouts of reverse parking bumper kissing. 

From an accommodation standpoint, the space between the Civic's axles has been stretched by 35mm and every one of those additional millimetres has been apportioned to the rear passenger's leg room. As a consequence, there should be a good deal less under-breath complaints from your back-seat drivers.   

A greater cause for complaint will be the fact that the Civic does not benefit from the same BIK advantages as plug-in hybrid cars, some of which sit uncomfortably close to the Civic's P11D. It is perhaps little wonder then that Honda concedes the Civic will have more appeal to retail customers than fleet users.

Honda Civic e:HEV Sport 


Residual value: TBC

Depreciation: TBC

Fuel: TBC

Service, maintenance and repair: TBC

Cost per mile: TBC

Fuel consumption: 60.1mpg

CO2 (BIK %): 108g/km (26%)  

BIK 20/40% a month: TBC

Luggage capacity: 410 litres

Engine size/power: 1993cc/141hp + twin-electric motors. Total ouput 181hp


  • Engaging dynamics
  • Impressive build quality
  • Strong, refined powertrain
  • Restricted rear visibility
  • Large turning circle
  • Shallow boot