Our Fleet Test Drive: Honda Civic - First report
28 August 2014
Author: Tony Rock
Honda's new Civic Tourer has joined our long-term fleet, trying to prove that style, practicality and good running costs can be found in one high-spec package
The new UK-built Honda Civic Tourer has joined our fleet, and we've plumped for the top-spec EX Plus trim level in an attempt to see if a fully loaded small estate could end up being the perfect all-rounder.
The Tourer joined the Civic hatchback in the two-car line-up last year, and is available with just
two engine choices - the 1.8-litre petrol and the sensible fleet choice of 1.6-litre diesel. We've previously enjoyed this engine in the CR-V and achieved some good economy figures, so it will be interesting to see what's possible in the smaller and more aerodynamic Civic Tourer.
We're looking at an official EU test cycle verdict of 72.4mpg and 103g/km, which is up on the lower trims in the Civic Tourer range, that sit on 16-inch wheels rather than our car's 17s, an adornment that adds 3g/km and cuts fuel efficiency by 1.9mpg.
The boot currently leads the way in terms of sheer volume - at 624 litres it's a clear 14 litres above the Skoda Octavia Estate that has a reputation as almost being big enough to live in. The new Peugeot 308 SW will set a new benchmark of 660 litres when it launches this summer, but until then the Civic is the biggest lower medium estate on offer.
The top-spec model we've plumped for is rather expensive at nearly £28,000, but comes with a long list of standard kit. Honda's rather confusing naming strategy has been simplified, but sees the EX Plus as the top model, £1900 above the SR. It's a hefty step, but adds keyless start, powered lumber support on both front seats, auto-levelling headlights and a number of other extras.
Unlike our long-term CR-V that recently finished half a year on our fleet, this Civic Tourer is available with both satnav and DAB radio, although that's not the case on the S and SE Plus trims, where the addition of navigation costs £545 and deletes digital radio, which is frustrating to those people keen to have both. They would have to plump for the SR or this EX Plus specification.
But even the entry £21,375 base cars get Bluetooth, DAB radio, USB and aux sockets, climate control, 16-inch alloys and heated door mirrors.
The Civic Tourer will have an interesting job on the practicality front, replacing Vauxhall's capacious Insignia as our family transport for three younger children. A fairer comparison will be my long-term vehicle before that, Audi's A3 Sportback. As high-mileage motorway transportation during the week and family haulier at weekend, the Civic Tourer could be in for a tough but revealing few months.