What is it?
The Honda Civic Ti, a special edition of the Japanese family hatchback. Limited to 1000 units, it’s priced at £16,995.
Despite its sporty nametag and BTCC-inspired styling upgrades, the Ti benefits from no performance upgrades, the regular Civic’s 1.8-litre VTEC petrol engine remaining. Instead, there’s a plethora of extra equipment; a set of smart 17in Team Dynamics alloy wheels, Yokohama tyres, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control and a leather steering wheel among of the highlights.
What’s it like to drive?
It’s pretty decent. One look at the spec sheet is enough to tell you this is no performance-orientated hot hatch – the new Civic Type-R will see to that – but there’s positivity to the controls that reveals this as a car developed by people who do actually like driving.
The steering isn’t abundant with feel, but then few mainstream cars can boast that nowadays. It’s quick and precise, so is still satisfying to use, while the pedals are nicely weighted and the six-speed manual gearbox responds very slickly. There are more supple riding family hatchbacks available, but the suspension soaks up all but the worst of Britain’s bumps well and is firm enough to endow the Civic with some welcome agility. The VTEC engine is light on torque but good fun to keep bubbling away (especially linked to that gearbox), with the traditional VTEC glut of power sitting high in the rev range. Those looking for a more comfortable, easy-to-drive car may prefer a turbodiesel Civic, but that means forgoing the Ti treatment.
How does it compare?
The Civic competes very strongly at this price point, especially with such a strong equipment quota. Similar money buys you a Ford Focus with a 99bhp 1-litre engine or a Vauxhall Astra with a 99bhp 1.4. They both lack a number of items standard on the Ti, too.
Anything else I need to know?
The previous Civic Ti offered a 1.4-litre petrol option; this is now absent, though you do get a pick of three colours – Milano Red, Alabaster Silver and White Orchid.