The Type R might be the Civic that’s gunning for Nürburgring glory, but the more bread-and-butter models gain a touch of sparkle from their apex-chasing relation. Revisions in 2015 brought new head- and tail lights as well as chassis changes that promise a more agile, more entertaining Civic.
A highlight is the twin-turbo 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine, Honda’s determined engineering strategy to produce a more petrol-like drive making for a smooth and unusually rev-happy diesel engine. Five-door hatchback and Tourer estate body styles are offered and while the boot in the hatchback is already generous, the Tourer's builds on that, and gives rear-seat passengers greater headroom, too.
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Along with the obvious head- and taillight revisions for 2015 come some changes to the chassis. All new bushes, revised damper rates and recalibrated power steering bring improvements to agility, control and stability without being detrimental to the ride comfort.
The technical changes also include Agile Handling Assistant, which brakes the inner wheels on turn in and outer wheels when returning the steering wheel to the central position to improve responsiveness and stability. Combine this with Vehicle Stability Assist, which improves traction and the Civic’s a lot sharper and more interesting to drive than its somewhat forgettable predecessor. Sport models look best, with body colouring extending around the rear spoiler area and dark 17-inch alloy wheels as standard.
The Civic, in all but its most extreme versions, has consistently struggled to offer the entertaining driving experience some of its key rivals can. The changes Honda has made go some way to addressing that; not only does it looks sharper, but the extensive chassis revisions bring some agility and control to make it a more engaging and interesting car to drive more of the time.
The looks won’t be to everyone’s taste, likewise the somewhat busy dashboard and instruments, but Honda’s diesel engine is among the class best on the road.
Performance and 0-60 time > Barring the Type R, the mainstream engine choices are competitive in their class but don't expect sub 10 sec 0-62mph times. Read all about the Honda Civic's performance here
Prices, specs and rivals > The Civic is right in the middle of the ultra-competitive affordable hatchback market. If you're after something that looks a bit different, then the Civic is a safe bet. Read all about Civic rivals here