Performance and 0-60mph time
No screamers if you ignore the Type R, though the mainstream engine choices are competitive with their intended competition. The range starts with a 1.4 i-VTEC with 98bhp, that reaching 62mph in 13.4 seconds. Unsurprisingly that’s the slowest in the line-up, the rest of the range all largely clustered around the 10-second mark for the 0-62mph time and topping out at around 130mph (the 1.4 only managing 116mph).
That 1.4-litre engine needs working fairly hard to produce its best, though at least it remains smooth and decently refined when pushing it on. If you want a petrol Civic then the 1.8-litre’s the better choice; again it's smooth and willing, but delivers so much more - shaving nearly four seconds off that 1.4’s 0-62mph time thanks not just to its greater power, but also its sizeable torque advantage. Unsurprisingly, given its load-lugging role the Tourer isn’t offered with the 1.4-litre unit, and 0-62mph times trail the hatchback's by tenths against the stopwatch, but not so much you’d really notice it on the road.
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The real star in the range though is the 1.6 i-DTEC engine, Honda’s engineers not liking how conventional diesels produce their power and creating a turbodiesel that’s more petrol-like to drive than its rivals. The usual advantage of a considerable torque boost over its petrol alternatives remain, while it’s uncharacteristically willing to rev - and quiet, too. The sub-100g/km emissions figure means it dodges road tax as well, while economy of between 76.3- and 78.5mpg on the combined cycle impresses, too.