Honda Civic review - does the Type R’s class translate lower down the range? - Performance and 0-60

It’s clear the Type R has had a positive effect on the standard Civic’s handling, but a mini Type R this is not

Evo rating
Price
from £18,895
  • Foolproof chassis, impressive drivetrain, plenty of space
  • Not quite as entertaining to drive as a Focus, cheap interior

The Honda Civic’s engine range may lack the complexity of rivals from VW or Ford, but at its core is well judged and easy to choose between. The entry-level 1-litre triple is brisk enough, reaching 62mph in 10.8sec, making it slow without being dangerously so. The 1.5 is more effective, hitting 62mph in 8.2sec. The diesel also fails to duck below the 10 second mark to 62mph, taking 10.2sec.

Unlike Honda engines of old, the turbocharged range gives the Civic effortless torque in the mid-range, making the screaming VTEC engines Honda is known for a thing of the past. Although we miss those revvy, delicate engines, the extra torque on offer does make it a more relaxing car to drive on the move, negating the need to constantly change gear to find performance.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

The diesel is refined enough at lower speeds, but up the pace and its compression ignition makes itself known. The CVT is among the better of its type we’ve tried; high-rev mooing under hard acceleration hasn’t been completely banished but it’s also not overly intrusive (and with the gravelly three-pot, not unpleasant, either), and switching to the stepped-ratio ‘manual’ mode you do get an extra degree of control.

This being a Honda, though, the manual is the much more satisfying option. The shift is slick and precise, with a short throw. The 1-litre and manual combination is actually the sweetest, we reckon, since the four-cylinder 1.5 delivers a raucous, tuneless (and most un-Honda) racket under acceleration. Our test cars felt a little tight, but the 1.5 definitely offers a performance advantage over the 1-litre, which sometimes feels like it needs a gear between a short second and long third on twisty roads.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/honda/civic-type-r/202099/honda-civic-type-r-limited-edition-revealed-amongst-range-wide-updates
Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition revealed amongst range-wide updates

Our hopes have been addressed and more, as Honda launches two more Civic Type R versions at the top and tail of the range
20 Feb 2020
Visit/bmw/3-series/202267/new-bmw-m340d-xdrive-saloon-and-touring-revealed-with-516lb-ft-of-torque
BMW 3 Series

New BMW M340d xDrive Saloon and Touring revealed

BMW has released its range-topping black pump 3-series models, with a predictably impressive torque figure
20 Feb 2020
Visit/seat/leon-cupra/22765/new-2020-cupra-leon-revealed-cupra-hits-back-with-hot-hatch-and-estate
SEAT Leon Cupra

New 2020 Cupra Leon revealed

Cupra’s launched not just one, but a whole range of hot Leons to rival the rapidly expanding hot hatch class in 2020
21 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019