Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Honda Civic Ex Gt 1.8

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Honda Civic Ex Gt 1.8

Article excerpt

Byline: JON SMITH

IT'S hard to believe, but we're now on the ninth generation Honda Civic. Yes, the first model from the marque best known for its motorbikes took its bow back in 1972 and since then no fewer than 20 million of the little cars (now somewhat larger) have rolled off production lines around the world.

Most of us will probably best remember the last two versions. The 2001 model was practical, angular and tall but best of all it spawned the iconic Type R - a favourite among enthusiasts and boy racers alike. The 2006 Civic, with its concept car-like looks and radical styling, broke new ground and was host to Honda's first diesel.

The new 2012 car is an evolution rather than a revolution and builds on the previous generation's strengths. The egg-shape is largely similar but it's more streamlined with more space for both passengers and luggage and the three door version has been dropped in favour of a five-door.

There are two petrol versions - 1.4-litre, 98bhp and a 140bhp 1.8-litre - and a single 2.2-litre 148bhp diesel. A smaller diesel will join the line-up later in the year and all the British cars are built at Honda's Swindon factory.

I got behind the wheel of a top-of-the-range 1.8 EX GT, which carries a price tag of pounds 24,495 although the range kicks off at pounds 16,495.

Let's get the niggles out of the way first. I can't understand why most Japanese manufacturers insist on fitting a pip-squeak horn to all their cars short of big saloons Another gripe is the split rear screen, which though less intrusive than the earlier model's, still restricts visibility. It has to be said that neither of these mild whinges would sway me away from shelling out for a Civic, though.

There's a real sense of occasion within the cabin. This partly down to the futuristic formatting which is developed from the previous model and also due to a noticeable stepping up of the quality of materials. …

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