Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Honda Civic 1.6 I-SREC EX Plus

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Honda Civic 1.6 I-SREC EX Plus

Article excerpt

Byline: Patrick James

THERE are few cars that have been around longer than the Honda Civic, which first made an appearance over 40 years ago.

It's a sign of how good a car is that it evolves gradually over decades, but around 2006 this changed with a radical makeover to Honda's best seller, which has now sold more than 20 million worldwide.

The new futuristic-looking Civic, built at Swindon, was a bit of a surprise package with its eye-catching profile and load carrying capability, and most, if not everyone, was convinced.

It looked stunning with sleek, aerodynamic design, headlamp and tail light clusters, rear spoiler splitting the windscreen and the signature triangular exhaust tailpipe.

The latest ninth generation has been tweaked again for 2014 with enhancements like piano black finishes on both inside and outside, and a choice of two optional safety packs.

The model I tried also featured the super-frugal diesel engine, the 1.6-litre i-DTEC, introduced last year, with a claimed range on the tank of a staggering 863 miles and an average fuel consumption of 78.5mpg.

They are not the cheapest cars in the the small family market, but offer high levels of standard equipment, high quality fit and finish and a reputation for reliability. In fact the range toppers like this model are approaching executive sector prices.

The wrapround interior still offers something a little different although some of the controls are fiddly particularly the buttons on the central display screen which control sat nav and communication functions, but the dials and instrumentation in the binnacle are clear and concise.

The fit and finish is generally classy with soft touch finish, but there is still some cheaper plastic trim. The design of the car means headroom is at a premium and visibility to the rear is hampered by the spolier splitting the rear screen. The upside is the huge boot and what the firm calls its magic rear seats, which fold and lift up, fold over and lock down in one easy movement and the 60:40 split folding design create multiple con-figurations. …

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