Home / Auto / Honda Civic Saloon 2018 REVIEW – Road test, price, specs and impressions

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 REVIEW – Road test, price, specs and impressions


Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

With crossovers taking over the world, SUVs are edging out certain traditional cars; roadsters and coupés are also on the endangered list but the Accord’s three-year absence is now at an end. Well, sort of.

This new Civic saloon hopes to revive interest in this market sector, as Honda is also keen for its four-door to appeal to business users.

The saloon looks familiar from the front and this new generation Civic’s bold and slightly angular design theme has been successfully replicated at the rear.

Buyers with more conservative tastes might find this approach appealing. The saloon’s clean lines, modest engine options and plush cabin suggest a more refined and low-key ownership proposition.

The car’s conservative looks are matched by Honda’s conservative sales aspirations. Mass sales and direct competition with big German car makers isn’t the plan.

No, this is a modest entrant with its sights on buyers seeking an alternative to the big volume brands such as Ford and Vauxhall, plus Skoda and rapidly improving Korean brands.

The Civic saloon’s modest size is the antithesis of its bloated rivals, while Honda’s longstanding reliability and dependability still have considerable currency among buyers. Two turbocharged engines – one petrol, one diesel – are the mainstay of the Civic saloon range.

The latter is designed to appeal more to business users, a market Honda is keen for the car to do well in. In 1.6-litre turbo-diesel guise, the car boasts 118bhp and can be had in six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic gearbox form.

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

Petrol buyers are served by Honda’s 127bhp 1.0-litre turbo motor, also with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearbox.

In keeping with the car’s above-average air of refinement, the diesel engine offers a good blend of performance and efficiency savings.

Its 91g/km emissions will no doubt please business users, as will its 83.1mpg average fuel economy.

That’s not bad considering the car’s pace with its 9.9 second 0 to 60mph and 125mph top speed. That’s better than the petrol’s equivalent 110g/km emissions and 58.9mpg.

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

It’s no surprise the Civic saloon drives much like theCivic hatchback. Everything looks and feels familiar when it comes to the various controls and displays.

The steering feel is pleasingly direct and precise, while the decision to tune the car’s ride so it’s a little firmer than your average compact saloon means a welcome absence of pitch and roll when cornering.

Granted, you’re unlikely to hustle this Civic at breakneck speed, but you’ll appreciate being comfortable in your seat on that twisty country road.

On the road you know there’s a diesel engine under the bonnet but driven gently it doesn’t intrude, although it can sound coarse when you accelerate hard. The trade off is a decent slug of acceleration that belies the car’s modest 118bhp.

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

That you’re assisted by one of the nicest manual gearchanges around is a welcome bonus, making light work of stop-start urban motoring.

Meanwhile the boot has a 519-litre capacity but access is restricted by the lid. However the space is deep and practical, a useful 41 litres more than the hatchback. Cabin quality and ambience are first-rate and space is good for a car this size.

Rear seat occupants are blessed with good amounts of head and legroom, although Honda’s infotainment system could be more intuitive.

As befits an “affordable premium” saloon, equipment levels are good. The three trims – SE, SR, EX – focus on active safety, adding key infotainment and comfort kit respectively.

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

Entry-level SE includes features such as lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and forward collision alert. SR adds dual climate control, parking sensors and camera, Apple and Android phone connectivity.

The new Civic saloon isn’t supposed to be an Accord replacement but it’s well-built, sensibly priced and economical.

British buyers have preferred hatchbacks and SUVs but this Civic proves there’s room in the market for a compact saloon that isn’t German. Save for a few minor quirks, this fourdoor Civic is certainly convincing.

The option of two different engines serve both ends of the high and low mileage spectrum well and you’re not lacking for equipment. You’re also unlikely to misplace it in the office car park, thanks to its bold looks.

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

Honda Civic Saloon 2018

Honda Civic Saloon 2018 (Image: HONDA)

LOGBOOK LOWDOWN

Prices: £19,395 to £27,120

Engines: Turbo-petrol – 1.0-litre; Turbo-diesel – 1.6-litre

Power: 0 to 60mph in 9.9 seconds, 125mph top speed (1.6TD)

Fuel economy: 83.1mpg (1.6TD) CO2 emissions: 91-110g/km

Rivals: Audi A3 saloon, Mazda 3 fastback, Skoda Octavia

Rating: 7/10



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