At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking not much has changed on the new Honda Civic. Looks-wise it’s instantly recognisable as a Civic, but that’s where the similarities end. Almost every component on the new Civic is different to its predecessor. Honda has invested a lot of time and development on the Civic’s suspension components to improve the ride and handling, whilst also improving the car’s aerodynamics, resulting in improved fuel consumption. This new larger, enhanced Civic goes on sale next month, with first deliveries commencing in January.
There will be three models available, two of which I drove at the European launch last week. I drove the entry level €20,995 1.4l 100hp petrol and the new 2.2l 150hp diesel model, there’s also a 1.8l 142hp petrol offering. With just €3,000 separating the 1.4l petrol to the 2.2l diesel, I’d highly recommend opting for the diesel version. The drive it provides is exemplarily, I averaged 5.5l/100km on my test route, the lowest figure I’ve achieved so far this year. Worth mentioning also is it’s seated in tax band A with €104 annual road tax. The higher torque offering from the diesel engine results in a more relaxed drive. Inside, the driving position is central, the controls and instruments have been modelled on a jet-fighter, with all the main controls close to hand. There’s a good sense of space within the Civic’s cabin and a high grade of materials present throughout.
With total sales of 42,500 since its first introduction, Honda Ireland has set a sales target of 750 units for 2012, a target which is easily achievable given this 9th generation Civic’s strong points. This new Civic is more capable than ever of taking on its rivals such as Volkswagen’s Golf, once you take a test drive, I’m sure you’ll agree.[table “44” not found /]