Two design classics from Honda: The Civic and HR-V Car Test

We recently had the pleasure of testing two superb vehicle from the legendary Japanese manufacturer. Indeed, Soichiro Honda himself would have been proud with the evolution of these two stablemates. First, we turn our attention to the Civic 1.6 i-DTEC. The Civic has long been a very attractive car, especially in its 5-door sports saloon incarnation, but the new, re-sculpted model is really jaw-dropping. Its black grill and hungry-looking front air vents, with colour coded black touches to wing mirrors and rear light configurations, give the EX model we tested a sporty and agile look, which together with superb 5-spoke 16” alloys wheels create a lean and coordinated image. Out on the road the Civic 5-door has a lighter, stiffer chassis, making the car very nimble, especially in faster cornering, and the 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine delivers power with a crisp and controlled enthusiasm. Climbing aboard we were

delighted by the wide and spacious cockpit and great visibility. We were also very impressed with the Civic’s crisp 6-speed manual transmission on the model we tested and the well-balanced suspension, aided by the intelligent Agile Handling Assist, which provides real comfort, whether nipping around in town or out on the open road. In terms of performance, there’s plenty of torque, a top speed of 125 mph and a hugely efficient fuel return of over 83 mpg in the Extra Urban Cycle. The leather interior in our EX model was a luxurious touch and as the Civic keeps evolving there even better safety features, such as the Honda SENSING system, with its Collision Mitigation Braking system, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Cut-in prediction and mush else besides. We recommend you take a closer look at this wonderfully designed and innovative vehicle.

We were also lucky enough to test the HR-V 1.6 i-DTEC, a fantastic blend of coupé and SUV, and Honda were again generous enough to furnish us with the EX model.

The wonderful exterior styling is complemented by huge interior space and it’s a very adaptable vehicle, making use of Honda’s Magic Seat system. The passenger cabin is well-appointed, with Honda’s CONNECT infotainment system which includes a 7” Touchscreen and Aha app integration and internet browsing. As well as its sports pedigree, the HR-V is a thoughtfully safe vehicle, ideal for family life, and we were impressed by the City-Brake Active System and the innovative Speed Limiter, which combines the Traffic Sign Recognition function with the Speed Limiter to identify changes in the speed limit and then restrict the top speed of the car appropriately.


The HR-V delivers fuel economy and emissions among the best in its class, returning nearly 50 mpg in the Combined Cycle and there’s a top speed available of 119 mph. But apart from its technical excellence, which we’ve come to expect from Honda, we much mention the sumptuous design. With is assertive presence, flowing lines, high ride-height and gorgeous 16” alloys the HR-V is a very attractive SUV. And the design isn’t just superfluous, it contributes to positively to the efficiency, low emissions and economy package of the whole vehicle. On the EX model we tested we enjoyed the panoramic sunroof, leather interior, rear view camera and interior climate control, as well as many other features which make driving the HR-V a thoroughly pleasurable experience. The Honda Civic range starts at £19, 100 on the road whilst the excellent HR-V is available from £19,555. For full details or to book a test drive call 0345 200 8000 or visit


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