Four everyday car owners assess the all-new family hatch
This is the tenth-generation Honda Civic. And it’s a very important one for the company, because it represents a bit of a jumping-off point in the vehicle’s development.
It’s unusual for a car to change this much from model to model. But Honda has made the new Civic wider, longer and lower than before – in a bid to grab a much bigger share of the family hatch market.
That means being competitive against such formidable opponents as the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. Which in turn means convincing everyday car buyers that it’s worth giving Honda a fresh look.
Here, four such everyday buyers give their views on the new Civic after an exclusive sneak preview of the car at Honda’s UK factory.
Name: Peter Urquhart
Current car: Skoda Yeti
“Interior quality is a big step up – I think it’s actually on a par now with the Volkswagen Golf, however, it wouldn’t hurt to brighten it up a bit.
“It’s pretty practical, and I’m very impressed with both head and leg room. Even with the driver’s seat all the way back, it’s still comfortable enough for two adults in the back to do a long journey.
“I think the styling differs a bit from the norm, but it’s not too different from the current Civic. One of the most important aspects will be the price.”
Name: Chris Couzens
Current car: Toyota Yaris
‘The styling works well. I don’t like the central twin exhausts and fake air vents on this Sport model, but it looks different in a market where everything else looks the same.
‘The difference in interior quality between this and the Golf has narrowed from what it used to be. The split boot floor would appeal to me – I’d like a really flat load area because it will make loading and unloading much easier.
‘The rear seat is generous and the boot is a decent size. The new car is more practical than either of the preceding models.”
Name: Chris Harrison
Occupation: Design consultant
Current cars: Honda Accord, Honda Jazz
“This new model could bring me back to the Civic, having owned a couple in the past. I like how striking it is.
“I was looking at the revised diesel initially, but the 1.5-litre petrol with 180bhp looks interesting. The fuel economy figure is good, which is tempting because it’ll be cheaper to fill up.
“If the new Civic drives as well as other Hondas, it’s in the running. It would be interesting to know whether Honda is going to make a Tourer model as well, just to give you that extra boot space. If not, the hatchback is still big enough for an average family.”
Name: Ockert Botha
Occupation: Computer programmer
Current car: Honda Civic Type S
“I’m a huge fan of the dashboard, which seems to wrap around you. The touchscreen is well positioned and easy to glance at.
“By making the car longer, Honda’s ‘magic seats’ have been lost – people who have got used to them are going to miss them. But it’s more spacious in the rear than the old Civic.
“Honda has done a good job on the exterior design. Some will find it fussy, but it works for me.”
Four different points of view, then, but largely all finding the same elements to comment on. And one other common theme among our quarter of real-world assessors – each of them gave the Civic four out of five.